Novel Reading Report
Your name 洪耕 Missy
Presentation time 2011.10.15
I. General information
Book Name: First Publishing time: Publishing country:
Charlotte’s Web 1952 UK
This is an incredible childish book. All the farmyard characters, human and animal,
are delightfully drawn. A child will feel that this is really how creatures do think and
behave. This book has liveliness and felicity, tenderness and unexpectedness, grace and humor, and praise of life.
Author name E. B. White
Author’s brief biography
E. B. White was born in Mount Vernon, New York in 1899. He graduated from Cornell University in 1921, and after five of six years of trying many different sorts of jobs, he joined the staff of New Yorker magazine. In 1938 E. B. White moved to the country. He
kept animals on his farm in Maine, and some of these creatures crept into his stories and books. E. B. White was the author of twenty books of prose and poetry and in 1970 he was awarded the Laura Ingalls Wilder Medal, an award given every five years to those
authors who have ’made a substantial and lasting contribution to literature for children’. He
died in 1985
Length of the book (words How much have you How much do you think
and pages) finished? All. you understand it?
243 pages How many hours do you It is easy for me to
spend on reading it? understand.
About three weeks.
II. Main idea of the book (200 words)
There were two main characters in the story. They were a pig called Wilbur who was threatened by death all the time, and a grey giant spider called Charlotte who was the very kind and smart friend of Wilbur.
Wilbur was going to be killed by Mr. Arable at the beginning of the story, because he was so weak that it cost too much to raise him. Mr. Arable’s little daughter Fern begged his
father and saved Wilbur. She took good care of Wilbur so he grew up miraculously. When he was too big to live in the house with Fern, he was sent to a barn owned by Fern’s uncle,
Mr. Zuckerman. Wilbur met his best friend Charlotte there, and also a lot of other animals, such as goose, goat, rat and cow etc.
Wilbur was a spring pig, which means he would be killed and eaten by the end of the year. When he knew this truth, he was so scared and despaired. Charlotte decided to save Wilbur, and finally she made it by spelling four words in her web. The first one is “Some Pig” that drew people’s attention to this piggy. And the second word is Terrific which made people strongly believed that this pig was blessed by god. Then the family decided to take Wilbur to the annual Fair. It was a critical shoot for Wilbur, because if he won the first place in the Fair, people would keep him until he died naturally. The third time Charlotte spelled Radiant with the help of a rat named Templeton. For Charlotte’s trust
and love, Wilbur acted vigorously and radiantly in the competition. The last word was humble which finally stirred people’s sympathy up and made Wilbur won the special prize.
Wilbur survived but Charlotte died. She exhausted the very last of her energy to knit the word. It was a great relief that Wilbur took Charlotte’s sacs back to the barn and arose
them to be hundreds of little spiders as the extensions of Charlotte’s life.
III. Your comments of the book. (300 words)
I gained a lot from this incredibly good childish book. I was inspired by many seemingly common scenes in the book. Under the literal meaning of the words, I can dig more information that the author wanted to deliver.
First of all, the word Humble gave me a jolt. Why did Charlotte, or say the author, chose such a plain and insignificant word in the last time? I was supposed that she would spell other words like terrific and radiant to stress how special Wilbur was. I thought further and realized that Humble was the very true and sincere monologue that Wilbur and Charlotte could give at last. Essentially they were not terrific or radiant at all, but humble. They were just animals fighting for survival. Meanwhile, the love showed by Charlotte and Wilbur made the humble creatures so incredibly amazing and gorgeous. That humbleness and greatness existing at the same time, it is the reason why animals are so beautiful as well as human beings.
Secondly, Charlotte’s death was really a sad ending, but meanwhile it made the story more reliable and touching. How should we treat the unavoidable sad ending of life? I’ve
seen an American TV show called Community. There is a piece of monologue delivered by an old woman. It was gritting on my heart for a long time. She said “I'm gone forever
and that is how I liked it. Life is only worth a damn because it's short. It's designed to be consumed, used, spent, lived, felt. We're supposed to fill it with every mistake and miracle we can image. And then we're supposed to let go.” I think life is like a journey. Where we
end up is not important. The sceneries we have seen and the stories we have experimented are the right things we should care about. The limitation of life just makes life to be more thankful and precious.
I enjoyed the process of reading and thinking, and I think those are the good ways to rich my life. I will do more reading, not just for studying English, but also for entertaining and inspiration.
IV. Criticism or questions to the author or the novel.
I love this book, but next time I am going to read some harder novel like To Kill a Mockingbird. It’s hard to finish in one month, but I will try.