Thursday, January 11, 2007

CHARLOTTE'S WEB (2006) Post 3 of 4: Pro-Life Themes

Life Themes

Charlotte's Web as both the movie and the book are also rich with pro-life themes. Here are a few:

A. Fern protects the "infant" Wilbur from certain death because he is not wanted. Like a sidewalk counselor in front of an abortion clinic she challenges her Dad: "Would you have killed me if I was small?" What some people may hear Fern say is, "Would you have killed me if I wasn't wanted?" In case you're wondering if the filmmakers added that line, E.B. White wrote in the book: "If I had been very small at birth, would you have killed me?" (italics are Mr. White's). Mr. Arable responds to the negative, but Fern persists, "I see no difference...this is the most terrible case of injustice I ever heard of." Mr. Arable gives in and then (again, this is in the book) delivers these two lines: "I'll let you start it on a bottle, like a baby. Then you'll see what trouble a pig can be." Thus, setting up the debate. Setting up the argument is necessary to fully appreciate the outcome.

B. Avery tries to kill Charlotte, Fern stops him.

C. By the story's end, Fern is honored by her father for her defense of Wilbur's life and the injustice her dad wanted to carry out.

D. Wilbur takes his place in a baby stroller next to a doll. Fern cares lovingly for Wilbur, even if it is inconvenient and difficult.

E. Great respect is paid to the end of life issues, as Charlotte is allowed to die naturally and with dignity.

F. Wilbur works hard to save Charlotte's egg sack from being left behind or eaten by Templeton, and watches over the sack with the help of the other animals until they are hatched.

G. The goose, although discomforted by the eggs beneath her, is diligent in their care. The book uses these words and the movie conveys the sentiment: "After four weeks of unremitting effort and patience on the part of our friend the goose, she now has something to show for it." The birth of the goslings is celebrated.

H. The threat of a premature death at the hands of humans is always present, but never occurs.

Finally, see Post #4 on The Moral Premise, and I'm out of here.

1 comment:

Ellie Cabe said...

Hi! This is a great post! Im thinking of including this in my children's reading list in the future. Would it be alright with you if you analyse the book, The Witches, as well in terms of its pro life themes? That book may be good to contrast with Charlotte's Web as it looks at children in a negative way... THANKS!