Today my class discussed Charlotte's Web. They are all such smart kids. I was intrigued by a few comments they made, though, especially one girl whose basic stance is:
this book is allegedly all about the cycle of life and death, and how dying is a natural part of life. except wilbur never dies; he becomes famous, and fame is a way to live forever. so really, the book values immortality more than it naturalizes death.
This student did not especially care for the book, I think. Or rather: she had issues with it.
it was interesting. this re-read of Charlotte's Web, for me, really focused on the wonderfully orderly structure of the book. it feels so organic - as it's meant to, i think. we move so easily from season to season, and White lingers over details of the natural world so beautifully - it's quite a symphony of words and structures, really.
i've never been a special fan of Charlotte's Web - i mean, it's a great book, I like it a lot, but it's never been one I hold especially close to my heart - but it's a beautiful piece of craft.