What did we think about the ending of the book? Are we happy that three spiders remained to “entertain” Wilbur? I felt like his petulance did not deserve a reward, but maybe listening to the book enhanced the whiny-ness/petulance.
Before reading the Ratelle essay, did you think of Wilbur as a pig? Or a little boy? Or a mix of both? Is the argument valid that White could be writing animals just as animals?
Why was Uncle written that way? Was it a lost opportunity to show readers that pigs are intelligent, delightful creatures?
Was there a clear reason to assign a male gender to Wilbur and Templeton, and a female gender to Charlotte and Fern?
Wonderful questions and commentary, Lacy. It is amazing, but some critics write about Wilbur’s maturation at the end of the book…and I fail to see that! I definitely think that Wilbur stands in for the child reader, and is meant to …remain callow and self-absorbed…and in need of that emotional support. But so much to discuss here! CH