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An essay from Christianity Today about the classic novel Charlotte's Web. Go. Read. Enjoy.


Excellent article. My only criticism is that it's too narrow; all three of White's books for children are steeped in sacrificial love. In Stuart Little, Stuart and Margalo each give of themselves for the other, and when Margalo flees for her life Stuart is driven, almost beyond his control, to seek her out. His fidelity is even tempted along the way; luckily for him, his mistake is revealed in a little bit of farce before any harm can be done.

In The Trumpet of the Swan, Louis' father and Sam Beaver each in their own way exemplify it; the old swan in a focused way through his actions on behalf of his son, and Sam more generically, in the way he approaches the rest of creation. Trumpet also has some nice supporting touches, like the math class where none of the answers come out nice and round because the kids take into account the delicious inexactitudes of real people.

I guess Charlotte's Web is still the most focused, though, and a large part of its beauty is that it is not a didactic book, not written to prove a point. It tells its story, and allows the truth to shine through it; he who has eyes to see it may see it.



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