About the Book

Book Protagonist: Wilbur
Publication Date: 1952
Genre: Children, Coming of Age, Literary Fiction, Teen and Young Adult


Charlotte's Web

By E.B. White

'Charlotte’s Web' by E.B. White features some of the best-loved characters in the history of children’s literature—Charlotte and Wilbur. 

These two central characters work together to save Wilbur’s life, crafting messages into Charlotte’s web, along with help from the other farm animals. Although this novel was written for and is still primarily read by children, it’s loved by readers of all ages around the world. 


Wilbur is the main character in E.B. White’s timeless classic Charlotte’s Web. Wilbur is a young pig who is about to be sent away to be slaughtered until he is saved by a small gray spider named Charlotte. Wilbur’s life is changed forever when Charlotte saves him, and he has a unique opportunity to learn and experience more than what he had ever imagined before.

Wilbur quickly becomes a lovable character, with his naivety and innocence making him endearing to all readers. He loves playing with the other barnyard animals and is often times outsmarted or embarrassed by them. As the story progresses, Wilbur learns important lessons and values, such as courage and friendship. He also discovers that true friendship can be found in unexpected places. 

Although Wilbur is small and naive, he always manages to remain strong and determined in the face of adversity, proving that even though he may not always know what’s going on, he will do whatever it takes to protect his friends.


Charlotte is a grey spider with a white streak on her back, is one of the main characters in E.B. White’s novel Charlotte’s Web. Throughout the story, Charlotte and her friends Wilbur the pig, Templeton the rat, and the rest of the barnyard animals teach readers valuable lessons about friendship, loyalty, and the importance of being kind to each other.

Charlotte’s most notable trait is her selfless nature. She often puts others before herself, going out of her way to help Wilbur, even though it means sacrificing her own safety and well-being. Charlotte’s personality is characterized by her warm-heartedness, her strong sense of morality, and her unyielding loyalty. Her gentle and understanding attitude makes her an inspiration to readers, young and old. Charlotte proves that small acts of kindness can make all the difference in someone’s life.

Charlotte saves Wilbur’s life by spinning words into her web. She is an advocate for Wilbur, always looking out for him and encouraging him. She is also an inspiration to Wilbur, teaching him that there is more to life than food and sleep.


Fern is the eight-year-old daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Arable, who saves Wilbur from being slaughtered when he is born. Fern is kind-hearted and loves animals, especially Wilbur. She immediately bonds with him and with the other animals on the farm. She teaches Wilbur how to communicate with humans and continues to care for him throughout the story.

She treats Wilbur like a friend, and he returns her affection by following her around. The first half of the novel is primarily driven by Fern’s friendship with Wilbur. 

As the novel progresses, it becomes clear that Fern is outgrowing her friendship with the barn animals and is becoming more interested in making friends with children her own age (this alludes to one of the central themes of the novel—aging). 


Templeton is a rat who lives in the barn where Wilbur is kept and is often considered to be the antagonist of the novel. At first, he appears selfish and unhelpful, but as the story progresses, he becomes an important ally of Wilbur. Templeton helps Wilbur by finding materials for Charlotte’s web and by using his wily ways to trick other animals on the farm.

Mr. Zuckerman

Mr. Zuckerman is the farmer who owns the barn where Wilbur lives. At first, he seems uncaring and cold, but eventually, he develops a fondness for Wilbur and appreciates Charlotte’s efforts to save Wilbur’s life. He gives Wilbur a safe place to live.

John Arable 

Fern’s father and Wilbur’s first owner. He’s practical, cares about his family, and tries to make the right decisions for his farm. 


Fern’s brother, who gets in trouble and is known for carrying objects around in his pockets. 

Mrs. Arable 

Mrs. Arable is Fern’s mother, who helps her take care of Wilbur when he’s a piglet. She wants her daughter to make friends with children her own age and not spend as much time with animals, though. 


The hired worker on the Zuckerman farm. He finds Charlotte’s webs and reports to his boss every time there’s a new one. 

Oldest Sheep 

An impatient sheep who doesn’t like it when Wilbur is too loud or rude. But, he is in his heart compassionate and helps Wilbur out. 

The Geese

The geese are a group of birds who live near the barn where Wilbur lives. They are important characters in Charlotte’s Web because they help spread the news of Wilbur’s greatness throughout the countryside.


Who is the protagonist of Charlotte’s Web?

The two protagonists of the story are Wilbur the pig and Charlotte the spider. The former is generally considered to be the most important of the two. 

What is the main conflict of Charlotte’s Web

The main conflict of the story is finding a way to keep Wilbur from being slaughtered. This results in the plan to use Charlotte’s web to write messages to the farm owner. 

Is Avery a boy or girl in Charlotte’s Web?

Avery is Fern’s brother in Charlotte’s Web. In the novel, he is ten years old and is often getting into trouble. 

What is controversial about Charlotte’s Web?

Like many novels, Charlotte’s Web has also faced its challenges, with groups hoping to ban the novel. A case in Kansas cited the novel’s use of talking animals as a reason to ban it from school libraries. 

What is the moral of the story in Charlotte’s Web?

The moral of the story is that friendship knows no bounds. The farm animals work together, and the friendship truly blossoms between Wilbur and Charlotte. Additionally, Fern’s love of the animals, particularly in the first half of the novel, plays into this moral quite well. She declares that they are her best friends, rather than any children her own age she might know.

Emma Baldwin
About Emma Baldwin
Emma graduated from East Carolina University with a BA in English, minor in Creative Writing, BFA in Fine Art, and BA in Art Histories. Literature is one of her greatest passions which she pursues on Book Analysis.
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