Gender Roles In Charlotte's Web

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There are subtle stereotypes in Charlotte's Web about gender roles, that I had not noticed when first reading. The book starts out with the birth of Wilbur, a male runt pig. Wilbur would soon be found in a chain of motherly figures taking care of him. The first mother figure was Fern, when she saved Wilbur from being killed, and Fern's mother, Mrs. Arable, then finally Charlotte. The book also has defined roles for the males. Fern is the first mother to Wilbur, we can see this when she saves him from being killed and takes care of him. This portrays that girls should take care of those who are sick. Fern has great compassion for Wilbur, this is an emotion stereotyped for woman rather than men. The book also mentions that Fern would not eat her breakfast until she gave Wilbur his milk, again stereotyping that woman should take care of their family members and children before they take care of themselves. Mrs. Arable, the stay at home mom, does all of the stereotypical house work like cleaning, cooking, and caring for the kids. She also teaches Fern many things about taking care of Wilbur, as it is expected of a mother to teach her daughter how to be a good mother. Towards the end of the book however we see Mrs. Arable wash Wilbur with her secret buttermilk. While this is…show more content…
Mr. Arable, Lurvy, Avery, and even Templeton were all portrayed in stereotypical manners. To start, Mr. Arable was a farmer, the typically role for a male. Lurvy was also a farmer and did the hard work such as feeding animals and fixing things. A stereotype of males is that they usually do not help children or care about children as much as woman and this can be seen when Fern needed help feeding Wilbur and Mrs. Arable went and helped while Mr. Arable and Avery just sat at the kitchen table and ate. Avery also made a comment insulting Wilbur's size when he first saw him, portraying men as mean and uncaring for emotions or
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