Tonight I caved into my true feelings of feminism and researched any feminism in Charlotte's Web through WorldCat research data base. I have mixed feelings on this, because I feel like I default to feminist research too often in my academic writing, but I guess I can't deny my inner-feminist tonight!
WorldCat is a database that combines multiple private and public libraries from across the world to provide all means of media (articles, books, sound recordings, data files and visual materials). In the three years of studying at BYU I have never used this particular data base, but I found its contents to prove more useful tonight than my other default data bases such as LION, JSTOR or Ebsco.
Tonight I flitted through LION, Project Muse and LRC, but I couldn't find anything that I was particularly interested in. I took a break and started reading about my fellow classmates research results, and found that some had had success on WorldCat, so I took their advice and gave it a try. I simply searched "Charlotte's Web" as the primary keyword with "feminism" as a secondary keyword. On the 6th result I found an interesting article that combined the story, feminism and education into one article. Can we get any better than that?!
Time to practice MLA! Roberts, Sherron Killingsworth. "The Female Rescuer in Newbery Books: Who Is She?" Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association. San Diego, CA. 13 April 1998. Conference Presentation.
This particular article focused on how Charlotte the spider is a nurturing mother who sacrifices, as mothers do, to save the life of Wilbur. They are not simply friends, but the relationship is more of mother/son based.
I am focusing on how friendship can play a role in the lives of children when they are at the most impressionable age, and this article states that Charlotte's Web is recommended for children ages 8-14, or the most impressionable age, so they can see the influence of gender roles in not only friendships, but also the different levels of friendship.