Charlotte's Web

by E. B. White

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Why does Wilbur feel the need to make a speech in Charlotte's Web?

In Charlotte's Web, Wilbur feels the need to make a special speech in celebration of a special occasion. Three of Charlotte's daughters have woven brand new webs of their own and chosen to stay with Wilbur in his barn.

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Poor old Wilbur feels pretty sad and lonely now that Charlotte's children have left him all alone in the barn as they head out into the world to weave their own webs. He begged them to stay, but all to no avail. The youngsters left, leaving Wilbur to feel like the loneliest pig in the whole wide world.

Wilbur is so sad that he actually cries himself to sleep. However, it isn't very long before he's woken up by the sound of little spiders greeting him and telling him how much they like Wilbur and the barn. These youngsters are three more of Charlotte's daughters—Joy, Aranea, and Nellie—and unlike their siblings have decided to stay with Wilbur and weave their webs in the barn.

Such happy news calls for a celebration. Wilbur marks this special occasion with a brief speech in which he welcomes the three young spiders to the barn and pays a fulsome tribute to their mother, who, as Wilbur rightly says, was “brilliant, beautiful, and loyal to the end.” He will always treasure her memory and pledges his friendship to her and her daughters forever and ever. In return, Joy, Aranea, and Nellie pledge their undying friendship to Wilbur.

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