How reading teaches me about the value of friendship
Web of life
Published: Dec 07, 2023 10:40 PM
Editor's Note:

"Read ten thousand books, and your pen will be guided as if by the gods" is an ancient Chinese idiom that can be seen in students' textbooks. China's Ministry of Education has published an action plan to further promote reading among students across the nation. With new and diverse book recommendations, the reading scene is expected to be revived not only at schools, but also across society. To contribute to this endeavor, the Global Times launched "My Reading Life" essay contest for middle school students.

Please pick up a pen and share your stories with us at

Participants will be rewarded once the article has been selected.



People in the world usually have many aspirations, some for education, some for career and some for family, which are countless. But in the works of E.B. White, there is a little pig who only has the special wish to live. What a humble wish!

The novel is named Charlotte's Web which tells a story about life and friendship. The pig Wilbur forms a true friendship with Charlotte, a beautiful long-legged spider, on Mr Zuckerman's farm. "Pigs born in the Spring do not see Winter snow," pigs cannot escape the fate of slaughter. A selfish rat Templeton scares the poor pig by predicting that his neck will be part of the Christmas dinner table. This really scares the poor little pig. Charlotte makes a promise to the little pig that no matter what, she will do anything to save him.

The seemingly weak spider keeps her promise, and she does it in a very clever way. She changes the shape of an intricate but regular web to spell out the word "Some Pig." It attracted so much attention that people think it is a miracle. But it is not enticing enough, so Charlotte further writes three more words: "Terrific," "Radiant" and "Humble." These four words suggest that Wilbur is different, powerful and capable, full of sparkle, and characterized by a humble character. Wilbur becomes a famous pig made by Charlotte. He no longer has to worry that his life is threatened. However, as time passes by, the spider Charlotte also comes to the end of her life. At the end of the story, Wilbur and the rat bring Charlotte's eggs back to the farm, with the purpose of extending her life.

This little fairy tale book is gripping and imaginative. Using a narrative style of fairy tale, the author not only tells a story of friendship and commitment, showing praise and sentiment for life itself, but also discusses the meaning of life, the occurrence of miracles and the awe for life.

Indeed, in this complex and changing society, many people have forgotten their original aspiration, the truth and the meaning of life, pursuing so-called external things. Wilbur is sincere and kind, using his enthusiasm and actions to warm his friends around him and winning the love of others. When he encounters difficulties, the animals on the whole farm do their best to help him, and even the cunning rat Templeton also risks his life to help him under the seemingly pursuit of interest. In this story, Wilbur loves life, showing a strong desire for life, never giving up and compromising with fate. He completely trusts his friend Charlotte, which finally helps change his fate.

Charlotte is one of the most important characters for Wilbur. She taught him many things. She is intelligent and capable. Some readers think that the author should not give the final ending of Charlotte's death, but I think that this just explains the author's understanding of the meaning of life. In the last conversation with Wilbur, Charlotte said, "After all, what's a life, anyway? We're born, we live a little while, we die. A spider's life can't help being something of a mess, with all this trapping and eating flies. By helping you, perhaps I was trying to lift up my life a trifle." From this, we can see that the