In literature, there are various works that aid children in their developmental progression of life. Children experience stages throughout their development that lead them to the discovery of not only their own needs, but the needs of others too. Many people do not realize the extent of which stories shape the way we think. Stories are particularly effective in influencing the way children think and behave, because they like to hear or read them over and over again. The repetition of these stories combined with a child's imagination makes telling a story one of the best ways to influence their thinking. Two works that indirectly influence a child's way of thinking are Winnie the Pooh by A.
A Milne, and Charlotte's Web by E. B White. Each of these books deals with situations involving parent-child relationships, peer group dynamics, and social interactions. Both of these literary works have a major impact on young readers, and each one takes a unique approach in aiding young readers throughout their developing stages. Winnie the Pooh is a collection of stories that deals with the concerns and needs of a growing boy, who is trying to understand how the world and the people in it work. The little boy's name is Christopher Robin.
Christopher's father tells his son the stories of Pooh's adventures and interactions with others. In order to truly understand the meaning of this story, one must realize that Winnie the Pooh represents one of the many personalities of Christopher Robin. Just as Piglet, Rabbit, Kanga, Roo, Eeyore, and Owl are also alter egos of him. Each of these characters represents a different feeling or emotion of Christopher Robin, and all of them are designed by the author to fit a certain personality trait that a child can relate to. Charlotte's Web is the story of a young girl who is in the midst of discovering herself and learning how to be less selfish. Fern is the name of the young girl, and Wilbur is her pig.
In this story, Ferns alter ego is Wilbur as well as the Barnyard animals. They represent Fern's inner thoughts and concerns. As in Winnie the Pooh, the characters in Charlotte's Web were also created in such a way that a child could easily relate. Wilbur's actions and thoughts represent Fern's uncontrollable desire to experience something new and invigorating. Fern's concerns are more mature than those of Christopher Robin. In other words, she is in a higher stage of development.
In the story, Wilbur longs for a friend, as well as wanting to escape his pen and experience the world. As with every child, there comes a point in their lives when things become so repetitious that we lose our passion for our present situations. This holds true for Fern and Wilbur and is portrayed when Wilbur tries to escape his pen and explore the farm for something exciting. In Winnie's time of need, he always turns to Christopher Robin for help. The story begins with Pooh experiencing a complication in obtaining honey.
Naturally, he goes to Christopher for assistance because he is like a god figure. The bond shared between Christopher Robin and Winnie the Pooh is valued. Never once in the story does Christopher Robin ridicule or lose patience with Pooh. Pooh learns his greatest lessons from Christopher such as giving support to someone in need, tolerance for those who are different, confronting one's fears, and to save another's life, which is the most important lesson he learns. These are all necessary lessons for a young child to learn, and they are clearly demonstrated by this story. Fern and Wilbur share a different bond than that of Pooh and Christopher Robin.
The story of Charlotte's Web develops with Fern saving Wilbur's life, taking him in and nurturing him as if he were her own. She spends many days with the pig and showers him with love and affection. As the story continues Wilbur sees less and less of Fern. By the story's end, one could clearly see that Fern had entered the final stages of development. She is successfully able to project her feelings to someone of the opposite sex, and no longer needs the comfort that Wilbur has given her.
This is another important lesson for a young child to learn about in a pleasant way. Children must realize that as they grow and mature, they will change along with the people surrounding them. Social interactions deeply affect a maturing child. Being accepted and feeling a part of a group is an aspect of development. Every child goes through a period of loneliness and isolation. A large part of a healthy and successful development is forming bonds with peers.
In Winnie the Pooh, one can observe the social interactions that Christopher Robin experiences. In the story, Christopher Robin befriends Rabbit, Eeyore, Piglet, Owl, Kanga, and Roo. Within these friendships, identifying who is different or similar is made possible. For example, Eeyore is presented as the depressed character with a low self esteem. Owl thinks that he knows it all. Kanga is very protective and nurturing to Roo.
Roo is impulsive and fearless like a child. Lastly, Rabbit thinks that he is very clever and cunning. Pooh and Christopher experience situations that pose a problem, or require a group effort to form a solution such as they did while trying to save Roo when he fell into the river. It is here that we see how social interactions can help to mold a developing child into a matured adult. Charlotte's Web is also an excellent example of how social interactions are significant to a developing child. In this story, Wilbur longs for a friend and is vulnerable to deception.
When he first arrives at Ferns uncles' farm, he meets the Goose. Due to the fact that Wilbur is in such a fragile state, he is deceived by the Goose who convinces him to escape his pen. His excursion is brief because he is easily lured back into the pen with food. This is not only an indication of a developing pig (child) marked by immaturity, but this also becomes a lesson to Wilbur in decision making. In the barn, there are other animals such as the lamb, Templeton the rat, the Goose, and Charlotte the spider. In Wilbur's trials and efforts he comes to learn that because he is different from the other animals, he is not accepted by them either.
Wilbur tries to engage in conversation with Templeton, and is rewarded with Templeton turning his head. He asks the lamb to engage in some recreational fun and the lamb replies by stating that he is different. After some time, Wilbur's loneliness is finally compensated with someone that he can call a friend. Meeting Charlotte allows Wilbur to comprehend that even though we are all different; we all share a common need for social interaction. Charlotte's caring and understanding efforts to be a friend to Wilbur results in the saving of his life. It is evident that this story portrays the impact that interaction within a social group has on a young child, and it is important for them to be influenced in the right way about an issue such as this.
Winnie the Pooh is most beneficial to a young audience who is just entering the primary stages of development. Charlotte's Web responds to a slightly older audience who has already begun to mature. Simple lessons are taught in these tales, which leads to a better understanding of how the world works. These works bring about reassurance to a child who may be feeling as though they were different, lonely, or didn't have any friends. Socialization is a key factor in both of these literary pieces. It is important for children to read literature because it gives them the chance to use their imagination.
It allows them to escape their own realities and jump into a completely different world. Literature allows children to open their minds to the many wonders that they question, while non-fiction just presents them with cut and dry facts. Compared to non-fiction writing, literature can use ideas that help present simple, yet important ideas in fun, creative ways. Literature can reach children through the usage of animals, dreams, fantasy worlds, etc. Non-fiction writing cannot have the same impact because they are not able to branch into the world of imagination. They can only talk about topics that exist in our society using real-life examples.
In Winnie the Pooh and Charlotte's Web explanations of the need for friendships and the desire for friendships is signified. Both of these stories are positive reinforcements for young readers who are just beginning to learn how the world really works.