How Children Cope With Friendship and Death After Reading Charlotte's Web Term Paper

Excerpt from Term Paper :

children cope with friendship and death after reading Charlottes' Web?

Academic Research:

The book, Charlotte's Web is probably the best selling paperback and is really a story about a farm, and how friendships develop between different animals and how they help each other. In this book, the most important development is the friendship that develops between Wilbur and Charlotte. Wilbur is a pig and Charlotte is a spider which turns out to be the leader of all animals. The book developed as a natural consequence to the author having resided on a farm and seen all the animals in action. In this book, Charlotte ends up saving the pig from slaughter and in practice; the author himself had tried to save a pig and not succeeded. The author has written about many such animals, but this became the most popular.

Animals were dear to the author and though the animals were raised to make money, he had tried to save animals. This was a factor not liked by the author and this is reflected in his writing. The heroine of this book, Charlotte was also the result of observations of the author on his farm. The author had seen spiders weaving in the farm corners, and thought that spiders were very clever as they succeeded in weaving. In this book, the spider weaves a web with words. The author like nature and lived surrounded by mountains and the sea till his death in 1985. He knew fully well that a spider does not weave words, but this was a favorite dream of his. After all, all stories are imaginary as is this story. (Charlotte's Web) In this analysis there has been an attempt to analyze the views of a child about the book.

Quality of the sources:

The sources have been taken from the Web and these are very authentic about the psychology of children. After all, the stories of death and trouble finally affect the thinking of children and their subsequent dreams.

Summarize the sources:

This is being done in the form of one book after another. The first view is that of Phyllis Rolfe Silverman and here growth was clearly seen by the author. This led the author to spend a substantial amount of time regarding spiritual, religious and faith aspects of the loss. Earlier she had only considered the loss to be philosophical, but after a few years she was able to appreciate the importance of the personal faith that is present in whatever forms it may be. This also enabled her to understand the trouble that we have and how our communities can support us at this time. When the clergy have an important role in the society, then the relationship of the individuals to the clergy is important as the help from the clergy is often important in passing through the phase of death. (Never Too Young to Know: Death in Children's Lives:

When enough help is not received, or seen to be received from the clergy, the full family feels disappointed. Their feelings may vary from rejection to stigmatized and angry. For the children it is sometimes viewed that they are not fully aware, and that does not really happen. Their grief is sometimes even stronger than the feelings that adults have as the adults do not share the pain with them like equals, and hey also do not have enough experience to get the feelings within themselves. This can also be seen in the book's division into three parts: "Making Meaning of Death & Grief," "Stories People Tell" and "On Helping." It is also clear that the loss is not totally individual for the child but comes from the total feelings of the family. This is an interesting viewpoint as this does not make the children separate from the adults, as is often the case in practice, but the book looks at the total family and also as grief being a total feeling for the family.

The different types of death within the family are discussed separately from the death of a parent, or a sibling, or even the impending of the child itself. The author is very specific regarding the importance of death, and he says "Children need attention and support so they can learn to cope and deal with the changes that a death will bring to their lives. They need to feel legitimated and have a place to turn to for sharing, support, and guidance. Even adolescents, who are trying out more independent roles and may protest their parent's interest as intrusion, need the support and attention of their families. If they are part of a working family system that has the flexibility to grow and change, children and young people will learn how to respond effectively to the stress caused by a death and to cope competently as they go through the experience of being alive." (Never Too Young to Know: Death in Children's Lives:

In the sixth reference we have the reactions of children to a national tragedy as it took place at the time of the New York incident with the planes. Here the insistence is on the level of talk that one must have with the children, and this says that the children will get the feeling of seriousness about the incident from the descriptions given by the adults to them. This may lead the children to show different types of emotion which starts emotional shock and this is bereft of any feelings. Some of the children show immature behavior and this means that they need to be rocked or held. They may also not like to be separated from their parents, or have difficulty in completing their tasks. Other children show their emotions through anger, terror, frustration and helplessness. These actions reflect their own insecurity and their attempts to fain control over the situation on which they have no control. (Helping Children Cope with Loss, Death and Grief: Response to a National Tragedy)

Some others tend to get repetitive and keep asking the same question a number of times, as the reply given to them is not found to be believable by them. The solution to children who are afraid is given for permitting the children to say their own stories. One of the main reasons for the problem is that all children do not understand death in the same way, or have the same feelings about death. Another important point to remember is that the process of grieving continues for some time and does not go off immediately. If the children are pressed to deal immediately with their emotions and get back to work, it may cause even more problems in the children. Whatever be the situation, the children should not be bluffed as this may force intelligent children to see through the bluff and wonder why they are being told lies. The important factor is to let all children know the truth, whatever may be their age. If they need more information, they will come back to the adults.

Loss and death are situations in life that the children have to understand and adjust to. When the children are in difficulty, it is likely that they will come around to ask for the truth, and it is possible that the adults may not be aware of all the answers. In that situation give the questions the respect they deserve and tell them that you will find out and tell them. It is not easy to understand the way children grieve, and there is no correct way for the grief to be expressed. The best way to help children is to let them understand that the adults are interested in their feelings, and the children should come out with whatever problems they have. The help that children need will be over a long time, and there are no shortcuts. When the child is feeling seriously about the grief, let the child have support from many points. (Helping Children Cope with Loss, Death and Grief: Response to a National Tragedy)

Our study is regarding the children about the age of eight and children around this age become very curious regarding the incidence of death. One of the main questions they have is regarding the position of the body after death has occurred. This makes them personify death and think of spirits, skeletons, ghosts, or even bogeyman. All children are not universally afraid of death. Children are also good in rationalizing and feel that death will only happen to the elders, and that they will not die. At the same time, when the child has undergone a situation of death, the child may develop phobias regarding certain action that the child has to take, and this may even give them a phobia about going to school. They may develop learning problems, antisocial behavior, or even withdrawal from others. They may also need support and cling to the adults they like.

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