8

I never really thought of Charlotte's Web by E.B. White as fantasy (and definitely not science fiction), but it's definitely not realistic; now that I am thinking about it, I realize that it has many talking, intelligent animals, and is probably as close to fantasy as it is to any other genre. Also, I have a question I am dying to ask about it, and this site is the only one with a possibility of the question being on-topic.

| |
  • 5
    See this question. Basically, if talking animals are par for the course in-universe (e.g. Farthing Wood), it's not fantasy; but if they're uplifted or supernatural, then it is. I'd say Charlotte's Web is just on the boundary, since all the animals can talk to each other, but Fern is the only human who can hear/understand them. – Rand al'Thor Mar 21 '16 at 19:02
  • 1
    @randal'thor Sigh. So can I ask my question? – CHEESE Mar 21 '16 at 19:04
  • id let charlottes web fly... as ontopic. – Himarm Mar 21 '16 at 19:08
  • 2
    @CHEESE What is your question, specifically? Whether it's about specifically fantasy-ish elements could make a difference. – Rand al'Thor Mar 21 '16 at 19:21
  • @randal'thor It is not at all about fantasy; it is about whether the goose spells terrific TEERRRRIIFFIICCCCCC or TEERRRRIIFFIICCCCCCCCCC. – CHEESE Mar 21 '16 at 19:23
  • 5
    @CHEESE My guess would be off-topic (I'll write up an answer later if nobody else does). You might possibly be able to get away with asking on EL&U, if it's about a certain "idio-idio-idiosyncratic" way of speaking English, but I'm not sure. – Rand al'Thor Mar 21 '16 at 19:30
  • @randal'thor I tried them before I tried us, and it apparently will not work. – CHEESE Mar 21 '16 at 20:05
  • @rand: Is A Christmas Carol (by Charles Dickens) on topic?  Just because of the ghosts?  That would be silly; except for the brief appearance of Marley’s ghost, they’re just a dream.  …  Are the Muppets on topic?  All the animals talk (except for the chickens; Henson’s version of Pluto); so, based on the discussion here, they aren’t (in general; Why do the Twin Towers still stand in the Kermit-less world? is about alternative history).  … (Cont’d) – Peregrine Rook Mar 22 '16 at 19:37
  • 1
    (Cont’d) …  So why, when I flagged Why didn’t Tiny Tim die? as off-topic, was my flag declined?  The question even says, “The same question applies to the non-Muppet version(s).” (although that remark was added (by the OP) after my flag was raised and declined).  And it isn’t even about a fantastical element of the story; it’s about the relationship between wealth and health.  …  P.S. Does SF&F really need a [muppet-christmas-carol] tag? – Peregrine Rook Mar 22 '16 at 19:38
  • 1
    @PeregrineRook There are always going to be grey areas in what counts as SF/F or not; it's hard to define and can often be argued ad nauseam. Alice in Wonderland is "just a dream", but many would still say it's definitely on-topic. As for why your flag was declined, ask the people who declined it, not me :-) Also, this looks like it could become a long and interesting discussion (and has become less relevant to CHEESE's question) - shall we take it to chat? – Rand al'Thor Mar 22 '16 at 19:44
  • @CHEESE Maybe you ask on Movies & TV? might be able to get an answer based on a film version... – Skooba Mar 28 '16 at 17:53
  • 1
    I would be a lot more interested in defended this as being on-topic if it wasn't going to result in a ridiculous question about spelling. – DCShannon Mar 31 '16 at 23:50
  • @DCShannon I completely agree, because it's a fantastical scenario in a mundane world. I'd still classify that as fantasy (Not all fantasy has magic, and dragons, and the supernatural OH MY!). – Anoplexian Apr 1 '16 at 18:00
6

No.

The highest-voted answer to Are anthropomorphic animals by themselves enough to deem a work fantasy? tells us that:

Anthropomorphic/Sentient/Talking animals don't, in and of themselves, make a film/book/TV programme/comic into a fantasy if the central conceit is that talking animals do already exist within that fictional universe.

That said, we would consider talking animals to be part of a fantasy if:

  • They had been uplifted in some way (either by technology or magic)

  • Their speaking was somehow fantastical to the other characters.

Neither of these is the case in Charlotte's Web. All the animals are able to talk to each other as a matter of course, and there's nothing fantastical about this. None of the humans except Fern can understand them, but the in-universe explanation for this is that Fern is younger and more sympathetic and listens to them better. The only animal who shows abilities beyond that of a normal animal is Charlotte, and she's just unusually intelligent rather than being "uplifted" by some technology or magic (or being bitten by a radioactive human).

| |

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .