The Power of Language Frames"Some pig!"
Reading these words creates a specific mental image, which is a frame that every reader can't avoid evoking. The interpretation of language and the connotations of a word have the power to influence and effect people; thus frames are powerful because they can influence people's perceptions ("How does language wield power over us?" 193). Charlotte's Web by E. B. White is a children's book in which frames are used throughout the story to influence different characters; in fact the power of language can be seen in the protagonist, in minor characters and also in society as the frames of different words add significance to Wilbur's frame.
The protagonist, a pig called Wilbur, is influenced throughout the story by frames created to have power over characters around him. Wilbur is at first insecure and feels uncomfortable because he doesn't consider himself anything more than an "average pig". (90) Yet, once he is defined by his friends as "terrific" and looked at by people with "joyful admiration" just because he was sitting under the word "terrific", the connotations of this word make Wilbur feel terrific (White 93). The positive frame created by the word as Wilbur heard influenced him to the point to which he "felt terrific"( White 93). The frame coming with the word "terrific" knitted in the web is so powerful that in changes the protagonist's feeling of identity.
The words knitted in the web show the power of language also by the influence they have on minor characters. After the spider writes the words "some pig" on the web Mr Zuckerman starts to believe that he has a pig "completely out of the ordinary"( White 80). Further on in the story the word "terrific" appears on the web and because this word has supplementary connotations it creates a more vivid frame, that causes minor characters to look and Wilbur in "joyful admiration" (White 93). As the power in language increases so does the frame created by it; therefore when the connotations of a word are more intense, the influence that the frame created by that word has, inflates.
The influence of a frame can be seen also on the over all spectrum of society, where the power of language is evident in the reactions of theoretically unbiased characters. When the words "some pig" appear on the spider web, people come "from miles around to look at Wilbur" (White 83). Later, when the third word is up on the web ("radiant"), Wilbur becomes " the centre of attraction on the farm" and in "one day more than a hundred people... came to admire him" (White 111). "Radiant" in no more a set of common words like "some pig", it is not commonly used and therefore its frame doesn't include only its meaning but also the connotation of something rare or sophisticated. The frames of the words knitted in the web increase in power giving the object of description a frame that covers well beyond the normal characteristics of a pig. This inflated frame is what brings the people at the fair to award Wilbur with a "special price"(White 152).
Frames, throughout Charlotte's Web, are widely used to influence major and minor characters as well as society. The connotations tied to the words in the spider web increased Wilbur's frame in people's minds to a point to which everyone believed him to be more than just an ordinary pig. The influence of frames was repeatedly seen in the book, as the power of each word increased with the amount of connotations. Wilbur would have been slaughtered had his frame not included the frames of powerful words. Instead he became a terrific, radiant, humble pig that was cared for and loved and always considered "some pig!"(White 82).