But being that I am now looking at everything in terms of optimist vs. pessimist, I've also noticed this: Charlotte is an unwavering optimist. She is kind, reassuring, and above all, convinced that things will work out well. Not only this, but also, she takes action to make sure that things do turn out well. Something else I learned from Seligman's book was the fact that learned helplessness is a common trait of the pessimist. Charlotte, though a tiny spider, is certainly not helpless. Wilbur, the pig, on the other hand is about as big a pessimist as they come. I'm actually starting to find his whining about being bored and helpless a bit annoying. And this is not something I remember from reading it as a child -- I remember only a cute little pig!
So I guess my point is this. If I had to choose, I'd much rather go through life as the person who is not helpless to help herself and her friends, the person who takes action and makes good things happen. I'd much rather be a Charlotte than a Wilbur.
How about you? And have you re-read any childhood favorites as an adult and seen them differently?