E.B White

I’ve been to only a few states in the U.S., but have already learned that almost every state (region, at least) has its unique natural features and cultural characteristics. And sometimes they’re so different.

New England is famous for its history and open, broad mind - Liberalism, perhaps. Oh and the colorful Autumn, of course. Although I feel sad that I’ m thousands of miles away from my homeland, living in the New England area has always been a pleasant thing, especially for readers like me. Just knowing the fact that many of my favorite authors and writers have or had been living so close to me makes me happy.

Stephen King’s scary house stands in Bangor, Maine. Bill Bryson (who wrote A Walk in the Woods) had lived in New Hampshire for years before he finally moved to England (from New England, nostalgically). Springfield, MA is known for its Dr.Seuss museum, whilst ‘the road not taken’ by Robert Frost is actually being taken frequently in Vermont. Even Thoreau’s cabin beside Walden Pond can still accommodate passing-by travellers.

Among the countless writers influenced by Thoreau, E.B.White was a very notable one. He even had a cabin similar to Thoreau’s, as shown in the image below:

E.B.White moved from New York to Maine in 1938, at a point when he was far from being successful or rich. He said:

I would really rather feel bad in Maine than feel good anywhere else.

He really loved Maine.

Charlotte's Web

I still remember when I was reading his Charlotte’s Web, the spider Charlotte asks if there’s a good word to describe Wilbur - her pig friend, so that she can weave it onto the web to save him. Interesting enough, my choice was sensible, thinking it’s such a proper word to remind people of their ignorance and should-have prudence. But E.B.White used radiant, which made me realize that my choice of word was just too obvious if not boring.

My English is not on the same level of E.B.White’s, of course, but I always think trying to replace a word in a sentence is a good way to remember it as well as practice and improve language skills.

A friend of mine reviewed his essays as “innocent, sensitive, liberal and wonderful”. I quite agree - just want to add “in a professional way” at the end.