Novel Ideas: Stuart Little. Stuart Little by. E.B. White. Stuart is a mouse born into a human family. Unusual as it sounds, the adventures that Stuart encounters. View PDF. book | Fiction | US → Harper and Row Publishers. UK → Puffin. Stuart Little is no ordinary mouse. Born to a family of humans he lives in New. "Guess how much I love you," says Little Nutbrown Hare. Little Nutbrown Hare shows his daddy how much he loves him: as wide as he can reach and as far as .

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The classic story by E. B. White, author of the Newbery Honor Book Charlotte's Web and Trumpet of the Swan, about one small mouse on a very big. This 54 page curriculum unit can be used in a variety of ways. Each chapter of the novel study focuses on one or two chapters of Stuart Little and is comprised of . Stuart Little tells the surprising story of an extraordinary The character of Stuart Little famously appeared to E.B. White in a dream in .

The Littles urge Stuart into one domestic orifice after another, despite the fact that these excursions cause him to sweat, grow deaf, catch cold, and almost vomit. Spruce, trim, and constantly concerned with hygiene, Stuart himself never expresses the slightest interest in exploring the secret spaces that so fascinate Mr.

Little carefully expunge all references to mice from their conversation and home library. Yet immediately after choosing this course of action, Mr. Literally as well as metaphorically, in other words, Stuart Little dramatizes the condition of being betwixt-and-between. Just as the Little family alternates between helping Stuart fit into the family and insistently urging him out of it, the narrative seesaws between portraying Stuart as an ablebodied, tough-minded gentleman who can master all sorts of tricky situations, and a vulnerable little fellow who is not quite ready to take care of himself.

This painful imprisonment is then itself juxtaposed with the liberating adventures chronicled in the next chapter, when Stuart is hired to sail a toy boat in Central Park.

In the sense that it simultaneously celebrates the glory of indepen- dence and autonomy and underscores the woe of powerlessness and vulnerability, Stuart Little can be read as a quintessentially adolescent narrative.

Stuart Little Vocabulary Builder

This type of interpretation helps clarify why children have engaged with the text so eagerly, but it does not account for the most disturbing aspect of the story: The dire domestic perils Stuart encounters problematize any attempt to construe him as a young boy, since child-centered narratives generally tend to portray home as a space of safety, and the outside world as overwhelming and dangerous. Tellingly, parallel events at home result in far less positive outcomes.

Atta mouse! In contrast, domestic disasters invariably occasion strings of infantilizing endear- ments, as when Mrs. Ultimately, as these phrases indicate, living with the Littles proves to be a profoundly belittling experience for Stuart. All around him was garbage, smelling strong. Little presents him with a pair of ice skates, a gift guaranteed to propel Stuart out of the house and into danger. Donning a pair of ski pants, he does just that, and, as a result, finds himself facing a dirty death at the hands of the Department of Sanitation.

This incident highlights how White portrays the family as both lethal and lifegiving; first, the Littles nurse Margalo back from death when they discover her passed out on their windowsill, but then her life is threatened by remaining with them, and she must leave the nest to survive.

Within this context, leaving home is portrayed as a necessary and exhilarating step; deeply in love with Margalo, Stuart departs without a word to anyone and never looks back.

However fraught with filth the trial of exiting the house is for Stuart, it nonetheless suggests to him the possible thrill of achieving adult independence. Too much on the move.

Needless to say, this is an atypical message for a story aimed at young children, as demonstrated by the fact that the movie version of Stuart Little recasts the ending completely. Rather than chronicling how Stuart leaves home, the film shows Stuart successfully struggling to return home after being kid- napped away against his will.

The famously idyllic final section of the book, in contrast, seems to offer Stuart instant, unproblematic autonomy. Hardly ever homesick, Stuart makes a clean break with his family, never even bidding them goodbye before he goes.

Ultimately, however, White insists on depicting the fantasy of tran- scending the dirty work of adolescence as just that—a fantasy, an impossibility. For this reason, the radical reversals of status Stuart undergoes during the early chapters of the narrative continue throughout the final section. Fair, fat and forty? Their disastrous date provides some of the strongest proof that Stuart, despite his newfound independence and maturity, cannot completely escape the humiliating depths of adolescent abjection.

To top it off, some big boys damage the canoe Stuart has carefully outfitted for their ride, causing him to become so furious and upset that he cannot continue the date. After all, a mouse mating with a bird?

As the juxtaposition of these two options indicates, Stuart continues to vacillate between the human and the animal realm, as well as between the world of childhood and that of adulthood. To borrow a phrase from Peter F.

Sam has discovered a nest full of Trumpeter Swans, and as the narrative contin- ues, it chronicles the parallel development of Sam and Louis, a baby swan born without the ability to trumpet like others of his species. As Dr. Like Sam, Fern Arable alters considerably during the course of the narrative, growing out of her fascination with animals and into her first crush on the unpromisingly named Henry Fussy.

By definition, a midway is the area of a fair or carnival where amusements such as rides and side shows are located.

White ingeniously sets this momentous event on the Ferris wheel, thereby linking this strand of the story to the one that chronicles the seasonal cycles of growth, development, and death that govern life on the farm. According to her formulation, abjection occurs when the border between inside and outside, self and other, blurs or breaks down. We can chart how this ceaseless confrontation with—and attempt to cleanse oneself of—otherness pervades the plot of Stuart Little in two separate ways: Little and their son George, and through those of Stuart himself.

As a living symbol of the animal demands camouflaged by civilized human behavior, Stuart is ceaselessly if unconsciously pushed away from the family body. For this reason, his presence is associated not just with trash but with bodily wastes such as sweat, snot, vomit, and dung.

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As for Stuart, he too struggles to distance himself from relentless commands of corporeality. Not only does he engage in constant cleans- ing during the course of the narrative, he experiences nausea, the paradigmatic expression of abjection.

Even his final departure into the animal kingdom to find Margalo does not signal a new acceptance of corporeality, demonstrating as it does a total disregard for physical fact. Not only does he find the words that Charlotte weaves into the web, he hoards the goose egg that saves her life.

Furthermore, when Wilbur faints before he can receive the special prize that will ensure his safety, Templeton bites his tail and revives him. By placing the flying pig halfway between his two allies, Williams suggests that a collaboration between high and low forces—the airborne Charlotte and the earthbound Templeton—propels Wilbur to fame and a happy future on the farm.

In contrast, Stuart never encounters a single open expression of hostility, even though in his case, parental aggression is aimed directly at him rather than at bug bystanders. Shrinking his hero down to a small size allows White to explore the issue of adolescent angst and alienation while avoiding the actual adolescent body.

In other words, Stuart Little abjects pubescent corporeality through its use of an alluringly diminutive main character. But although this uncomfortable subject is distanced, driven away, and diminished, it never fully disappears; as in the Borrowers series, the embattled embodiment of adolescence gets trans- posed onto the unsettled house that the miniature hero inhabits.

In other words, not only does Stuart himself emerge as an adolescent figure, the oversized house he occupies at the beginning of the story can be read as a metaphor for the adolescent body. In particular, all the activity focused around domestic apertures hints at the internal unrest, the physical and emotional turmoil that often characterizes adolescence. Even before the garbage removal incident characterizes the house as a body that must eliminate its waste, the mousehole and the drain suggest bodily orifices, and the uncontrollable seepage associated with these spots evokes the ungovernable outbursts and outbreaks of adolescence, from acne to sulky fits to nocturnal emissions or menstruation.

Therefore, just as he must keep changing his sweaty shirt before his date, Stuart must constantly don fresh clothes after his domestic misadventures, which coat him with slime of various sorts, including perspiration.

Which direction do you think I should start out in? Carey twisted the tooth a bit and racked it back and forth. The topic of adolescence has itself been abjected in critical responses to Stuart Little. White was preserved and shone through.

The suggested staging was particularly easy and flexible. He meets each problem he finds with optimistic determination, and this comes through brilliantly in this play. My first recycled play this past summer was Stuart Little. What a great show for young actors who are looking for the challenge of playing multiple parts.

Parents have commented on the validity of its strong messages for children. Can cause young actors great frustration. That's how the story of Stuart Little got started".

Day liked the stories and encouraged White not to neglect them, but neither Oxford University Press nor Viking Press was interested in the stories, [4] and White did not immediately develop them further. Around that time, White wrote to James Thurber that he was "about half done" with the book; however, he made little progress with it until the winter of At first the family is concerned with how Stuart will survive in a human-sized world, but by the age of seven, he speaks, thinks, and behaves on the level of a human of sixteen and shows surprising ingenuity in adapting, performing such helpful family tasks as fishing his mother's wedding ring from a sink drain.

Stuart Little Summary & Study Guide Description

The family's cat, Snowbell, dislikes Stuart because while he feels a natural instinct to chase him, he is aware that Stuart is a member of the human family and thus off-limits. On a cold winter's day, the family discovers a songbird named Margalo half-frozen on their doorstep. Margalo is taken in and spends the winter in the family, where she befriends Stuart; Stuart in turn protects her from Snowbell.

The bird repays his kindness by saving Stuart when he is trapped in a garbage can and shipped out to sea for disposal.

Stuart Little Worksheets and Literature Unit

In the spring, when she is set free from the house, she continues to visit Stuart, infuriating Snowbell, who now finds himself with two small animals he is not allowed to eat. Snowbell makes a deal with the Angora cat to eat Margalo to get rid of one of his temptations reasoning that it's only wrong if he eats her. Margalo is warned in advance and flees in the middle of the night.

Stuart is heartbroken but becomes determined to find her.Durham: Duke UP, Night Shyamalan and Greg Brooker. Little suggests they send Stuart down after it. Adolescence in Stuart Little ———.

Get Stuart Little from site. Cowley, Malcolm. Marah Gubar.