Charlotte’s Web


E. B. White

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Dr. Dorian Character Analysis

The local doctor. He advises Mrs. Arable when she comes to him out of concern for Fern, who has been spending all of her time at the Zuckerman farm “talking” with the animals. Dr. Dorian assures Mrs. Arable that Fern will grow up when she’s ready, and shouldn’t be rushed.

Dr. Dorian Quotes in Charlotte’s Web

The Charlotte’s Web quotes below are all either spoken by Dr. Dorian or refer to Dr. Dorian. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Friendship and Sacrifice Theme Icon
Chapter 8 Quotes

“I worry about Fern,” [Mrs. Arable] said. “Did you hear the way she rambled on about the animals, pretending that they talked?”

Mr. Arable chuckled. “Maybe they do talk,” he said. “I’ve sometimes wondered. At any rate, don’t worry about Fern—she’s just got a lively imagination. Kids think they hear all sorts of things.”

“Just the same, I do worry about her,” replied Mrs. Arable. “I think I shall ask Dr. Dorian about her the next time I see him. He loves Fem almost as much as we do, and I want him to know how queerly she is acting about that pig and everything. I don’t think it’s nor mal. You know perfectly well animals don’t talk.”

Mr. Arable grinned. “Maybe our ears aren’t as sharp as Fern’s,” he said.

Related Characters: Fern Arable (speaker), Mrs. Arable (speaker), Mr. Arable (speaker), Dr. Dorian
Page Number: 54
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 14 Quotes

Mrs. Arable fidgeted. “Fern says the animals talk to each other. Dr. Dorian, do you believe animals talk?”

“I never heard one say anything,” he replied. “But that proves nothing. It is quite possible that an animal has spoken civilly to me and that I didn’t catch the remark because I wasn’t paying attention. Children pay better attention than grownups. If Fern says that the animals in Zuckerman’s barn talk, I’m quite ready to believe her. Perhaps if people talked less, animals would talk more. People are incessant talkers—I can give you my word on that.”


“Do you think she’ll ever start thinking about something besides pigs and sheep and geese and spiders?”

“How old is Fern?”

“She’s eight.”

“Well,” said Dr. Dorian, “I think she will always love animals. But I doubt that she spends her entire life in Homer Zuckerman’s barn cellar. How about boys— does she know any boys?”

“She knows Henry Fussy,” said Mrs. Arable brightly.

Dr. Dorian closed his eyes again and went into deep thought. “Henry Fussy,” he mumbled. “Hmm. Remarkable. Well, I don’t think you have anything to worry about. Let Fern associate with her friends in the bam if she wants to. I would say, offhand, that spiders and pigs were fully as interesting as Henry Fussy. Yet I predict that the day will come when even Henry will drop some chance remark that catches Fern’s attention. It’s amazing how children change from year to year.”

Related Characters: Mrs. Arable (speaker), Dr. Dorian (speaker), Fern Arable, Henry Fussy
Page Number: 110-111
Explanation and Analysis:
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Dr. Dorian Character Timeline in Charlotte’s Web

The timeline below shows where the character Dr. Dorian appears in Charlotte’s Web. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 8: A Talk at Home
The Natural World  Theme Icon
Growing Up Theme Icon
...that Fern simply has a “lively imagination.” Mrs. Arable wonders if she should talk to Dr. Dorian about Fern, but Mr. Arable simply wonders if their ears “aren’t as sharp as Fern’s.” (full context)
Chapter 14: Dr. Dorian
Friendship and Sacrifice Theme Icon
The Natural World  Theme Icon
Growing Up Theme Icon the Zuckermans’. Mrs. Arable decides that it is time to pay a visit to Dr. Dorian , and heads into town to his office. (full context)
The Natural World  Theme Icon
Growing Up Theme Icon
At Dr. Dorian ’s office, the doctor listens as Mrs. Arable airs her fears about Fern’s abnormal involvement... (full context)
The Natural World  Theme Icon
Growing Up Theme Icon
Dr. Dorian assures Mrs. Arable that as long as Fern is happy, healthy, and feeling well, she... (full context)