Watership Down By Richard Adams Essay Research

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Watership Down By Richard Adams Essay, Research Paper The novel Watership Down by Richard Adams, like Edmund Spencer?s The Faerie Queene, is an allegory. Watership Down also embodies many romantic ideas. Fiver, a rabbit who sees visions from Frith, represents the turn toward imagination that occurred in the Romantic period. The rabbits in the novel also value freedom and rebellion against tyranny, two important Romantic ideas. Many of the rabbits that left the Sandleford warren were unhappy with authority there, and the Watership Down warren helped the rebellion against Efrafa. Hyzenthlay, a doe in Efrafa, questions authority and longs for freedom from tyranny. She embodies the individualism valued in the Romantic period and, like Fiver, sees visions from Frith. The rabbits

in the novel search for better ways to live- another important Romantic idea. Fiver leads the search. ?I know what we ought to be looking for ? a high, lonely place with dry soil, where rabbits can see and hear all round and men hardly ever come. Wouldn?t that be worth a journey?? (Adams 48) Watership Down is an allegory, ?a story in which the characters, settings and events stand for abstract or moral concepts? (Sime 1189). The different warrens in Watership Down represent different types of government. Efrafa, a warren run by General Woundwort, is a totalitarian government where the military class rules and the others are oppressed, much like the Khrushchev era in the USSR. In The Faerie Queene, each main character represents a heroic quality. In the epic poem of knights,

dragons and ladies, each part represented a heroic quality that embodied a noble person. During the Romantic period, people ?turned away from the? emphasis on reason and artifice. The Romantics embraced imagination and naturalness.? (Sims 630). Fiver, a rabbit from the Sandleford warren, is an example of this Romantic philosophy in the novel. Fiver has an uncanny sense for danger- a psychic sense that the other rabbits do not possess. He speaks of one of his visions, ?I know there?s something unnatural and evil twisted all round this place. I don?t know what it is, so no wonder I can?t talk about it. I keep getting near it, though.?(Adams 102). Fiver?s sense of danger proves accurate. He predicted the destruction of the Sandleford warren, imagining ?The field! It?s covered with

blood!? (Adams 21). This prophecy was later fulfilled when Holly and Bluebell came to Watership Down and told how the men destroyed the warren. Fiver embraces these visions, even in the face of other rabbits that tell him he is not thinking logically. Fiver values his individualism and visions. The rabbits of Watership Down, like Romantics, ?believed in individual liberty and sympathized with those who rebelled against tyranny.? (Sims 630). The rebellion that the rabbits supported came from the tyranny in Efrafa. Holly learned of Efrafa on his arrival, ?You cannot call your life your own? (Adams 245). The rabbits in Efrafa are marked, and depending on the mark, have certain feeding times and are only allowed above ground at those times. Blackavar, an Efrafa rabbit, ?had been

caught trying to run away from the warren.? (Adams 248). Blackavar?s ears were ?ripped to shreds? as punishment. (Adams 248). Holly and the other Watership Down rabbits ?were sniffling at him; absolutely horror-stricken.? (Adams 248). Strawberry supports rebellion from Efrafa. ?There are rabbits there who?d be the same as we are if they could only live naturally, like us. Several of them would be glad to leave the place if they could.? (Adams 265). Hyzenthlay, a doe in Efrafa, longs for individual liberty and freedom from tyranny. Upon meeting her, Bigwig hears her poem, which, like romantic poetry, ?spoke of personal experiences and emotions? (Sims 630). Bigwig also sees her emotions in her poetic gaze. ?She turned to him a look of such wretchedness, so full of accusation and