Watership Down Themes And Author

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Watership Down Themes And Author’s Life Essay, Research Paper Watership Down Watership Down, by Richard Adams, is a tale of adventure and sorrow through the eyes of rabbits as they seek their own place in the animal world. The Sandleford warren rabbits used their natural instinct and fled the intrusion of man and destruction. This decision takes them through the remainder of the book, which enriched by Adams s vivid imagination, tells of their dangerous travels over the green fields and meadows of early England. The group barely survives vicious predators and other hostile warrens. Yet, in the end, as the animals instincts kick in, they settle down in a place known as Watership Down, only wanting to create the perfect warren. The author of this book, Richard George Adams

was born in 1920 in Berkshire,England. Married to Elizabeth Adams, and boasting a degree in modern history, he is known for his verse and fiction for children. Most of his books are set in the world of animals, such as rabbits or dogs. Watership Down was his first children s novel, but it became an instant bestseller when adult and adolescent audiences all across the world fell in love with it. Some of his other novels include Shardik, which is about a man s belief in a supernatural bear- god, The Plague Dogs, which is about two badly injured who escape from an animal experimentation laboratory, The Girl in a Swing, which is about the marriage of a quiet English man to a mysterious and beautiful German women, and, Maia,which is about the heroic adventures of a poor girl sold to a

rich nobleman. His autobiography, Day Gone By, is currently out of print. Watership Down was originally developed from stories Adams told to amuse his two daughters on long road trips. At this point, he was working as a civil servant in Great Britain s Department of Environment, but, at their insistence, he began to write the novel that was finished two years later. After many rejections, he finally found a publisher who agreed to print a small number of copies. The book became an immediate success with juvenile and adult audiences when it was first printed in 1972, by Rex Collings Ltd., with many subsequent publishings. The first American publication was in 1975 by Avon Books in New York. This book was reviewed well and it received the Guardian Award and Carnegie Medal for

Watership Down. Critics praised him because he successfully entered the world of rabbits without destroying the rabbit way of life; Adams had recreated the rabbits language, culture, and mythology. One critic, Janet Smith, praised Adams for the action of the novel and making it not only the journey of a group of rabbits but a movement of creatures who are no less part of nature than we are, and whose humble disasters and migrations have a claim to the attention of men, for all the greater scale of theirs (Smith in Lesniak, p. 3). R.M. Lockley s The Private Life of the Rabbit was Adams s primary source in writing Watership Down. This nonfiction book provided such things as information about rabbit sicknesses, their leisure activities, and the various actions of the does in the

warren. Adams modeled his characters upon the detailed descriptions given in Lockley s book. Some of the traits and interactions between the rabbits in the novel seem to have been drawn from the behavior that Lockley observed in his rabbit test subjects. Some examples to support this would be the confrontation between Threarah and General Woundwort. This type of violence between two leaders was clearly expressed in Lockley s study. His research also said that the stronger male would get more food and the majority of the does, while the weaker male rabbits could not collect food or obtain does easily. However, one major difference between Watership Down and Lockley s book is that in Watership Down, the male rabbits that left the Sandleford Warren were able to coexist peacefully