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Watership Down
By Richard Adams

Discussed June 2021

Buy Watership Down from Amazon.com

Questions

  1. Did you finish the book?
  2. Did you enjoy the book?
  3. Who were your favorite characters? Why?
  4. At times it feels like the author Richard Adams is discussing real life rabbit behavior. He breaks the 'fourth wall' to remind readers of how rabbits act. What did you think of the natural wildlife lessons inserted in a tale about unnatural rabbits with very human behaviors?
  5. Was there and queer content? In the 1978 animated movie portrayed Cowslip (voiced by Rory Kinnear) as very foppish.
  6. What did you think of the gender roles? In the rabbit world is matriarchal. (See Ronald Lockley's The Private Life of the Rabbit) which Adams references as source material.)  The female rabbits were thought of as burrow diggers and baby makers.
  7. Discuss the themes of the book which include exile, survival, heroism, leadership, political responsibility.
  8. What kind of religious symbolism was in the book?
  9. If you watched one (or more) of the animated adaptions, how did they compare to the book?

Locales

  • Cowslip's Warren:  Managed by a farmer who protects and feeds the rabbits, but also harvests a number of them for their meat and skins.
  • Efrafa Warren:  Overcrowded and has many does. A police state led by the despotic General Woundwort.
  • Nuthanger Farm: A farm near Watership Down with two pairs of hutch rabbits including does.
  • Sandleford Warren: Hazel and Fiver's original home.
  • Watership Down: A low hill covered in grass where Hazel establishes a new warren.
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