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Watership Down > 1972 - The Novel

Is 'Watership Down' an Unconscious Religious Allegory?

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Thethuthinnang_Siddal:
I know that Richard Adams once said that his novel is not some complex allegory. But I am afraid I disagree, as I believe that he unconsciously wrote a very human story that is rife with profound meaning. I do not think that this is unfaithful to the author's own assertion, as like any other written medium on the planet, one can take whatever meaning that they want from it. We establish our likes, dislikes and opinions, by looking for what things mean to us, thanks to insatiable human curiosity. Bearing in mind how deeply ingrained history and belief (but not necessarily religiously speaking,) are in our culture, I think that Adams unconsciously assigned religious symbolism to certain literary archetypes. Hazel desires only to lead his people, but sometimes he doubts, just as Jesus and his followers did and do during their ministry. Fiver (and Hyzenthlay to an extent) have a prophetic second-sight: humans are sensitive to feeling and intuition and some have Divine truths revealed to them that others do not. The rabbits live by moral tales, similar to the parables. Indeed, I believe that by far the most interesting of such stories, woven in-between the chapters, is the one that concerns El-ahrairah and the Black Rabbit. To me it is very reminiscent of the story of Job. He maintains his faith in Frith and his desire to save his people, despite his suffering. Sorry if you think that this is a stretch too far, but I am embarking on a university course in Theology later this year. I can't help but think like this... :lol Please let me know what you think!

Thethuthinnang_Siddal   :inle-movie

Thethuthinnang_Siddal:

--- Quote from: Inlé-roo on January 19, 2020, 10:56:36 PM ---In my view the reason why Adams said "It's just a story about rabbits" is brilliant and because it is your personal way to see the story. If you see allegory thats great, if you see a light-fantasy documetary style story, great, if you see an adventure novel for all ages it's great too. That is one of the point why I think Watership Down is a really great literature.
I know other people in other ages and cultures and really good to hear what they experienced and how they enjoyed this story. It's a kind of type of wonderful writing skills.

--- End quote ---

I completely agree! :exactly He said that it was "a story for everyone", which I think indicates that he wanted his readers to make it their own. Good stories are made to be shared.

Thethuthinnang_Siddal :snowdrop

CockatielPony:
I do see Havel more similar to Moses than Jesus since I relate Havel freeing the Efrafins to Moses freeing the slaves. I just thought of something. Both Watership Down and the story of Moses escape their enemy with tricks involving water: Moses parts the red sea, The rabbits float down a river on a boat.

Acacia Heartstrings:
He has nothing religious, I'm sure of that. They have their beliefs, stories and concerns, but nothing like religion.

Thethuthinnang_Siddal:

--- Quote from: CockatielPony on January 21, 2020, 01:54:58 AM ---I do see Havel more similar to Moses than Jesus since I relate Havel freeing the Efrafins to Moses freeing the slaves. I just thought of something. Both Watership Down and the story of Moses escape their enemy with tricks involving water: Moses parts the red sea, The rabbits float down a river on a boat.

--- End quote ---

Indeed! I thought that too. :yes

Thethuthinnang_Siddal

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