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Watership Down > 1972 - The Novel

Is 'Watership Down' an Unconscious Religious Allegory?

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Thethuthinnang_Siddal:

--- Quote from: Acacia Heartstrings on January 21, 2020, 07:38:18 PM ---He has nothing religious, I'm sure of that. They have their beliefs, stories and concerns, but nothing like religion.

--- End quote ---

Pretty sure Adams was religious though, hence why I believe it was unconscious on his part. What is Frith if not a God, or Divine entity? If the rabbits aren't religious they are at least very spiritual.

Thethuthinnang_Siddal :violet

Chipster-roo:
The comparison of the escape from Efrafa with Exodus is pretty fascinating; I had never thought of it this way before.

I remember that in chapter 25, Dandelion tells a flood story, similar not only to the tale of Noah in Genesis, but also part of the ancient Epic of Gilgamesh, which is quoted at the beginning of another chapter.

Initially, I was going to say that the rabbits' religion was monotheistic (with Frith as the supreme and only deity) but then I remembered Prince Rainbow.  I'm not sure where :prince-rainbow would fit in all this, especially considering how he both helps and hinders El-ahrairah, depending on the tale.

Thethuthinnang_Siddal:

--- Quote from: Chipster-roo on January 25, 2020, 01:31:42 AM ---The comparison of the escape from Efrafa with Exodus is pretty fascinating; I had never thought of it this way before.

I remember that in chapter 25, Dandelion tells a flood story, similar not only to the tale of Noah in Genesis, but also part of the ancient Epic of Gilgamesh, which is quoted at the beginning of another chapter.

Every time someone posts on this thread, I am reminded how complex and multi-layered the meaning and symbolism of Adams' book really is.

Thank you for your comments everyone!

Thethuthinang_Siddal :vilthuril

Initially, I was going to say that the rabbits' religion was monotheistic (with Frith as the supreme and only deity) but then I remembered Prince Rainbow.  I'm not sure where :prince-rainbow would fit in all this, especially considering how he both helps and hinders El-ahrairah, depending on the tale.

--- End quote ---

Kili:
They have a mythology which is told in their stories, but a religous allergery? No. It's more commentry on different political systems and the determental impact people have on nature, whether it is deliberate (like the destruction of the Sandleford warren) or accidental, like the roads and railway.

Alderab:
Speaking of the need for everything needing to be a metaphor, I remember seeing this on the WSD wikipedia page before I dove into the book:

"the author Rachel Kadish, reflecting on her own superimposition of the founding of Israel onto Watership Down, has remarked "Turns out plenty of other people have seen their histories in that book ... some people see it as an allegory for struggles against the Cold War, fascism, extremism ... a protest against materialism, against the corporate state. Watership Down can be Ireland after the famine, Rwanda after the massacres.""

So it seems like people will always see what they want to see in a book.  Even if I might just see it as a fun adventure story with rabbits, there are things which I could draw parallels with if I tried.

I guess its the old adage of there being no such thing as an original story, just many ways of retelling it.

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