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Author Topic: Chapters 15-17 Discussion (August 21-August 26)  (Read 569 times)

Offline Chibiscuit

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Chapters 15-17 Discussion (August 21-August 26)
« on: August 20, 2018, 08:58:05 PM »
Discussion thread for chapters 15, 16 & 17  :silverweed2
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Offline Chipster-roo

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Re: Chapters 15-17 Discussion (August 21-August 26)
« Reply #1 on: August 23, 2018, 12:10:18 AM »
Chapter 15.

It's the story of the King's Lettuce.  It was to be included in the film, but was cut before release.  Hopefully it will show up in the miniseries, but I'm not very optimistic :vervain

Now, while Frith's Blessing was the first El-ahrairah story, it pretty much serves mainly to introduce the rabbits' religion.  Here, we get our first "standard" El-ahrairah story, where he is depicted as a master trickster.  This is the first appearance of Rabscuttle, Prince Rainbow and King Darzin.

Rabscuttle shows himself to be almost an equal to El-ahrairah.  They came up with the trick together.  It was Rabscuttle who sneaked into the kingdom (but that makes sense, since the guards would probably recognize El-ahrairah by sight and kick him out).  And, when El-ahrairah poses as a doctor, Rabscuttle also handles his part of the trick very convincingly :rabscuttle

If I remember correctly, Richard Adams once said in an interview that King Darzin and his people are beavers, which I find very interesting.  Before hearing about that, I imagined him as a guinea pig :hannah What I find the most interesting, however, is how the kingdom seems to have several human-style things that the rabbits don't, such as a "palace" and a "city".  I think Kehaar will refer to Efrafa as a "rabbit city" later on, but King Darzin's has a "gate".

Also, it seems that King Darzin, like El-ahrairah, is a bigamist.



Personally, I imagine Prince Rainbow as an abstract rainbow, similar to the way he was depicted in the series, but others see him as a rabbit.

Quote
So when El-ahrairah talked of stealing King Darzin's lettuces, Prince Rainbow laughed
Looks like Cowslip isn't the only one :cowslip

Quote
as [Rabscuttle] was about the same size as the children and not much different to look at, he was able to make friends with some of them.
King Darzin himself may be a beaver, but I have to wonder which species are his followers and their children, for Rabscuttle to fit in so well with them.

Quote
After five days Rabscuttle slipped out again
Five? :fiver3 Don't you mean hrair? :fiver

Quote
'Alas!' said El-ahrairah.  'I know it well!  'But they have been infected by the dreaded Lousepedoodle, that flies in ever decreasing circles through the Gunpat of the Cludge - a deadly virus - dear me, yes! - isolated by the purple Avvago and maturing in the grey-green forests of the Okey Pokey.  This, you understand, is to put the matter for you in simple terms, insofar as I can.  Medically speaking, there are certain complexities with which I will not weary you.'
This is one of the funniest passages in the entire book :hannah4
Have you considered making each day count - doing something meaningful each day - instead of letting the days and weeks and months and years fly into oblivion? --Bright Side

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Offline Chibiscuit

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Re: Chapters 15-17 Discussion (August 21-August 26)
« Reply #2 on: August 23, 2018, 07:11:06 PM »
Chapter 15  :rabscuttle

The second story to be told and I don't have that much to say about it. I like the story overall and I love the way it's told (I like the storyteller format). It's interesting to see how the world of myth differs from the one the rabbits now live in, with the the more human elements.

If I remember correctly, Richard Adams once said in an interview that King Darzin and his people are beavers
I wouldn't have imagined them as beavers, of all creatures, but we don't really get an idea what they are. Probably because to the rabbits that was irrelevant? But then Yona is clearly a hedgehog (I am guessing the wordyona comes from the myths) even though that seems rather irrelevant as well..

And I can't imagine them ALL being beavers. Especially, as Chipster mentioned, Rabscuttle could blend in so easily with their young and a rabbit and baby beaver don't really look that much alike to me.

Personally, I imagine Prince Rainbow as an abstract rainbow, similar to the way he was depicted in the series, but others see him as a rabbit.
I like to see him as a rabbit who moves around on as a rainbow. It is said in the story that he walked. But on the other hand, maybe a more vague entity taking on a rabbit form makes more sense? Oh well, it's open to interpretation  :prince-rainbow
Quote
So when El-ahrairah talked of stealing King Darzin's lettuces, Prince Rainbow laughed
Looks like Cowslip isn't the only one :cowslip
Plottwist:  :cowslip is  :prince-rainbow in disguise!  :fiver2

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After five days Rabscuttle slipped out again
Five? :fiver3 Don't you mean hrair? :fiver
It is an odd oversight as he could've just gone with four if hrair had seemed too vague a timelapse.

Quote
"I am having them delivered," answered El-ahrairah. "There will be rather too many to carry."
I thought rabbits didn't carry food to begin with?
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Offline Chipster-roo

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Re: Chapters 15-17 Discussion (August 21-August 26)
« Reply #3 on: August 24, 2018, 01:22:39 AM »
Chapter 16.
It's a short chapter, nothing much happens, apart from SILVERWEED :silverweed

The book version of Silverweed is very different from the series version.  In the series, he is shown as having mind control powers and the ability to see the future under certain circumstances, not unlike Fiver.  But the book skips most of his characterization; instead he's just a the creepy poet like in episode 3.  Unfortunately, he won't show up again, not even in TFWD :silverweed2

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"That's put their ears flat for them," whispered Bigwig.  "Let's just see them find a storyteller to beat him.
Quote
"Don't say anything, Bigwig," whispered Hazel: for Bigwig was scuffling his paws indignantly.
This seem to fit in well with Bigwig's "like this story or else :bigwig" comment back in chapter 14.

Quote from: Bigwig
As for Silverweed, all I can say is, I'll keep Silver and he can be just plain Weed.
Perhaps that explains some things... :glowingsw

Quote
Where is the -"
Hazel interrupted him.
Even Hazel won't answer "where" questions anymore...

I wouldn't have imagined them as beavers, of all creatures, but we don't really get an idea what they are. Probably because to the rabbits that was irrelevant? But then Yona is clearly a hedgehog (I am guessing the wordyona comes from the myths) even though that seems rather irrelevant as well..
You're right that King Darzin's species doesn't really matter in this story, nor in the story of El-ahrairah and the Black Rabbit of Inlé, where he will also show up.  Yona's species doesn't seem important in this story either, but it might in future stories; I don't remember.

Another thing I just thought about...beavers became extinct in the UK in the 16th century (they were reintroduced a few years ago, after WD was written).  Could it be that King Darzin's species is not mentioned because the rabbits have never encountered a beaver, and the species itself has been long forgotten?  But then, the story of Rowsby Woof mentions camels, which never existed in the wild in the UK...I'm probably overanalyzing :speaker-of-the-past

Plottwist:  :cowslip is  :prince-rainbow in disguise!  :fiver2
That is actually quite possible :fiver2

Quote
"I am having them delivered," answered El-ahrairah. "There will be rather too many to carry."
I thought rabbits didn't carry food to begin with?
I hadn't noticed that...this is really weird.  I suppose it's another thing from El-ahrairah stories that don't apply to rabbits outside the stories.
Have you considered making each day count - doing something meaningful each day - instead of letting the days and weeks and months and years fly into oblivion? --Bright Side

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Offline Chibiscuit

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Re: Chapters 15-17 Discussion (August 21-August 26)
« Reply #4 on: August 26, 2018, 02:38:35 AM »
Heads-up: it is 4 AM as I start writing this (I can't sleep) so I apologize if it sounds weird or spelling and such. :fiver3

Chapter 16  :silverweed3

Even though Silverweed's character is limited in the book I can see why they decided to use him more in series. He is peculiar enough that gibing him visions wasn't that much of a stretch. Seeing the way Fiver reacts to him, I can also see how they could get the idea of a mind link between them. :glowingsw :glowingfiver

Quote
"That's put their ears flat for them," whispered Bigwig.  "Let's just see them find a storyteller to beat him.
Quote
"Don't say anything, Bigwig," whispered Hazel: for Bigwig was scuffling his paws indignantly.
This seem to fit in well with Bigwig's "like this story or else :bigwig" comment back in chapter 14.
I was thinking the same.Also,
Quote
One respect in which rabbits' lives are less complicated than those of humans is that they are not ashamed to use force.
Certainly true for Bigwig and lucky for him too because he'd be frustrated a lot if that weren't the case.
(that being said, sadly a lot of humans don't know this shame either...)


Quote from: Bigwig
As for Silverweed, all I can say is, I'll keep Silver and he can be just plain Weed.
Perhaps that explains some things... :glowingsw
:hannah4

Quote
Where is the -"
Hazel interrupted him.
Even Hazel won't answer "where" questions anymore...
Exactly and I love rest of the line
Quote
Hazel interrupted him and as he did so Fiver started.
Really nicely done, that line. Clearly shows Hazel's indoctrination (already) and Fiver's fear and shack as he realizes this in this moment. I really like this line.  :vervain2

Another thing I just thought about...beavers became extinct in the UK in the 16th century (they were reintroduced a few years ago, after WD was written).  Could it be that King Darzin's species is not mentioned because the rabbits have never encountered a beaver, and the species itself has been long forgotten?  But then, the story of Rowsby Woof mentions camels, which never existed in the wild in the UK...I'm probably overanalyzing :speaker-of-the-past
(Over)-analysing is so fun though!
That could be an explanation but yeah if the camels are explicitly mentioned than that is a bit odd unless it seems necessary to mention that they are camels and not some other species for some reason? I'll have to wait till that story to judge better.
I did think however that the mythical time in which El-ahrairah lived was not just the UK or it doesn't seem to be like the contemporary world in general. So perhaps camels appearing in the story itself isn't strange but rabbits knowing what they are would be. Then again, maybe camels ere a rabbit's dragon.  :blackberry3

Quote
Rabbits need dignity and above all else, the will to accept their fate.
The core mindset in the warren of shining warrens - which makes perfect sense in their situation and which also explains why they don't question things.
Silverweed is a bit like the manifestation of the warren, I think. Right down to his name (which I think refer to the shining wires). He knows his fate and he accepts it. He knows the truth yet ignores how foolish it is. And he seems altogether un-rabbit-like and faraway because of it.
"You can come here, the land of warm days, grassy fields, and pleasant evenings, where even the shadow of war cannot darken the love at home." -Alderab

Offline Hammy

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Re: Chapters 15-17 Discussion (August 21-August 26)
« Reply #5 on: August 26, 2018, 05:06:31 AM »
Oh man, I hadn't noticed Hazel interrupting a "where" question. That's spooky as all getout.

Interesting that with such small details laid out like that, there's still the mention of camels and rabbits carrying their food when that's abnormal. Not sure if those are oversights or intentional because of the myth format or what. Maybe long ago, a camel found its way into England, intended for an 18th century menagerie, and rabbits of the time came into contact with it.

I'd really like to talk about chapter 17. The really iconic chapter. Seems like the image of Bigwig being trapped in a snare is one of the images ingrained in the minds of even people who haven't read the book or seen the movie. I can absolutely see why, given how visceral the entire scene is. We'll get to that.

Hazel's dream hasn't seen adaptation yet, and I'd be interested to see it in the upcoming mini-series. Interesting that he seems to be having premonitions in his sleep, given some of the word choices in the dream, "... red droppings, hard as wire. "It's no good," he [Bigwig] said. "No good biting them." Direct reflections of things to come in the very near future.

I'm pretty sure the constant talk of Fiver leaving the burrow cold after Hazel and Bigwig wake up is some kind of subtext too. Fiver is important and needed. He makes the trio whole and warm.

Really interesting that the rabbits are aware that an owl's call is intentionally deceptive. It's hard to track an owl by sound specifically for that reason. Rabbits seem to have selective intelligence in that way.

Oof. Fiver telling Hazel that he's leaving alone is heartbreaking. Fiver isn't agitated anymore, all he seems is sad. A-and then Bigwig has to go and Bigwig and yell at Fiver. It's not much wonder that he gets instant karma the second he tries to leave. A sign from Frith.

Good God, the scene of Bigwig in the wire is some masterful detailed writing. It's so visceral and real, and you can feel the pain and suffering that this poor creature is going through. It's not just blood in his mouth, it's foam and spew. It's almost like Bigwig can't help but fight at first, which, as we all know, will only cause the snare to grip down harder.

Hazel can comprehend that an owl's call is deceptive, but he seems unable to see the relationship between wire and peg. A person would easily follow the wire's path and see that it's being held by the wooden peg, but to these rabbits, one seems to exist independent of the other. The wire is taut. There doesn't seem to even be the capability to question why it's taut. Instead, Hazel simply has to get lucky in finding the peg. Even Blackberry, the cleverest of the rabbits, has to consider the problem carefully before he figures out the connection.

I love that what stirs Bigwig is the talk of Cowslip striking at Fiver, as though he's learned very well that Fiver is important and should be protected at all costs from rabbits like Cowslip. This entire scene is a huge learning moment for the entire group. They all now know one simple fact of life: Fiver knows what he's talking about.

The term "witch hare" (or, that's what I think it is. I'm reading via audiobook so can anyone reading the actual book can confirm?) is used to describe Fiver when he emerges towards the group. Is that a general term in England? I looked it up and couldn't find much. Are witches a thing among rabbits? Is it referring to a hare in breeding season? I don't know, it just stood out to me.

I looooove Fiver's story. One of my favorite moments in the book that I'd love to see adapted. It seems that now that Fiver knows exactly what's going on, his mind is clear and he can see exactly what this warren's deal is. The precise details of how this warren came about and how it functions. The specificity that the farmer is careful about how many he takes at once, and that the rabbits are spoiled for time and food and perform their rituals and art to make time pass. The idea that their singers and poets and artists might be clever as Blackberry in other places are made strange by the wires. Choked, if you will. The rabbits are well-aware that the farmer only takes a few at a time, and they use that to their advantage in taking in the soon-to-be-Watershippers. Fascinating stuff.

Poor Strawberry. He was born into a cult and doesn't know much beyond it. He's lucky that the group came along when they did, otherwise he'd just have to continue as always after Nildro-hain and, by extension, their kits die by the wires. Hazel is truly an even-pawed leader.

Such a good chapter. You know one detail in the 1999 series that I really like that isn't present in the book? The shot of the farmer coming in and replacing the wooden pegs with metal ones. I like it better than the brief shot of the magpie looking at the wire in the book. Showing that even if Cowslip's warren were to help their own out of snares by digging up pegs, the cycle would only continue and become more foolproof. I wonder if any previous chief did try to combat the wires, but simply couldn't manage to outsmart the man. Simple and effective, but not something you'd see in the book because it's entirely from Hazel's perspective.

That got longer than anticipated, good lord.

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Re: Chapters 15-17 Discussion (August 21-August 26)
« Reply #6 on: August 27, 2018, 11:57:28 PM »
I would have had a lot to say about chapter 17, but Hammy beat me to it :D

Hazel's dream hasn't seen adaptation yet, and I'd be interested to see it in the upcoming mini-series. Interesting that he seems to be having premonitions in his sleep, given some of the word choices in the dream, "... red droppings, hard as wire. "It's no good," he [Bigwig] said. "No good biting them." Direct reflections of things to come in the very near future.
This is very interesting.  I wonder if there are other instances of things like this happening elsewhere in the book?

One thing that strikes me about the entire snare scene in the book is how long it is.  First there is the need to wait for Blackberry and the others, then Blackberry figuring out how it all works, then three rabbits take turns digging, and finally two more to bite the peg.  That seems like a very long process.  In the film, the entire scene, from Fiver storming out of the warren to everyone leaving the warren, lasts less than five minutes.  Also, interesting to note that that in the book, Bigwig shakes off the snare; in the film he breaks the wire in two.

I love that what stirs Bigwig is the talk of Cowslip striking at Fiver, as though he's learned very well that Fiver is important and should be protected at all costs from rabbits like Cowslip.
The way you put it here is very cute :fiver

The term "witch hare" (or, that's what I think it is. I'm reading via audiobook so can anyone reading the actual book can confirm?) is used to describe Fiver when he emerges towards the group.
Yes, this is correct.  It is said that Fiver "growled and gibbered at [the others] like a witch hare".  I never heard this expression outside of WD.  As far as I can remember, there are no other mentions of witches or anything like that, apart from the hedgewizard nonsense in the series.

I looooove Fiver's story. One of my favorite moments in the book that I'd love to see adapted.
I really liked this scene too, but unfortunately I don't think it will appear in the miniseries, since it's just one long monologue :(
One interesting thing though:
Quote from: Fiver
Listen, Dandelion.  You're fond of stories, aren't you?  I'll tell you one - yes, one for El-ahrairah to cry at.
The last part of this passage was reused as the chapter title for when Holly tells about Sandleford's destruction.

I have to say that this is perhaps the saddest chapter in the entire book, with Fiver being depressed early on and then getting bullied by Bigwig.  And then there's Nildro-hain.  It took me a while to figure out what had happened to her, but when it did...that was brutal.  I wouldn't be surprised if Strawberry never got over her death and never had another mate again. (this is neither confirmed nor denied in TFWD) Even Thrayonlosa's death (might have messed up the spelling but I'm too lazy to check :irony) later on wasn't as depressing.
Have you considered making each day count - doing something meaningful each day - instead of letting the days and weeks and months and years fly into oblivion? --Bright Side

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Offline Hammy

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Re: Chapters 15-17 Discussion (August 21-August 26)
« Reply #7 on: August 28, 2018, 02:03:24 AM »
I re-read chapter sixteen and Fiver's brief rant after he runs out of the burrow is fascinating.

"A thing can be true and still be desperate folly, Hazel."

Fiver says this in regards to Silverweed's poetry, and I don't believe this line or anything like it was in the film or series. It's such an interesting thing because it's essentially a commentary on nihilism, or that's what I took away anyhow. The rabbits know very well that they're just marching along to their deaths, and, while that's true of any rabbit, this warren has been sucked of all life and meaning. They survive merely to die and think it best to simply accept that fate with what they call "dignity".  El-ahrairah means nothing, tricks mean nothing, there is only survival and then death.

It's interesting to think that where Efrafa is authoritarian in theme, the warren of the shining wires may have underlying parallels to a futile nihilistic view on life. I'd never realized it before.

Offline Chibiscuit

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Re: Chapters 15-17 Discussion (August 21-August 26)
« Reply #8 on: September 24, 2018, 03:38:00 PM »
Chapter 17   :bigwig2 (I can't believe it's been nearly a month since my last chapter :strawberry2)

Hammy's analysis was already very complete (and I'm super late) but a few thoughts.

This chapter once more shows how amazing the writing is. It's not overly descriptive but just enough and for the right things that it is very easy to visualise the action taking place. I could see this entire chapter play out in my head with ease.

I was a bit confused at the start though as I thought at first it was Fiver dreaming but then it turned out to be Hazel. It is interesting that Hazel should dream of the very near future like that. I wonder if he realised afterwards but I doubt it.

I like how Hazel doesn't immediately talk to Fiver when they find him but just silently joins him, waiting for the tension to go, and the fact that Bigwig follows his lead.

Another part I loved that hasn't been mentioned yet is when Hazel tries to distract the others from Bigwig's "death" so as it keep them from falling into despair.

I loved Fiver's story as well and would love to see it in the mini-series. It might be a monologue but they could show it such a way that switch images between Fiver narrating and actually showing what he's saying. The monologue has great build-up as well (the music could support this quite nicely) I can already imagine it (so much so that now I'll be disappointed if this doesn't happen :fiver3)

Bigwig reviving just when it is mentioned that Cowslip attacked Fiver is great too.

Lastly, I like how Strawberry soesn't need to flat-out state what has happened and why he wants to come with Hazel. All he says is, 'The wires', and that is enough. Hazel gets the implication and I'm glad he lets Strawberry join without saying anything more.
"You can come here, the land of warm days, grassy fields, and pleasant evenings, where even the shadow of war cannot darken the love at home." -Alderab