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Author Topic: Chapters 25-26 Discussion (October 29-November 5)  (Read 1119 times)

Offline Chibiscuit

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Chapters 25-26 Discussion (October 29-November 5)
« on: October 26, 2018, 03:29:14 PM »
You know the drill :frith
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Offline Hammy

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Re: Chapters 25-26 Discussion (October 29-November 5)
« Reply #1 on: October 27, 2018, 11:54:07 PM »
Chapter 25

So, we get the raid in this chapter, the part where Hazel gets shot. First off, okay, but the rabbits have Noah's Ark as a part of their mythos. I don't know why, but that really hit me this read through. The rabbits accept that a man built a barge and saved the aniamls. This raises questions in my mind. Did the rabbits adapt the story from Christianity, or the other way around? Or did the stories just come about convergently?

Also, I love the animosity between Hazel and Fiver. Fiver clearly is having bad feelings about this raid idea, but it's not the same as his other visions, and Hazel largely disregards him. Hazel shows himself to be flawed in ways that neither the series nor the show touch upon. He's chief rabbit now, and he's getting a bit of a big head. At the present, it's obvious that they don't need to have this raid and that Fiver doesn't like it, but Hazel goes anyway, essentially for the sake of one-upping Holly and co. Even with Hazel knowing perfectly well that Fiver knows better between the two of them, and Bigwig having very nearly died after Fiver was obviously uncomfortable.

I love how Hazel introduced himself to the hutch rabbits as "Hazel-rah" not Hazel, and that's what they consistently refer to him as. Exercising even more of that authority.

Quote
And he doesn't want to fight another [cat] if he can help it," said Bigwig briskly. "So, if you do want to eat grass by moonlight, let's go to where Hazel-rah is waiting for us."

Quote
They'll [the hutch rabbits] be a lot looser soon," said Bigwig angrily...

Quote
He [Bigwig] muttered something about Hazel being too embleer clever by half...

I really like Bigwig. Very direct, pragmatic, and bluntly funny.

The description of the car coming up to the farm is really interesting. A strange vibration, followed by flooding, blinding light that forces Hazel, Dandelion, and Haystack to shut their eyes to even begin to move. They can hear the men, but not see them at all. Another thing that perplexes and interests me, that the rabbits seem to be able to understand the men as well as, or even better than than, they can understand mice.

Being blinded by the light also makes it clear exactly why Hazel didn't know that the men had a gun.

Finally, Holly, Silver, and Strawberry return, and I actually really like that the Watership rabbits sought out Efrafa of their own accord and got beaten up for their troubles, rather than Holly escaping it before finding WD, or Strawberry knowing about it beforehand. I'm very interested to hear their account. Poor Holly. Old dude can't catch a break.

Also, the chapters commentary on cats, speaking as a cat owner, all completely true. My kitty runs away if anyone chases her, but comes up and pokes at me if I'm just sitting there.

Chapter 26

This chapter is trippy. I had to listen to it a couple times before I really understood what was happening. Fiver has a dream where he talks to a man putting up a sign, I think, back in Sandleford. It's so weird, because I'm almost convinced at this point that, yes, the rabbits are perfectly capable of understanding men, and that bends my brain a little.

Even being a man who talks to rabbits, though, his presence is still oppressive to Fiver. And then his sign board talks, or chants, I guess? It's weird, because Fiver seems to understand on some level that the boards are used by men to communicate and "speak", but he doesn't understand writing at all, just like Hazel didn't understand the "art" at Cowslip's warren. Fascinating stuff.

Hazel lives, but we already knew that.

Offline Chipster-roo

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Re: Chapters 25-26 Discussion (October 29-November 5)
« Reply #2 on: October 30, 2018, 01:23:13 AM »
Chapter 25.  We are now 50% through the book.

Honestly, this chapter failed to make a strong impression on me, but there are some good moments.

Hammy makes some valid points about the interactions between Hazel and Fiver in this chapter.

So, we get the raid in this chapter, the part where Hazel gets shot. First off, okay, but the rabbits have Noah's Ark as a part of their mythos. I don't know why, but that really hit me this read through. The rabbits accept that a man built a barge and saved the aniamls. This raises questions in my mind. Did the rabbits adapt the story from Christianity, or the other way around? Or did the stories just come about convergently?
This is something really interesting that I hadn't thought about before.  It would be weird for one species to learn the story from the other.  Also, a human being kind to animals?  GASP does that actually exist? :sarcasm

What strikes me the most is that while Dandelion's entire story is based on a floating hutch, he had no idea what was going on when Blackberry helped Fiver and Pipkin cross the Enborne, despite the fact that it is pretty much the same thing.  Also, the story also mentions a global flood that looks suspiciously similar to Kehaar's Big Water.

Lots of unanswered questions :woundwort But it's all worth it, for what comes afterwards:

Quote
"It won't happen tonight, will it, Hazel-rah?" asked Pipkin, listening to the rain in the beech leaves outside.  "There's no hutch here."
"Kehaar'll fly you to the moon, Hlao-roo," said Bluebell, and you can come down on Bigwig's head like a birch branch in the frost."
Why does Pipkin have to be so cute?  Why is he not in the miniseries?

The next day, Bigwig and the others pretend to be attacking cats.  This seems a lot like owsla training in the series, but here instead of endlessly whining about it, Hawkbit and Dandelion actually have fun.

Quote
ginger, black and white (and therefore a female)
What does a cat's fur colours have to do with their gender?  Also, interestingly the book features two cats, one male and one female.  Both the film and the series have only the female one.

The rabbits spend a while trying to open the hutch.  In both the film and the series, this was portrayed as a trivial task, but in the book it is quite complicated and it takes a long time.

The whole grass by moonlight bit was pretty cute.
Laurel gets recaptured.  I really wonder what happened to him afterwards...
It really seems that Haystack knew that the humans had a gun, since that's pretty much the only thing that convinced her to run.

Quote
[Bigwig] cuffed Hawkbit off a sow thistle he was nibbling
Hawkbit abuse in the book, I didn't know that existed.  It seems that whenever Hawkbit and Bigwig are together, things won't be going well for Hawkbit.

Hazel gets shot, and we get to follow him to the drainpipe.  The film didn't show this, and while the series briefly showed him limping, he didn't look hurt at all.  The book does this better.

And then Holly's gang returns.  We don't know yet exactly what happened in Efrafa, or even that it's called Efrafa, but Buckthorn had it the worst.  Due to this, he will be staying behind at WD when Hazel's gang will go to Efrafa.  This makes him perhaps even more pointless than The Bland Trio™.
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Offline Hammy

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Re: Chapters 25-26 Discussion (October 29-November 5)
« Reply #3 on: October 30, 2018, 03:25:23 AM »

What strikes me the most is that while Dandelion's entire story is based on a floating hutch, he had no idea what was going on when Blackberry helped Fiver and Pipkin cross the Enborne, despite the fact that it is pretty much the same thing.  Also, the story also mentions a global flood that looks suspiciously similar to Kehaar's Big Water.

Ooooh. That hadn't even occurred to me. That's so funny, that the rabbits can have things happen in stories, but still not put two and two together.

What does a cat's fur colours have to do with their gender?
The ginger, black, and white coloration indicates that the cat is what you'd call a calico, or tortoiseshell. The particular coloration is specifically linked to X chromosomes, one maternal and one paternal. Because male cats only get one X chromosome, from their mothers, they are almost never calico in coloration, and, if they are, it's most likely the result of a genetic defect.

Really, really interesting that the rabbits seem to be aware that this coloration is exclusively female. I wouldn't think they'd pay enough attention to notice any kind of pattern.

Offline Chibiscuit

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Re: Chapters 25-26 Discussion (October 29-November 5)
« Reply #4 on: November 11, 2018, 10:21:20 AM »
Chapter 25  :tabitha

As Hammy mentioned, this chapter shows that Hazel is flawed again quite nicely. The entire raid wouldn't have happened if Hazel hadn't been so fixated on, indeed, on-upping Holly (I wonder if he does feel slightly threatened by Holly?) but as it shows Bigwig and Blackberry aren't exempt from this either. Well, not that Bigwig ever hid that trait of his but Blackberry seemed reluctant to admit he was disappointed for not being chosen to scout out Efrafa and is clearly flattered/convinced when they tell him they need him to open the hutch.
I said it before but I prefer this more flawed Hazel (even though I think him a fool in this whole deal for not listening to Fiver)

I like the conversation between Hazel and Fiver. Especially this line,
Quote
'Risking your life and other rabbits' lives for something that's of little or no value to us,' said Fiver. 'Oh yes, of course the others will go with you. You're their Chief Rabbit. you'r supposed to decide what's sensible and they trust you. Persuading them will prove nothing, but three or four dead rabbits will prove you're a fool, when it's too late.'

Hazel promises to stay outside the farmyard and claims this is more than meeting Fiver's fears halfway but it really isn't because Fiver didn't have any particular feeling about the farm or the raid, just Hazel. So the farm had nothing to do with it. Staying away from it was in no way a guarantee that nothing bad would happen to Hazel.
I think they both realize this (hence why Hazel didn't tell the whole truth to Bigwig) but Fiver knew he couldn't convince Hazel anymore as well.

Has anyone else noticed that the raid gets delayed twice this chapter? First by Hazel and Pipkin's slow return to Watership Down and then by the sudden rain when they first wanted to set out. I wonder if this was done to allow Holly's party to reach and return from Efrafa? So their return would coincide with the raid party's return and it would still be plausible considering the distance to Efrafa?

Speaking of the end of the chapter, I like how the bad news just piles up and nothing seems to go right for them. Even knowing Hazel to be alive, I did get the feeling of despair from it with the line, 'The were no other rabbits with them' at the very end.

The story of Noah's ark feels very out of place to me (but I agree with Chipster that the cute Pipkin moment is worth it :pipkin). Who tells that story, I wonder? It doesn't really say. It says the story is told 'after one of Dandelion's stories', indicating, I think, that Dandelion was not the one to tell it. They also specifically state that they convinced Kehaar to join them and considering the presence of lotsa water in the story, could it be that Kehaar was the one telling it?

Quote
'We need some magic, like that lump of wood you shoved into the river.'
I guess Bigwig wasn't one of 'most' who immediately forgot that had happened.

I like how satisfied Blackberry is when Bigwig nearly falls into the hutch and grumbles and says 'Well you said magic, didn't you?' :blackberry-buck
Also his reply later on when Bigwig tells him not to run. 'Farther away from the gun'

Quote
'Are you going to do what he says?' asked Bigwig.
'Well, are you?' said Dandelion.
It took Bigwig no more than a moment to realize that if he said he was not, complete disorganization would follow. He could not take all the others back into the farm, and he could not leave them alone. He muttered something about Hazel being too embleer clever by half, cuffed Hawkbit off a sow-thistle he was nibbling and led his five rabbits over the bank into the field.
I like this part and can just feel Bigwig's frustration with Hazel cleverness. And I love how amidst everything happening Hawkbit is just causally nibbling. :hawkbit3

Another thing that perplexes and interests me, that the rabbits seem to be able to understand the men as well as, or even better than than, they can understand mice.
I don't think they understand men really. At least that was not the impression I got. We get to read what the men say but I assumed it was mere noise to the rabbits. They don't really react to the words spoken, merely to what they sense the men do.

Also, the chapters commentary on cats, speaking as a cat owner, all completely true. My kitty runs away if anyone chases her, but comes up and pokes at me if I'm just sitting there.
As a cat owner myself as well, I can attest as well that the cat behaviour described in this chapter is very much on point. :tabitha

What does a cat's fur colours have to do with their gender?
The ginger, black, and white coloration indicates that the cat is what you'd call a calico, or tortoiseshell. The particular coloration is specifically linked to X chromosomes, one maternal and one paternal. Because male cats only get one X chromosome, from their mothers, they are almost never calico in coloration, and, if they are, it's most likely the result of a genetic defect.

Really, really interesting that the rabbits seem to be aware that this coloration is exclusively female. I wouldn't think they'd pay enough attention to notice any kind of pattern.
I was gonna jump on that question but Hammy beat me to it. Good point though. Why would the rabbits notice this fact about cats? Doesn't really give them an advantage over them I think.

Chapter 26  :glowingfiver

This chapter is strange but I like it for its strangeness. My favourite bit is the usage of the double meaning of 'the bloody hole'. The man is frustrated and curses the hole that Hazel hides in but when Fiver says it, he means it literally because the hole is bloody -- Hazel's blood. I really like that.

Also, love Fiver's reply to the man, 'How -- how can a board say anything?' and then him seemingly 'hearing' what the board 'says' since he can't really 'read' as men do.

What is very weird is the implication that the ability to read not only leads to men knowing more but also to the reason men kills rabbits (and other animals I presume) whenever they feel like it. Very odd that.
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Offline Chipster-roo

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Re: Chapters 25-26 Discussion (October 29-November 5)
« Reply #5 on: November 11, 2018, 11:23:39 PM »
The ginger, black, and white coloration indicates that the cat is what you'd call a calico, or tortoiseshell. The particular coloration is specifically linked to X chromosomes, one maternal and one paternal. Because male cats only get one X chromosome, from their mothers, they are almost never calico in coloration, and, if they are, it's most likely the result of a genetic defect.
Genetics are complicated...
I have to agree, however, that this knowledge would be of little use to the rabbits.

(I wonder if he does feel slightly threatened by Holly?)
I wouldn't be surprised if that was the case.  Holly was hostile towards him in Sandleford, and is stronger than him.  A few chapters ago, Holly told Silver to tell Hazel that he wouldn't be causing trouble, but it remains unknown whether Hazel received the message.

Has anyone else noticed that the raid gets delayed twice this chapter? First by Hazel and Pipkin's slow return to Watership Down and then by the sudden rain when they first wanted to set out. I wonder if this was done to allow Holly's party to reach and return from Efrafa? So their return would coincide with the raid party's return and it would still be plausible considering the distance to Efrafa?
That would make sense, I think.  It's better than in the film and the series.  I have the feeling that in the miniseries, the Nuthanger Farm raid might take place before the arrival at Watership Down, since Clover appears in all four episodes.

Who tells that story, I wonder? [...] They also specifically state that they convinced Kehaar to join them and considering the presence of lotsa water in the story, could it be that Kehaar was the one telling it?
...this is the perfect explanation, honestly.  This explains why there would be a lot of water, and a boat, in the story.  As for how gulls ended up knowing the story, perhaps long ago, some gull was flying in a rainstorm and came across a livestock carrier or something? :kehaar


Chapter 26.

The film did it better.  The film did it better.  There's no other way to put it, really.

Until Chibiscuit pointed it out, I hadn't noticed the double-meaning of the bloody hole.  It's quite interesting.

Quote
He was alone and afraid, yet perceiving old, familiar sounds and smells - those of the field where he was born.
Fiver was born outside, not in a burrow :fiver3

Quote from: Blackberry
When we told him about Hazel, he said - Fiver, you're not listening.
I guess we'll never find out what Holly said...
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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