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Literary Qualities of Watership Down by Richard Adams

This Study Guide consists of approximately 69 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of Watership Down.
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The success of Watership Down results from several stylistic features. The first technique is the use of epigraphs at the beginning of each chapter. These epigraphs, drawn from the Bible, classical literature, English poetry, science, and folklore, serve the narrative function of indicating the direction the action will take. They also serve the thematic function of suggesting the seriousness of the action. If passages from Shakespeare, Blake, and Saint Paul illuminate the tale, then surely it is more than an entertaining story about rabbits. The epigraphs also place Watership Down in the tradition of the nineteenth-century English novel, which frequently used such epigraphs as a sign of seriousness.

In plot structure Watership Down has suggestive parallels to the Roman epic, the Aeneid. The rabbits' escape from doomed Sandleford, their temporary sojourn at Cowslip, and the battle with Efrafa warren recall Aeneas's flight from besieged Troy, his dalliance with...

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This section contains 289 words
(approx. 1 page at 400 words per page)
Buy the Watership Down Study Guide
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Novels for Students
Watership Down from Novels for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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