Watership Down

A Leader to Lead Them All: Hazel and El-ahrairah 10th Grade

In the novel Watership Down, Hazel, leader of the Sandleford Warren escaped rabbits, demonstrates many ways in which he is similar to the bunny-famous mythological hero “El-ahrairah”. To rabbit-kind, El-ahrairah is a rolemodel, a leader and an inspiration. To the Watership Down rabbits, Hazel is whom they look to when decisions need to be made and plans generated. Hazel is, figuratively, El-ahrairah to the Watership Down rabbits because of his cunning plans, his inspiring devotion to his warren and friends, and his dedicated, unwavering leadership.

Almost all of Hazel’s plans created and executed throughout the story contain thematic influence from El-ahrairah’s fictional tales that are told by several rabbits throughout the novel. When the story of “Rowsby Woof and the Fairy Wogdog” is told in Chapter 41, it is just before Hazel creates his plan to use the Nuthanger farm dog as a weapon in the battle against Woundwort (Adams 451). The connection between El-ahrairah’s use of Rowsby Woof to get food for himself and his friends, and Hazel’s use of Bob the farm dog as a battle weapon is very clear. Both rabbits thought beyond what most may have done, and demonstrated a unique method of thinking in which they found a way to turn a...

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