Watership Down Themes

Watership Down Themes


The novel explores the theme of both individual heroism, and the making of heroes amongst the community. The journey of Hazel as a folk hero into a frightening situation shows him returning with something better for both himself and his community, in this case, a better life if safety and freedom. Adams based much of the heroism of Hazel and the other rabbits on his study of Carl Jung's view of the unconscious mind, that one person's story is everyone's story.

As the hero of the novel Hazel leads a band of heroic refugees in search of a new home, on a flight from disaster to safety, a theme that has been used in literature for thousands of years. Hazel is the leader and therefore cast in the hero role, but the community is made up of many heroes, such as Bigwig whose quality is strength, and Blackberry's, whose is ingenuity. The novel illustrates that there are many different ways to be a hero.

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