illustrated portraits of Toad, Mole, Rat, and Badger set against a woodland scene

The Wind in the Willows

by Kenneth Grahame

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How are the themes of house and home represented in 'The Wind in the Willows'? This has particular reference to the idea of domestic space. Does this relate to Kenneth Grahame's personal circumstances/biography as well as the condition and political state of affairs in Britain at the time.

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Kenneth Grahame, author of “Wind in the Willows” lived during a time in the Victorian area where great social upheaval was taking place. The male-dominated status quo was, for example being uprooted by the women’s movement, while social and economic changes were taking place as a result of developments such as the railroad and industrialization.

Many writers, among whom Grahame was one, felt the nostalgic need for a return to simpler times, which led to works such as “The Wind in the Willows.”

Domestic spaces are portrayed as peaceful and private, but always open to visits by friends. All these elements refer to the concept of “home.”

The story opens with a domestic space, where Mole is doing some spring cleaning. Other domestic spaces described in the story adhere to the needs and requirements of their inhabitants. This creates the impression of the domestic space being set up in such a way as to adhere to the needs and requirements of their inhabitants.



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