In the novel Watership Down, what is a good theme on which to focus if writing a paper?

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MaudlinStreet eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I think the most obvious theme would be Human development impacts the natural world negatively, leading to the destruction of animal societies. Throughout the novel, humans are associated with the death of rabbits, whether by poison, construction, or cars. Crossing the road is an epic task for the rabbits, due to the dangers inherent in cars. The scenes of beauty in the natural world are described in great detail, while the scenes on farms or near human habitats are described in cold, barren terms: almost the language of war. All animals in the novel who are left to their own devices discover greater freedom and opportunities than with humans. In fact, the only way to survive is to escape human influence, and establish a society as far from the realm of people as possible.

The most telling examples of this are the Cowslip Warren and Efrafa. In Cowslip's Warren, rabbits live a leisurely, quiet life. They are always provided with food, never without comfort, and all for a small sacrifice of letting the farmer eat them once in a while. Thus they are convinced that a short life of false ease is better than a long life lived naturally. In Efrafa, the contact with humans has made the society a totalitarian dictatorship, with all rabbits carefully monitored and disciplined. It is only when the rabbits have autonomy, far from the world of people, that they can live in peace.