What Is Watership Down About?

Watership Down is about a group of rabbits who go on an adventure to find a new home after the rabbit Fiver has a prophetic dream that their warren will be destroyed.

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At its heart, the novel is an adventure and survival tale about a band of rabbits who leave their warren because of a danger which one rabbit, Fiver, anticipates in a psychic vision. The rabbits leave their warren just in time to avoid being killed by humans who are preparing the land for a new development.

While on their journey to a new home, the group of rabbits discover the value of the traditions and knowledge they bring from their original warren. They also learn the importance of being able to adapt to new traditions and incorporate new knowledge in their fight for survival. During this journey they encounter various dangers in the form of predators, humans, and other rabbits.

Although many readers have looked for connections to other texts, political views, or religious ideas, the author, Richard Adams, is reported as having stated that the text is simply "a story about rabbits." You may want to take a look at the Guardian article linked below, which contains excerpts from an interview with Adams's daughters regarding the meaning or interpretation of the novel. In this interview, the author's daughters revealed that their father made up the story for them during a long car drive and thereafter put pen to paper.

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