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Environmentalism in Watership Down by Richard Adams Essay

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The small group of rabbits that left their original warren, Sandleford, to find a new home often uses their little spare time to listen to stories generally told by Dandelion. These stories are often about the Thousand Enemies and how they are a threat to the rabbits, especially El-ahrairah. Humans are presented as one of the “Thousand.” The author of the book, Richard Adams, displays man in a negative way because of this. Man is portrayed as violent, nonsensical, and abusive to the natural way of life. In the book, Watership Down, Richard Adams portrays the life and style of man in a negative way.
In both their old warren and on their journey, the group of rabbits encounters urban development and the city life which relentlessly
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Humans are associated with a senseless and violent view of the world and life in general which leads to both a horrible life and death of creatures of the wild ("Literature in Brief Information about Watership Down."). The machines the rabbits encounter are very much a threat to their well-being. The cars they come across are very unnatural to the rabbits – being faster than a rabbit, and don’t notice a rabbit at all ("Literature in Brief Information about Watership Down."). The violence of a machine such as a car is underestimated until the group comes across the dead yona, a hedgehog overrun by a vehicle (Adams 49). Adams emphasizes the violence of the deed by describing the creature as “a flattened, bloody mass of brown prickles and white fur, with small black feet and snout crushed round the edges. The flies crawled upon it, and here and there the sharp point of gravel pressed up through the flesh” (Adams 49). The rabbits do not see a point in such a violent act, for an animal like a ‘yona’ cannot do much more than threaten slugs and beetles, and nothing would eat a yona either. Although Efrafa seems like a totally evil place, the reason for such ‘evilness’ lies in the treatment of humans. The whole purpose of keeping Efrafa under total control was to keep humans from finding out about it and causing the white blindness (Adams 233).Yes, the whole government system of the warren went to the extreme and took over,
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