Parallelism in Watership Down

Pages: 3 (1232 words) Published: February 27, 2014
Parallelism in Watership Down
In works of literature, authors incorporate parallels to portray corresponding events. The novel Watership Down, by Richard Adams, has numerous examples of parallelism. The actions of the Watership down rabbits correspond with the actions of a rabbit folk-hero named El ahrairah. Hazel’s band of rabbits learned many tricks and strategies for their survival from the El ahrairah stories. The stories that gave them multiple ideas are “The Trial of El ahrairah”, “The King’s Lettuce”, and “The Blessing of El ahrairah”. The rabbits see El ahrairah as an inspirational character. Adams applies the different themes of each story to depict the parallels between the Watership down rabbits and El ahrairah.

The Trial of El ahrairah gives the rabbits ideas that will help them and their warren. The theme of this story focuses on befriending the enemy. In the story El ahrairah befriends Yona the hedgehog and Hawock the pheasant, this parallels with Hazel befriending the mouse and Kehaar the bird. El ahrairah says to Yona that he will give him slugs if he helps him in return and Rabscuttle befriends Hawock by giving him corn. Similarly, Hazel makes friends with a mouse by saving it’s life and a bird by feeding it food. Hazel says “I think we ought to do all we can to make these creatures friendly. It might turn out to be well worth the trouble” (WD 169). By making friends with other creatures besides rabbits can only benefit Hazel and his band of rabbits. They will benefit because the creatures will help them when Hazel and his rabbits are in need, like the way they helped El ahrairah in the story. Likewise, another model of a parallel is when Yona sings for slugs and Hawock swims for corn. This parallels with Bigwig singing to Kehaar in the Efrafa. Hufsa says he saw Yona singing to the moon for slugs and the pheasant swimming in the water to grow its tail longer. Bigwig sings “ O fly away, great bird so white, And don’t come back until tonight”...

Cited: Adams, Richard. Watership Down. New York: Macmillan, 1974. Print.
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