The Velveteen Rabbit – The Transformative Power of Love
Margery Williams’ “The Velveteen Rabbit” or How toys become Real is an allegorical tale in the tradition of the classical ‘Animal Farm’ by George Orwell or Geoffrey Chaucer’s ‘The Canterbury Tales.’ It employs this literary and stylistic form, with onomatopoetic strategies using characters, events, setting to relay essential principles, moral theories and grand socio-cultural ideas. The central and main ones of said theories and principles is the transformative power of love and personal engagement. It further explores the progressive and dichotomous nature of what is ostensibly real against what is not.
The plot of the Velveteen Rabbit traverses and meanders through various stages of psychological and internal growth counterpoised by declining external appearance, both driven forward by the power of love and acceptance from the Boy. The wisdom from the Skin Horse and the total as well as the final liberation of the Rabbit by the nursery magic Fairy’s wisdom and love, become quintessential. In the beginning, the Rabbit is splendid, ‘it is fat and bunchy, as a rabbit should be… with real thread whiskers… and ear lined with pink sateen…’ The eternal and sublime quest becomes, what a “Real and True Rabbit should be.” This depicts a picture so ‘magnificently charming’ and pleasantly ‘real’ that the Boy loves the Rabbit for at least two hours, until the end of the Christmas festivities when the Rabbit is put away and forgotten thus beginning the period when the Rabbit questions himself, his ‘realness’ and his place in the world or the nursery.
The personal crisis and conflict the Rabbit proceeds to, is further exacerbated by the environment in the toy cupboard and nursery floor. The Rabbit harbors feelings of insecurity, loneliness and insignificance as the other toys act superior than him, boasting and bragging about their importance and how real they were compared to him. His salvation begins with the...
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