Spoiler Alert: Plot Summary
My thoughts, in no particular oder:
- Adams uses quotes to start of each chapter, which at first I wasn’t sure I liked, but they’re so well chosen that they perfectly marry foreshadowing and intrigue. Here’s the quote from the chapter on the “queer” rabbit warren:
- Adams also throws in some of his own rabbit language (Lapine, as he calls it). My favorite (and my mom’s favorite) is hrududu, which means any sort of man-made machine. Hazel is returned to Watership Down in one with Lucy and the doctor, and Bigwig refuses to believe that Hazel actually rode in a hrududu.
- Adams also claims that the does can take their litters back into their bodies if there are too many rabbits, or the climate isn’t right for them to be born. I found this idea very strange. It’s not abortion, it’s absorption!
- Kehaar was hands down one of my favorite characters. Apparently, he doesn’t speak Lapine (the rabbit language) but they can converse in a sort of meta-language. Here’s my favorite exchange between Hazel and Kehaar:
- Bigwig wants to get a message to Kehaar, but he can’t let Captain Chervil (of Efrafa) know what’s happening, so he tells him an old rhyme to send the bird away. This hilarity ensues:
-- “Along the western horizon the lower clouds formed a single purple mass, against which distant trees stood out minute and sharp. The upper edges rose into the light, a far land of wild mountains. Copper-colored, weightless and motionless, they suggested a glassy fragility like that of frost. Surely, when the thunder struck them again they would vibrate, tremble, and shatter, till warm shards, sharp as icicles, fell flashing from the ruins.”
--Fiver, to one of the captains of Efrafa when they attack Watership Down:
“I am sorry for you with all my heart. But you cannot blame us, for you came to kill us if you could.” This reminds me of when the Buggers tell Ender that they did not mean to murder, and when they knew, they did not come again.