Watership Down

Main Ideas

Key Facts

Main Ideas Key Facts

full title Watership Down

author  Richard Adams

type of work  Novel

genre  Fantasy; allegory

language  English

time and place written  Early 1970s; England

date of first publication  1972

publisher  Rex Collings, Ltd.

narrator  Omniscient narrator

point of view  Primarily Hazel's point of view, but shifts among several of the major characters

tone  Sorrowfully optimistic, always suggesting that something can be done about the world's evils

tense  Immediate past

setting (time)  The events of the novel take place from May to October in no specific year, but likely around the time the novel was written; the epilogue takes place several years later

setting (place)  Between Berkshire and Hampshire, England

protagonist  Hazel

antagonist  Woundwort

climax  The battle between Bigwig and Woundwort

falling action  The dog chases away the Efrafan rabbits

themes  Home; leadership; nature

motifs  Adapting; trickery; humanity

symbols  The rabbit warren

foreshadowing  At the beginning of each chapter Adams quotes a passage from a famous text that vaguely indicates what will happen in the chapter