Watership Down

by: Richard Adams

Chapters 33–35

Bigwig is the strongest and most experienced of the group, but his role in the plan is also by far the most difficult. Indeed, the entire future of the warren rests in his hands. He is given to action more than planning, but he shows his cunning as he gets Woundwort to make him an officer and as he finds out information about Efrafa from the other officers. All the same, Bigwig is at a loss about what to do until he meets Hyzenthlay. She provides him the information he needs in order to make the break possible, and her clear thinking and good sense help him form a plan. Bigwig is acting on his own and facing incredible odds, and it helps him in several ways to find a friend he can count on. Hyzenthlay is very important not only for the plan, but also because Bigwig gains confidence knowing he is not completely alone in his task. He is up against a fearsome opponent in General Woundwort, who is surrounded by many brave, loyal, and fierce rabbits. With Hyzenthlay, at least Bigwig feels that there is someone on his side who believes in him and also wants the freedom that he is risking his life for. Bigwig's interactions with Blackavar also show that he is kind-hearted and just. He thinks that it is wrong for a warren to stop a rabbit from leaving, and he views the harsh treatment of Blackavar as terrible. Bigwig decides to take Blackavar with him, despite the added risk. The Efrafa warren genuinely outrages Bigwig, who now looks forward to upsetting its equilibrium. He is quite a fierce rabbit, and the fact that he seems to have justice on his side makes him a formidable opponent, even if he is greatly outnumbered. Furthermore, as Bigwig tells Hyzenthlay, he has the advantage that his rabbits are cleverer than the Efrafan rabbits, so their trick will be something the other rabbits could never anticipate.