Coming To Pass?

August 6th, 2009

Several years ago I read the Richard Adams novel, Watership Down. It enjoyed a lengthy period on the best-seller list and became required reading in many schools. The book heralded the lives of a group of young rabbits in search of a better life. The story runs the gamut of happy and sad events as the youngsters venture out into a world that in their eyes goes on forever.

Watership Down came to mind when I read Amber’s article on her latest reading adventure. The rabbits faced a similar challenge while they hunted for a safe place that could also provide for their needs as well.

The book was made into an excellent movie which was very well-reviewed.  This review is from Keith Simanton at

Much like Richard Adam’s wonderful novel, this animated tale of wandering rabbits is not meant for small children. It is, however, rich storytelling, populated with very real individuals inhabiting a very real world. The animation is problematic, sometimes appearing out of proportion or just sub par; but it seems to stem from an attempt at realism, something distinguishing the film’s characters from previous, cutesy, animated animals. A band of rabbits illegally leave their warren after a prophecy of doom from a runt named Fiver (Richard Briers). In search of a place safe from humans and predators, they face all kinds of dangers, including a warren that has made a sick bargain with humankind, and a warren that is basically a fascist state. Allegories aside, Down is engaging and satisfying, and pulls off the same amazing trick that the novel did — you’ll forget that this is a story about rabbits.

The similarities between the rabbits in the story and today’s American citizens are frightfully alike — the danger of becoming nothing more than livestock and having to learn to accept eventual death in exchange for food and care. Kind of reminds me of Obama’s health care scheme.

Then it’s on to another part of the meadow which is perfect except it’s controlled by fascist rabbits.  Seems as though our rabbits are between a rock and a hard spot. They are forced to fight in order to live peacefully. Once again there is a parallel between the rabbits and us. We are also being forced to deal with an overly zealous government that is dead set on destroying what we have built during the last two plus hundred years. Freedom — so hard to come by, so easy to waste.

The revue I quoted with this article pretty much says it all about Mr. Adams and his great story. The irony is the fact that like Orwell, Adams saw what was coming and is just another ignored prophet.

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4 Responses to “Coming To Pass?”

  1. Tom |

    I’ve heard about Watership Down for years, but I’ve never read the book or seen the movie. Maybe I will now!

  2. Harvey |


    I think I read the book many years ago but don’t really remember it. I too will have to reread, time permitting, or at least watch the movie.

  3. Brianna |

    Tom – Watership Down is a great book. I read it when I was in middle school, but hadn’t been exposed to enough of the world at the time to appreciate it as anything more than a good story. Now that I am older though, I recognize and understand the parallels Larry highlighted, and agree that Adams’s novel has a valuable lesson to teach those of us who think that security and freedom can both be had at the same time.

    P.S. The reason I’m commenting so much right now is because I am browsing the backlog. Probably won’t be more than one or two more.

  4. Tom |

    I still didn’t get to the book. I’ve had my nosed buried in Obama’s two books lately. I’m sure Watership Down will be more fun!

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