Why does the book Watership Down by Richard Adams, appear on a college level reading list? The book has expansive imagery and thorough details ranging from the light-hearted to the absolutely brutal. Watership Down allows imaginations to take many twists and turns, sometimes for the better and sometimes for worse. The characters in this book face challenges of extreme circumstance and their loyalty is tested when their situation is tainted by the knowledge that they could be shown an early grave.
Imagery plays a key role in this book and builds a foundation in which the reader can better understand and imagine what is happening. Adams really takes his time to explain the situation, location and surroundings that the characters are set in. This is one of the reasons why Watership Down is more advanced than the usual fiction books found on shelves in libraries today. For example, “The May sunset was red in the clouds, and there was still half an hour to twilight.
The dry slope was dotted with rabbits-some nibbling at the thin grass near their holes, others pushing further down to look for dandelions or perhaps a cowslip that the rest had missed. ” (Adams 18). This quote is only one of many examples of imagery that occur in Watership Down, it is found early on in the book so that the image is set of what the rabbits are doing, how they live, and the surroundings that they live with. These are all important aspects of imagery because the reader can then better understand the location in which the story is set.
As previously stated, imagery is widely is used, but Watership Down is also relevant to today’s world. The world is full of a variety of obstacles and challenges that are unknown to the person beforehand. People survive challenges every day, some of those challenges, when faced, can put you in danger or confuse you to the point of being lost. The characters in Adams Watership Down are put to the test and are thrown into unfamiliar situations, for example: “…he kept still for a long time; and when at last e moved cautiously forward, found Silver crouched behind a tussock of cocksfoot…All was confusion, ignorance, clambering and exhaustion. ” (Adams 69). These characters are on their way to the Down, which they will call home. In this excerpt of Adams’ book, Hazel heard an unexpected noise and is being cautious because he doesn’t want to put his group in danger, which is his main priority. The rabbits are tired and ready to give up as so shown in the quote: “’Not far now Hlao-roo, not far now,’ he kept muttering, until he realized that what he said had become meaningless, a mere refrain.
He was not speaking to Pipkin or even himself. He was talking in his sleep, or something very near it. ” (Adams 69). Immediately after this, the sun shown over the horizon, symbolizing a new start and a new day for the group as they clamber on through the unknown fields and woods in search of a new home and a new start. Watership Down by Richard Adams is a book packed full of imagery and a sort of relevance that is true of the world as people live it now.
The constant changing of scenery and the challenges faced when those changes happen, are all important aspects of why this book appeals to the older, more mature reader and why it appears on a college level reading list. This book is wise beyond its years in the sense that many morals are shown. One of them being to never give up when you know you are so close to success. This book tells a brutal tale of trial and triumph and is not appropriate for amateur readers.