Friday, May 4, 2012

Post 12 ; Chapters 48-50 (Epilogue)

The Nuthanger Farm

Chapter 48: Dea ex Machina

Back at the Nuthanger farm, Hazel is squealing from the cat and is about to kill him until Lucy, a girl who lives on the farm, stops it and rescues Hazel. She takes Hazel up to her room and puts him in her dresser drawer, and waits until the doctor for her mom comes. When the doctor shows up, Lucy shows him Hazel, and is told that he has only minor scratches and will be fine. Hearing this, Lucy lets Hazel back outside, where he runs off back to the warren between Hare Warren Down and Watership Down.

Chapter 49: Hazel Comes Home

Because Woundwort fought with the dog, many rabbits were escape with their lives. The Efrafan rabbits come under Campion's order, and retreat back to Efrafa. Other animals hear about the defeat of Woundwort, and pick off several of the retreating Efrafans, including Vervian. Some Efrafans are too afraid to go back and surrender to the Honeycomb warren. The group has begun to think Hazel is dead until they see him coming back from the bottom of the hill. Bigwig recovers from his wounds and Hazel tells them the story on how he escaped. 

An aged Hazel (foreground) years later with the established warren

Chapter 50: And Last

The setting fast forwards to the middle of October. Several does have litters of kittens, and the Efrafans have surrendered and coexist happily with each other. Hazel proposes his old idea on building a warren between Honeycomb and Efrafa so the warren doesn't become overcrowded. The kittens grow up and more stories of El-Ahrairah are told as time passes.

Hazel encounters the Black Rabbit of Inlé, signaling his time to move on


The epilogue is written to show the reader what happens with everything in the end. The setting is now several years later, and there are several new warrens around Watership Down filled with rabbits. Hazel lives longer than all the other rabbits, until one day in a cold morning in March, he is visited by the Owlsa, The Black Rabbit of Inlé. Hazel leaves his body and follows the black rabbit into the fields. Hazel looks back one last time to see his dream prospering and knowing that everything there will be okay.

Hazel's spirit follows the Black Rabbit of Inlé to his new life after death


I'll admit that I was sort of disappointed when there were no surprises in the end of this story. Something like Woundwort actually being alive or the continued rivalry between Honeycomb and the Efrafans to continue the story. I think that Woundwort being alive certainly would have been a cool plot twist. But, I understand why the story ended like this.

I would have liked known how the warren progressed after the fight with Woundwort. How quickly did the rabbits settle into their new home now that they were safe? And how would the Efrafans led by Campion regrouped after losing their leader. It shows in the future that the two sides got along fine in the end but again, it would have been cool to see what happened in detail once Woundwort was gone.

The ending with Hazel going off with the Black Rabbit of Inlé gave me chills; it was one of the most powerful events that I've ever seen or read in a book. I also watched the ending of the movie and felt the exact same way. This leaves me wondering that it is possible there is some sort of life after death; I'm not religious at all, but it's fascinating to think of the possibility of living once again once your physical body dies and leaves this Earth.

This concludes my blog posts for my project but I'll have one more extra one up tomorrow. Thank you for reading all the way up to this point about Richard Adams' classic story Watership Down, and I hope that this was a blog that really got you into the story!


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