Free Study Guide for Watership Down by Richard Adams|
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WATERSHIP DOWN ONLINE BOOK SUMMARY PLOT
Fiver has a dream/vision in which he sees a hole in which Hazel is still alive.
He convinces Blackberry to go with him to help save Hazel.
The Honeycomb has achieved the addition of three hutch rabbits-one buck and two does. Holly explains why their trip was unsuccessful. The big warren is called Efrafa, and it is highly organized and tightly controlled. Great care is taken to keep the warren hidden from men, but in return for their safety the rabbits have no freedom. Ruled by a large vicious rabbit named "Woundwort," the rabbits are marked (by means of a bite) on some part of their bodies and organized according to those marks. In addition to the well trained and merciless Owsla, the rabbits kowtow to a council of rabbits. The Council police are called Owslafa and they administer brutal punishment to any rabbit that tries to escape Efrafa or steps out of line in any way. The warren is so huge that the does have stopped bearing any young, but Woundwort will not allow any to leave. Furthermore, those who enter unknowingly are added to the warren and forced to simply remain.
Not knowing the true condition of things in the warren, Holly presents his
request for a few extra does. Woundwort refuses and tells them what mark
they will be assigned to. They make friends with a doe named Hyzenthlay
who tells them that the system isnít working anymore, and they witness
the brutalizing of Blackavar who had tried to escape shortly before they
had arrived. Holly realizes that they need to escape before the council
starts marking them. Recalling the story of the kingís lettuce, he comes
up with a plan for tricking one of the sentries into believing that the
council has sent for him. When the sentry is out of sight, the four rabbits
run for it, fighting off two more sentries on the way. They run in the
opposite direction from which they came which takes them across the iron
road (railroad). Holly explains that Lord Frith performed a miracle and
saved them just in time by sending a roaring creature by on the iron road,
effectively separating them from the trailing Efrafa sentries.
Efrafa is the opposite extreme from the Cowslip warren. Where Cowslipís group were free to come and go as they pleased and had almost no structure at all to the warren, Efrafa is so highly structured that the rabbits live in constant fear of their own kind. The tamed meadow rabbits were so accustomed to the comings and goings of men that they had learned to accept it and even look to the men for food even though it frequently cost a life or two. Efrafa is totally hidden from men. As long as they abide by the rules of never asking "where" and of never speaking of the wires, the rabbits have a relaxed, if not exactly happy, interchange with one another and can run about their tunnels as they see fit. Efrafaís tunnels have limited connections and the rabbits of the different marks rarely communicate with each other, relying solely on the council police for instructions and information. Where the meadow rabbits choose ignorance, the Efrafa rabbits have it forced on them unless they are part of the privileged class. Neither solution is ideal. The goal of the Honeycomb will be to provide some sort of happy medium with protection and structure and yet freedom.
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Ruff, Karen SC. "TheBestNotes on Watership Down".
. 09 May 2017