The political philosophy of Watership Down

Sandlefold Warren

Strawberry’s and Cowslip’s warren

Watership Down


[Hazel said to Woundwort] “I’ve come to suggest something altogether different and better for us both. A rabbit has two ears; a rabbit has two eyes, two nostrils. Our two warrens ought to be like that. They ought to be together — not fighting. We ought to make other warrens between us — start one between here and Efrafa, with rabbits from both sides. You wouldn’t lose by that, you’d gain. We both would. A lot of your rabbits are unhappy now and it’s all you can do to control them, but with this plan you’d soon see a difference. Rabbits have enough enemies as it is. They ought not to make more among themselves. A mating between free, independent warrens — what do you say?”

At that moment, in the sunset on Watership Down, there was offered to General Woundwort the opportunity to show whether he was really the leader of vision and genius which he believed himself to be, or whether he was no more than a tyrant with the courage and cunning of a pirate. For one beat of his pulse the lame rabbit’s idea shone clearly before him. He grasped it and realized what it meant. The next, he had pushed it away from him. The sun dipped into the cloud bank and now he could see clearly the track along the ridge, leading to the beech hanger and the bloodshed for which he had prepared with so much energy and care.




professor of philosophy

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Helen De Cruz

Helen De Cruz

professor of philosophy

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