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MonkeyNotes Free Study Guide-Watership Down by Richard Adams-Book Notes
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KEY LITERARY ELEMENTS

SETTING

Watership Down takes place in central England, primarily in the Hampshire district. The landscape is one of high downs, long narrow valleys and sweeping meadows dotted with farms. Although the characters are all entirely fiction, the locations are real even to the shed at Nuthanger Farm where the rabbits hid from the cat. The shed is no longer there as it burned several years ago.

Since the writing of this best selling novel, several organizations have created walking tours that correspond with Hazel’s journey. In traveling from Sandleford warren to Watership Down, the rabbits actually travel about 8 miles, but the zigzagging trail and the adventures along the way make it seem much further. Richard Adams, the author, still lives in the area.

LIST OF CHARACTERS - CHARACTER LIST

Major Characters

Hazel

The main character. Leader of the group of rabbits who leave Sandleford warren looking for a safe home.

Fiver

Brother to Hazel. A rabbit gifted with supernatural, but not always very specific insights

Captain Holly

The captain of the Sandleford Owsla. Escapes when the warren is gassed and later becomes indispensable to the Honeycomb.

Bigwig

Owsla member. Personal guard to the Chief Rabbit. Believes Fiver and joins the quest

Woundwort

The leader of Efrafa. Bigwig’s enemy and equal

El-ahrairah-rabbit

A folk hero and main character in all the story telling


Minor Characters

Speedwell

A Sandleford rabbit

Buckthorn, Acorn, Hawkbit, Pipkin

Sandleford rabbits who follow Hazel

Bluebell

Sandleford rabbit who escapes the gassing with Holly

Silver

A member of the Owsla who joins Bigwig

Dandelion

The Sandleford story teller.

Threarah

Chief Rabbit

Strawberry

A member of Cowslip’s warren who joins Hazel

Strawberry’s doe

She is killed by a snare

Silverweed

A poet in Cowslip’s warren

Cowslip

The leading rabbit in the strange warren

Kehaar

A black headed gull that Hazel befriends

Groundsel, Aven, Campion

Owsla members in Efrafa

Hyzenthlay and other does

The does of Efrafa who escape with Bigwig

Blackavar

A buck abused by Woundwort’s council. Escapes with Bigwig and becomes a highly useful member of the Honeycomb warren

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