“Lapine Faith: The Importance of the Quasi-Religious Structure in Richard Adams’ Watership Down”

Click here to read Benjamin J. Benefiel’s 1999 honors thesis:

This discussion of Richard Adams’ contemporary classic novel Watership Down, a tale of survival for a group of wandering rabbits, analyzes the importance of the quasi-religious structure of the characters within. Through the lapine mythological storytelling tradition, the characters of the novel can understand the role they fulfill in the natural world. This analysis is divided into five basic sections: the general trend of the characters’ belief system; the lapine comprehension of deity; the archetypical rabbit folk-hero; the nature of death; and finally, divergent rabbit traditions within the novel. This study of the importance of the myth tradition within the rabbit culture allows the reader to more fully understand and appreciate the depth of the Mr. Adams’ epic work, as well as glean insight into the meaning of human existence of which we are all a part.