"A (wo)man should hear a little music, read a little poetry, and see a fine picture every day of (her)his life in order that worldly cares may not obliterate the sense of beautiful God has implanted in the human soul."- Goethe

Monday, June 27, 2011

Watership Down

As I read the introduction to Watership Down, a novel by Richard Adams, I was somewhat disappointed to discover that the story wasn't written as an allegory. It's a disappointment because this story makes an excellent allegory, and I find it quite poignant. This is not a new read for me, and I must admit that the second time around, the novel's purpose of entertainment was much more apparent.

The on-going debate of author intention vs. reader interpretation is an issue each time a book is read. (The same debate exists for all forms of art, I would argue.) I do think, however, that regardless of author intention, this story can produce multiple levels of interpretation:

Themes of interest:
  • Explorations of lifestyles and societies: urban, militant, utopian, confined, and natural
  • Man's position in relation to nature
  • Consequences of being kind and neighborly
  • Purpose of legends

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