I suppose the lesson in the story was not to give up, and to believe in yourself. If Fiver didn't believe in himself when he predicted that the Sandleford Warren would be destroyed, all of the rabbits would have died, and it would not have been necessary to continue the story. Also if Hazel gave up on their journey when the other rabbits wanted to turn back, they would have all been killed by the humans Watership Down had several settings within Southern England. The story starts in the Sandleford Warren (a warren is where rabbits live). The rabbits must leave this warren, because humans are going to try to kill them with poison, so that they can use the land for housing. This is what starts their journey.
They then traveled to the Warren of Shining Wires. This warren wasn't built by the rabbits, but by a man. This man would feed the rabbits, then kill them when he wanted one to eat.
The rabbits that had escaped from Sandleford, did not like this, and left soon after arriving.
The group soon creates their own warren called Watership Down. They make it in a spot where they could see any enemies should they ever attack. They only had one problem, no does to create more rabbits. Some of them head to the Efrafa Warren to bring does back. This warren was ruled by a dictator (Gen. Woundwort) who didn't let them escape very easily. Though eventually they did, and returned to Watership Down, where everything was happy.
In this story there are several important characters. The most important would be the leader of the rabbits, Hazel. He led the group from the Sandleford Warren before it was destroyed. His brother, Fiver, was the one who warned him that it would happen. Hazel convinced other rabbits that it was true, so that they would come with him away from the warren.
Hazel also kept the group moving, even when they wanted to turn back.
Most of the characters in the story were hero's. Each rabbit performed a great tasked that helped them. They didn't always agree with one another, but they got along nonetheless. Bigwig was a fighter, and a rather brave rabbit. Dandelion told stories to keep everyones spirits up during their journey. Bluebell also kept spirits up by telling jokes. Fiver, often predicted the future, and got them out of trouble. Hazel provided the leadership to keep them all together.
There weren't really any villains in the story except for General Woundwort. He was the leader of the Efrafa Warren. He tried to kill the rabbits of Watership Down when they took female rabbits from his warren. Gen. Woundwort brought several of his strong rabbits to Watership Down, in hopes to bring their does back. Fortunately they don't succeed in getting the does.
I think that the author gave equal time to both the plot and the action of the story. The plot of the story was to leave Sandleford Warren, to escape death by poisoning, and create a new warren. While trying to create the new warren, there was a lot of action when problem came up.
Like when they needed to get does from the Efrafa Warren. They were attacked by Gen.
Woundwort. This was a well written book.