Watership Down: Governmental Systems

Essay by mkay2000Junior High, 9th gradeA-, September 2008

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In the novel Watership Down, there are many types of communities, and with those communities comes a different type of government. All three of these governments vary from each other, in how they are set up and how they are ran. Each of the governments in the novel are run by different rabbits, Hazel, Cowslip, and Woundwort. Adams describes each one of these governments with hints about their leaders and their actions. Throughout this novel, the three types of governments that Adams referred to are: Socialist, Dictatorship, and Democracy.

First, the Socialist government can be related back to Cowslip's warren. In this government everyone is treated equal. No one is greater or less than anyone else. In the warren, there is always plenty of food and it is divided among everyone equally. There are no specific rules that must be followed or upheld, so everyone is free to do what they want.

Adams hints this as a Socialist government through Cowslip's behavior. Even though Cowslip is the leader, he treats everyone with the same power and respect that he treats himself. Cowslip's government can be compared with some of the Socialist governments of Western Europe. This type of government was shown in the novel to be unsuccessful because they had no true leader to step up and speak for its citizens. Its power was weak, which is why the rabbits would be killed by the snares.

Next, the Dictatorship government is similar to the Efrafan warren. In this government there is one person who rules and controls everything with an iron fist. Adams has hinted this through General Woundwort, the ruler of the Efrafan warren. He has organized every aspect of the Efrafan government. All the rabbits must stay in their Marks and...