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February 09, 2007

Peer Review Practice - Responding to a Close Reading Response


Image Source: http://www.artsci.washington.edu/news/WinterSpring02/photos/IWP-peer%20review.JPG

Class,

For today's homework assignment:

To each “Original” Writer of the Close Reading from our last meeting's assignment: Submit two things to the English-Blog by Monday . . .

1. First, correct and revise your own close reading response according to the marks indicated on the rubric/check-sheet completed by your peer-review partner today. Keep this check-sheet in your portfolio in case I ask to see it later.

Post your revision as a comment on the English blog article set up for this assignment (will be up later tonight). You DON'T have to submit this particular assignment to www.Turnitin.com unless you just want to.

2. In a completely separate comment (for this same English-blog article) post your own “peer-review response” to your partner’s close reading of a passage from WD that you wrote in class today.

In this response, be SURE to mention YOUR name, the name of the person you reviewed and the chapter number, name of chapter, and page number(s) of the passage your partner reviewed.

*In short, you’ll submit two comments to this article of the English-blog for homework: your own “corrected/revised” response in one comment and the response you wrote in class today about your partner’s work in a second comment.

NOTE: This exercise was intended to prep you for the "real" peer-review session we’ll do later for formal reading-response #1 (a 2-3 page typed, formal close reading/response to a character from Watership Down). The grading rubric I will use to ascertain your grade (up to 10 points) will be similar to the one we used in class today.

Have a great weekend,

Lee

Posted by lhobbs at February 9, 2007 01:25 PM

Readers' Comments:

Feb. 9, 2007

Professor Hobbs,

I reviewed Nicole Novak’s passage. Her passage was from Chapter 29: Return and Departure, page 252.
Adams, Richard. Watership Down. New York: Rex Collings Ltd., 2005

I think Nicole is very right about people who would rather be in different places and live and different places than they are already in. I know if I didn’t have to worry about money I would move myself, friends, and family to Hawaii. I love it there. I’m glad that this is a passage that relates to Nicole and other people. I would like to know more about the everyday worries rabbits have to go through. Are those not also horrors to them? Like trying to get through everyday without getting caught by a cat or hawk. What makes Efrafa so different from other warrens that it is more terrifying? I want to know more about Efrafa.

More personally, I myself sometimes fear both home and school I guess. Sometimes I love being at school with friends so much that I don’t want to go back home to where my parents control more of my life and I go back to work. But once I’m home for the summer working again on a different schedule and with my other friends I don’t want to go back to school. I want to see my school friends again but I fear what the new semester of classes brings. What new drama will happen in my life? It’s change. And change can be frightening to some people even if they have experienced similar fears. But it’s always my friends who help me through it and for the rabbits, it’s each other that help them get through their terrors and horrors.

Kristin D.

---------------
Very good response to Nicole's close reading Kristin. Now, when Nicole posts her close reading response of WD, we'll be able to get the whole picture of your review. Don't forget that you should post your OWN close reading of a passage from WD, too as a separate comment.

Posted by: Kristin D. at February 9, 2007 09:12 PM

Brooke Decker
MWF 11:45-12:45
English Literature 121

Dr. Lee Hobbs

Peer Review Response

I peer reviewed Kendra Sledzinski response and she did chapter 37 The Thunder Builds Up on pages 350-351. She started with the paragraph beginning with “Blackavar Listen.”

After reading Kendra’s reading response to chapter 37 about Blackavar, Bigwig, and Bartisa, when Bigwig disregarded authority. She stated that this reminded her about President George W. Bush and the WAR in Iraq.
In her reading response she didn’t use anything to really back up her opinion. I think Kendra could have used more examples rather than just use one even though the example she chose was really great. When I first read this actual passage from the book it didn’t even come across my mind to compare it or look at it as the war and Bush’s situation.
She did have some mistakes; Kendra didn’t mention the author or the title of her chapter anywhere in her response. She also did not have a header footer, a title, a work cited, or any in text documentation. Other than them few mistakes that I came across, overall her reading response was good, except next time I think she could go into detail a little more, and maybe use more than one example.

Posted by: Brooke Decker at February 10, 2007 02:21 PM

Brooke Decker
MWF- 11:45-12:45
Humanities English 121
Dr. Lee Hobbs
Chapter 25 close reading
Pages 210-224

The Raid


I am doing my close reading on chapter 25, The Raid. I chose to focus more on when the rabbits actually went to the barn to free the hutch rabbits. In this chapter the author Richard Adams describes the rabbits about to go on a raid. The author trying to address to the reader what exactly, the rabbits are trying to do, but in a lively way.

During this chapter, Bigwig, Speedwell, Hazel, Dandelion, Blackberry, and Hawkbit were going to go on a raid to free the hutch bunnies from a nearby farmland. The author used the word raid to describe what the rabbits were going to do. Raid was a word used to describe the five rabbits going to do a “surprise attack,” on the farmland without the humans noticing (Morehead, Phillip). On the raid they ran into some trouble when they reached the barn. Also, in this part of the chapter, the author portrayed Dandelion to be kind of scared. The way I looked at it, she didn’t really want to take part in it she was scared in the one part when they had to go back and rescue the two hutch rabbits they left behind (Adams pg 218-219). Dandelion said to Hazel, “do you really think we should go back and get them?” (Adams pg 220-221). This passage relates to the rest of the story because they freed the hutch rabbits, and now they have the two does that they wanted from the start.

After reading this, I kind of got the idea that rabbits can be just as sneaky as human beings and just because they are rabbits, we shouldn’t underestimate them. I came to this conclusion because Richard Adams chose the word raid to describe their little surprise attack; it was just like they didn’t want anyone to know. This reminds me of how the police officers raiding an abandoned house or something in that matter, so you can kind of relate the author’s word choice to the human world as well as to the entire story.


Works Cited

Adams, Richard.Watership Down.1972. New York; Scribner, 2005.

Morehead, Phillip. “The New American Webster Handy College
Dictionary.” 3rd Edition. Albert and Loy Morehead Ed. 1995. New York.

Posted by: Brooke Decker at February 10, 2007 02:22 PM

Kristin Dudra
9 February 2007
Lee Hobbs
ENGL 121.003


Watership Down by Richard Adams
Chapter 21: “For El-ahrairah to Cry”, pg. 172

Change

I love this passage because of what it means the moral of it. Hazel at the beginning of the story was the head of the Owsla. He picked on everyone under him, was rude, bullheaded, and did his job. But when Hazel leaves after experiencing what happened in the warren and finds the group of rabbits he is different.
After Bluebell and Hazel’s long and terrible journey, Hazel is underground with Bigwig telling him that it really means a lot to Bluebell and himself that they are treating them so kindly after all they have done to the rest of the group. Hazel and Bluebell are glad they can call them friends and after harshly finding out that what Fiver had said was the truth they are, I expect, embarrassed and have changed their ways and mostly themselves. “It wasn’t I who tried to arrest you…that was another rabbit”, Hazel said. He is in a way apologizing and saying he is a changed rabbit, not the same rabbit he used to be. So the moral is people, in this case, rabbits can change.
I have always liked that saying because it is true. We all change as we grow up and experience life. I am definitely not the same person I was in high school. Everyone changes for the best or worse and in this story about a group of rabbit’s quest for a new, safer home they all change in some sort of way. They learn more about the ways of humans, other rabbits, and a lot more. They become so much braver and their skills become more enhanced. I say they have changed for the better through their journey and quest. Without change, life would be boring. So once again, I really do like this passage.

Adams, Richard. Watership Down. New York: HarperCollinsPublishers, 1972.

Posted by: Kristin Dudra at February 10, 2007 04:08 PM

Watership Down
Richard Adams fictional novel Watership Down, exemplifies rabbit society compared to the structure of American society. In American society we have beliefs according to old myths and tales that relate to our religion. El-ahrairah which means “prince of a thousand enemies” is a told as a tale in rabbit culture. The tales emphasized the prince as a rabbit to idealize. The present rabbits give great respect to the stories of El-ahrairah, and use his bravery and tricks as a motivation to survive.
On chapter twenty-two pages 178-179 we are able to decipher the importance of the rabbit’s old historical connections to El-ahrairah. I enjoyed this short passage, because I thought it was clever and original. According to the myth, El-ahrairah tricked Hufsa into stealing Prince Rabbit’s carrots. During the journey, Hufsa claimed that he saw a strange rabbit jump through the well to see Lord Frith. On the other hand, we know that El-ahrairah tricked poor Hufsa into thinking that his friend Rabscuttle was going to see the great Lord. This short passage emphasizes the importance trick and slick moves rabbits hold to be able to survive. El-ahrairah knew Hufsa was a spy and tricked him into stealing Prince Rainbow’s carrots from the garden. It is obvious that the legends of El-Ahrairah have a huge impact on currents rabbit’s survival and sprits of a higher power.
I chose this passage because it reminds me of something I would read when I was younger. The story required a great imagination and strong beliefs for morals and religion. “The Story of the El-ahrairah” shows how clever and imaginative Adams was when writing the clever tale and journey of the so called “prince of a thousand enemies”.

Posted by: Sheryll Daugherty at February 11, 2007 11:33 AM

Lee Hobbs,

I exchanged papers with Melisa Passon. She wrote about "The Story of the Blessing of El-how the short ahrairah." This was a well thought out essay. It included how the short passage met something to her personnel life and related it to religion. To improve the essay, maybe give more examples of how the passage relates to Adam and eve. Also explain what this means to her and how it differs from the rabbits religion. Also, give a brief description of Adam and Eve for those who are not familiar.

Posted by: Sheryll Daugherty at February 11, 2007 11:44 AM

Close Reading on “Watership Down” by Richard Adams Ch. 13 “Hospitality” pg. 72
Blinded by the Darkness

This passage from the text is told by Hazel. The rabbits get to a place that they don’t recognize. Rabbits spend most of their time in the shadows of the underground. Because of this fact, rabbits don’t have good eye sight. Hazel is having trouble identifying where they are. Eventually, though, he figures it out using his sense of touch, smell, and hearing.
This reminds me of a person who is blind. It’s amazing how well they get around without their sight. All of their other senses are heightened. They can walk around in a crowd of people and hear footsteps coming up to them and know to move out of the way. I believe they can actually see things in their minds. They have an idea of what something looks like just by the sounds it makes, the way it feels, and the way it smells.
It’s a very interesting thing to think about. When we are blindfolded, we look ridiculous because we don’t have the talent to really listen to things and take in our surroundings. Many nocturnal animals live this way too. The rabbits have evolved over time to the way they live and know how to get around without their sight. Hazel identifies the place they are in as a gigantic burrow. The biggest one he has ever been in. The story then continues from this point.

Adams, Richard. Watership Down. 1972. New York: Scribner, 2005.

Posted by: Erin Rock at February 11, 2007 01:34 PM

Bettina Herold
Instructor: Lee Hobbs
ENLG 101.003 Humanities Literature
11 February 2007
Strength to Carry On
Richard Adam’s Watership Down explores the idea of leadership and courage. In Chapter 18, “Watership Down,” on page 124, there is a conversation between Hazel and a couple of the rabbits. This short passage displays how Hazel portrays this theme of leadership, specifically of how he becomes a figure of authority and motivation for his companions.
At this point in the rabbits’ journey, they are faced with the difficult decision to choose between climbing the hills, as Fiver requests, or to remain at the foot of the anthills until they feel energized and confident enough to make tackle the obstacle. Constantly throughout the story, each character steps up in their own strength to lead the others against a fearful situation. Overall though, Hazel is seen to be the “Chief Rabbit” and gains the respect from his traveling rabbits to make decisions and decide what to do next in their strange journey. This passage on page 124 is a clear cut example of how Hazel is able to think critically and weigh the outcomes of a decision before acting on his instincts. When he offers himself to go ahead of the others to ensure safety, he shows his true bravery, as well as initiative to take charge. Thinking ahead is something that makes Hazel such a rational decision maker. He realizes the danger of each situation, but is also able to think of alternatives to counteract the forces these rabbits are up against. In this passage he tells the others, “We ought to find out what it’s like. I’m going up myself to have a quick look around” (124). Such a remark shows his concern for the others and the awareness of how essential it is to act cautiously in a strange environment.
As the rabbits make their journey to find a new home, they are constantly in against nature and are put against the odds of making it out alive. The trip of the rabbits shows the commonly told story of how society must make quick adaptations to their conditions and must be willing to act bravely when the results are unknown. As each character shows their own style of leadership, each rabbit is forced to use their imagination as well as employ their own knowledge and skills to help the others. Usually when a group or team is making a journey or going through a process, a leader will eventually emerge to help unify the group and give them a specific direction to take. Hazel becomes the leader for this group of rabbits as he encourages teamwork and respect among the rabbits. A true leader is one that is willing to take chances and listen to what each group member has to say. As Hazel takes Fiver’s request into consideration, he realizes the entirety of the situation and is able to compromise by making the trip up the hill with only a few of the rabbits to accomplish what needed to be done in the safest and most practical way.
Leadership is a very important role in this passage as well as in the novel as a whole. Hazel is able to see that the situation is dangerous for either way to take, and keeps his confidence that everything will be alright as he makes a solution to the dilemma. Leaders must be ones that are conscientious as well as objective in their decisions. Hazel listens to his fellow members and is always concerned for each ones well being as well as the progression of the group in their journey. Hazel’s success in his role as a “Chief Rabbit” is clearly illustrated in this passage in the novel.

Work Cited: Adam, Richards. Watership Down. 1972. New York: Scribner 2005.

Posted by: Bettina Herold at February 11, 2007 02:12 PM

11 February 2007
Professor Hobbs

In my peer review response in class, I reviewed Tina Walter’s response to her Watership Down close reading of a passage in Chapter 1, “The Journey,” on page 15. She chose a passage in which Fiver first has his feelings of anxiety that danger will be coming to the warren. As Tina points out, this passage introduces us to the tone of the story. The idea that bad things are to come is an important aspect of the novel that drives the rising action. It is in this first passage, that we see Fiver’s senses and premonitions that will inspire behaviors as well as the reaction brought out in Hazel’s respect to his brother’s knowledge.
This passage was picked since it is the most important reason for why they rabbits are going on this journey in the first place. If Tina were to add more to her response, she might want to analyze Fiver’s character and how his emotions and sense trigger actions and moods of the other rabbits who listen to him. Also, there should be a little bit more critical thinking and making connections between the action of the passage and its hidden meaning. The idea of bad things and danger could be expanded upon and discussed in light of the overall theme of danger that reoccurs throughout this journey. By tying this passage into the rest of the novel, it could be more effective for Tina to show why this passage proves itself significant. Overall, this close reading was rather short and too much summarization. It could be more developed and explained more thoroughly to show a deeper understanding and usage of the text.

Bettina Herold
ENGL121.003 Hum. Lit. MWF 1145-1245

Posted by: Bettina Herold at February 11, 2007 02:13 PM

Professor Hobbs,

Peer Review Response

I peer reviewd Jenny Troutmans response on Chapter 16 page 109 in Watership Down.

After readiing Jennys response i was very pleased with her anaylasis on the poem from Silverwood. I agree with Jenny on how she beleived that the poem put the animals at ease. I also like how she added how the poem affected her personally.

Jenny organized her thoughts and feelings thoroughly with the poem. I liked how she would take a sentence from the poem and then break it down and analyze it. She critiqued the poem with sufficient detail and compared the animals feelings to the poem.

Overall i thought she cited her information correctly with page numbers. However, she did not mention the author anywhere in her response. Also did the poem have a title at all? If so, add that into the response. As for the response i thought she did a great job breaking down the poem and explaining the meaning behind the poem and how it affected her and the animals.

April Hunsberger

Posted by: April Hunsberger at February 11, 2007 05:14 PM

Jenny Naugle

Instructor Lee Hobbs

English 101.003 Humanities Literature

2 Feb 2007

Chapter 23: Kehaar

Most stories have a hero, someone who is brave and compassionate towards others, and “Watership Down” is no exception. The only difference is, in this story, there are a couple of characters that could be labeled the hero. Since the beginning of the story, I have seen Hazel as the hero, he has taken the leadership role in most situations and has listened to Fiver and has made appropriate decisions. Fiver is also a hero because he is very knowledgeable about their surroundings. Bigwig could also be considered a hero because of his fighting abilities. Hazel is not nearly as strong and brave as Bigwig, but do those qualities always constitute a hero?
Early on in the story, Hazel was afraid of the crow that attacked the smaller rabbits. Hazel froze up and didn’t know how to handle the crow, and Bigwig took over and saved them. I think Hazel feels like he is in competition with Bigwig, and Bigwig keeps saving the day. When Hazel meets Kehaar, he realizes that the bird needed help, but also that he could help the rabbits. The readers see Hazel’s compassionate and intelligent side. When Hazel tells the other rabbits to dig more to shelter Kehaar, the narrator states that, “Hazel’s authority was put to something of a test, but held firm with the support of Bigwig”. (184) Hazel seems to have learned during his travels that if you help others it will eventually come back to you. I think that all the rabbits bring an important quality to the story. By being a leader and befriending Kehaar, Hazel became a hero, and also taught the other rabbits a valuable lesson.

Posted by: Jen Naugle at February 11, 2007 05:18 PM

2.10.07

Professor Hobbs,

I peer-reviewed Stephanie Vrabel’s response from Chapter 20, page 145.
Adams, Richard. Watership Down. 1972. New York: Scribner, 2005.


Stephanie’s response discusses Hazel’s idea that if he helps other animals they will help him in return. In Chapter 20, Hazel saves the life of a mouse, and the mouse is so grateful that offers his help in return to the rabbits. Stephanie used comparison examples of Spiderman and Mary Jane and the Lion and the Mouse. I think these are great examples that are similar to Hazel’s encounter with the mouse, and it may be that Richard Adams was thinking of these stories when he wrote “Watership Down”.

I agree that Hazel was smart in befriending the mouse. In my close reading, I discussed how Hazel helped Kehaar, and how much impact that had on the story. I think Hazel’s main role in this story is to be a leader, and he proves this position by continuing to learn throughout the story. Stephanie mentioned that all the rabbits seemed to be thinking ahead, but I don’t think all of the rabbits are thinking ahead as much as Hazel. Most of the other rabbits do not understand how helping other types of animals can benefit them. Stephanie and I both agree that Hazel is a good leader for the rabbits.

Sincerely,

Jen N.
English 121 MWF 11:45-12:45

Posted by: Jen Naugle at February 11, 2007 05:21 PM

Colin E. Hough

Instructor Lee Hobbs

ENGL 121.017 Humanities Literature

12 February 2007

Close Reading: Watership Down

Location of Passage: Ch.34 – “General Woundwort”; bottom p.307 to top p.308

Throughout this paragraph, the author explains the devastating affects that overpopulation has had on Efrara as a civilization. Paying close attention to the wording and emphasis on this problem clearly exemplifies this. It seems quite obvious that the warren is in many ways a microcosm of the world at the time of which Richard Adams wrote Watership Down. Aside from the plethora of military-based character attributes, the idea of Efrara’s does getting quite fed up with the Owsla in general is a great example of the goings on during the late 1960’s early 1970’s.
Though it appears to be quite obvious, the warren’s Council can, in many ways, be a microcosmical symbol of the U.S. Government itself. As previously mentioned, when it came about that several does asked the council for permission to move away from Efrara, the does did not receive the answer that they hoped for. Despite the fact that the does made it clear that their new location can be under the conditions of the council, they were denied immediately. For this reason, the does became quite restless and angered by the council’s decision. Due to their followers’ potentially dangerous feelings toward the government of the Efrara, the council was then forced to take strong measures (307-308).
During the time that Watership Down was written, citizens of the United States were going to great lengths, fighting hard in order to gain their freedom from within the clinched grasp of the Government. At this time, the late sixties early seventies, these activists yearned to show the U.S. Government that times have changed, the country has changed, and so must their decisions toward certain regulations and involvement in various wars. It is not a coincidence that parts of the novel’s plot almost symbolize the goings on of the actual world at that time. It is evident, one would say, that Richard Adams’, Watership Down seeks to indirectly correlate the world as he saw it, at the time of his writing it, to the underground world of rabbits.

Works Cited:
Adams, Richard. Watership Down. 1972. New York: Scribner, 2005.

Posted by: Colin Hough at February 11, 2007 05:29 PM

Erika L.Gillenberger
Instructor Lee Hobbs
ENGL 101.025 College Writing
14 Feb 2007
Chapter 33
"The Great River"
Page: 311
The Eccentric

Bluebells comment about becoming a water rabbit caught my attention. I find it weird that a rabbit would desire to live in the water. I have owned a couple of rabbits in my life time and neither liked the water at all. They both were very frightened to get even a little wet, let alone be in water deep enough that they would have to swim. The reason for this is because rabbits find water very stressful, they are susceptible to chills and it takes a long time for them to dry.
This causes me to feel as though Bluebell is a little eccentric to the rabbit world. His eccentricities do help the group by altering their thought of fear into thoughts of invention. “Oh, what a pity!” said Bluebell. “Do you know, I’d quite decided to become a water rabbit.” This particular comment from Bluebell gave way to a resolution of solving the rabbit’s problem. A plan was thought up because of his eccentricities and the idea to use the water in a positive rather than a negative. His comment helped benefited the group on their journey by spreading the seed of eccentricity and thought to use the water as a get away rout.

Works Cited
Adams, Richard. Watership Down. 1972. New York: Macmillan, 1996.

--------------------

This comment is a "model" response worthy of commendation. Good job. Students, this is what I am looking for regarding an acceptable engagement with the text.

Posted by: Erika G. at February 11, 2007 05:35 PM

Colin Hough

Instructor Lee Hobbs

ENGL 121.017 Humanities Literature

11 February 2007

This past class period I reviewed Andy Hood’s close reading of a passage in chapter 21, “For El-ahrairah to Cry.” The passage he chose can be found on pages 150-151.

The author of this close reading, Andy Hood, does a great job of relating the passage’s context to the piece of old American folklore known as, “The Boy Who Cried Wolf.” He speaks of the multitude of rabbits coming forth to the Threarah in order to speak of malignant events they feel are going to occur. Although Andy makes the connection between the two, I still feel as though his close reading did not contain enough information to reinforce this correlation. It is almost as if Andy brought up the main point of his response, but drops the idea before spending some time elaborating on it.
On a positive note, however, Andy does a great job of using descriptive language to set the scene of the selected passage. He proceeds to break down the contextual importance of various parts of the passage, emitting obvious positive insight of the excerpt. Grammatically, I feel as though Andy packed too much information into single sentences. This is not necessarily a bad thing, seeing that the information is both gathered and applied to his response, it just might diminish the sense of confusion readers might have pertaining to the general flow of the response.
Although there are a few grammatical and conceptual errors throughout Andy’s close reading, I must say that he appears to have a firm grasp on the general idea to be found within the passage. He has definitely come across a great point pertaining to the hidden meaning of his selected excerpt. That being said, with a bit of remodeling, it is safe to assume that Andy’s close reading will be a great one.

Posted by: Colin Hough at February 11, 2007 05:50 PM

Erika L. Gillenberger
“The Thunder Builds Up”
Joe Tuorinsky
Chapter 37
Page 337

Joe Tuorinsky’s talked about each of his characters importance with in the passage he choose to do his close reading on. The analysis he made of these characters were all accurate from what I have read and personally gathered from the book, “Watership Down”. Although it was slightly hard to understand what he was trying to portray to the reader, because his writing did not flow together as well as it should have.

Mr. Tuorinsky and I took two different approaches to our close readings. He focused on all of the characters in his passage and talked about each ones character. On the other hand I chose one character from my passage and analyzed how his behavior and how it changed the behaviors of all the other rabbits with in the group. Even thought we both used different approaches to analyze our passages, both ways of analyzing the passages were appropriate.

I feel that another approach Mr. Tuorinsky could have taken with his analysis would be to take references from the book. This would let the reader better understand why he feels his characters are who they are. This will let the reader understand how his views of his characters personalities were built from previous chapters.

Works Cited

Adams, Richard. Watership Down. 1972. New York: Macmillan, 1996.

Posted by: Erika G. at February 11, 2007 05:50 PM

Professor Hobbs,

I have done my own close reading, but as a told you i was away on a job interview and missed class therfore not having a chance to do a peer review. I am meeting with a classmate tomorrow to do a peer review and then will submit it to you. The reading I chose to do chapter 21. I agree with what Kristin had to say in her response to the chapter in that the a major theme and moral of the story came out. I believe that a main theme of the story is resilience and perserverance. Hazel shows that by way he acts and uses his leadership skills to save not only his friends but his family. Her explanation of change is so true. The rabbits adapted and survived with the help of each other. In the simpliest of lives these creatures live in they keep their minds together and made a life for themselves. The adaptions they were forced to make made them stronger and thus better off.

Thomas Nolf

Posted by: Thomas Nolf at February 11, 2007 07:23 PM

Watership Down Close Reading Exercise

Kehaar

Chapter 23 in Richard Adams’s Watership Down is one of the most important chapters leading up to the climax of the novel. In this chapter we meet the character of Kehaar, obvious from the chapter title, who is a lost bird from the ocean. Kehaar is an important character because he is a foreigner with a native language unlike the rabbits. He has the ability to come and go as he pleases, but he decides to stay with the rabbits, even after he is well. Kehaar befriending the rabbits is unusual to nature because normally birds and rabbits do not converse in natural society. This goes to show that these are no ordinary rabbits from the garden.
The comment of there being no does is brought up in this chapter once again. When the rabbits left the Sandleford warren they brought no does, therefore they cannot reproduce. Hazel realizes this and brings it up to the other rabbits (193). He also brings up the idea of using the bird to fly and scout out the area to find a large warren where they can find does (194). When Kehaar gets better he decides that he will help the rabbits as they have so helped him (195). He returns with the discovery of a farm with rabbits that are breed and a large warren with many rabbits and does (198). The need for does is very important to the rabbits therefore a journey must be made in order for the journey the rabbits already made be worth while.

Adams, Richard. Watership Down. 1972. New York: Avon, 1975.

Katie Kovac
English 121 003

Posted by: Katie Kovac at February 11, 2007 07:29 PM

Peer Review Response

Prof. Hobbs,

I read Jaime Hersh's response for pages 143-145 of Chapter 19 "Fear in the Dark" of Richard Adams's Watership Down. Jaime's response gave me insight to how brave these rabbits really are. She compared them to the average life of rabbits in reality and how these rabbits act. Through reading her response it made me look at the rabbits in the story in a new way.
Prior to reading Jaime's response I saw the rabbits as brave, but not quite as brave as she portrayed and pointed them out to be. The lives of the rabbits are much more brave and courageous than those of rabbits in real life. As Jaime said in her response, rabbits in real life run at the snap of a branch, but not these rabbits they sit and wait to see what it might be. This goes to show that as the rabbits get further and further away from their warren, the braver they get. This part in the chapter almost foreshadows what is to come later when the cat attacks them and they fight back. These aren't normal rabbits obviously, but to make the characters of this novel something that is normally fearful makes you see and relate to the characters more.

Adams, Richard. Watership Down. 1972. New York: Avon, 1975.

Katie Kovac
English 121 003

Posted by: Katie Kovac at February 11, 2007 07:44 PM

Shayne Schmidt

Instructor: Lee Hobbs

ENGL 121.003 Humanities Literature

12 Feburuary 2007

The Blood of Fear

The author of Watership Down is Richard Adams and in chapter seven he describes a monster of some kind with blood on it lips. In this chapter on page 31 the rabbits talk about the Lendri. In the beginning of the chapter when Dandelion and Acorn smell and see the Lendri they were frightened. When they told Bigwig, he basically said let’s go and not take any chances. The next part is the passage I am choosing for my close reading on page 31. When they reach the stream Bigwig said the Lendri could be harmless, but Blackberry adds he saw that it had blood on his lips and teeth. What I think this blood could represent is the fact that they could be being hunted and also it could put fear into the rabbits that maybe he is eating a rabbit himself. Also right after the blood being mention Fiver tells them they need to cross the stream.

One question to how this relates to the world is it may be similar to when Moses had to cross through Egypt. It seems as if the rabbits must continue to overcome any challenges in there way. I think the blood in Blackberry expression contributes to some kind of symbolic representation. The blood on a foreign breast breath is a bad sense to all creatures on earth.

Work Cited

Adams, Richard. Watership Down. New York: Scribner. 2005. 31.

Posted by: Shayne Schmidt at February 11, 2007 07:57 PM

Shayne Schmidt

Instructor: Lee Hobbs

ENGL 121.003 Humanities Literature

12 February 2007

My Peer Review Response

My peer review response was for Steve Petrone on Chapter 17. The name of the chapter is The Shining Wire and his close reading response is on page 113. In this close reading response I thought this passage is interrupted well because everyone is sad when losing a friend like Bigwig. I think the rabbits would have moved on if Bigwig was dead because they would of grief passing and then move on in life. The reason is because one out of the crowd usually stands out to make a difference. Someone would have stepped up if they waned to survive.

The death also could show a way of embracing life. One man’s or rabbit’s popularity could easily die off as others emerge to leader the crowd. I think this type of passage would be closely related to everyone who has lost a friend.


Work Cited

Adams, Richard. Watership Down. New York: Scribner. 2005. 113.

Posted by: Shayne Schmidt at February 11, 2007 08:15 PM

Lyndsay Krall

Instructor Lee Hobbs

ENGL 121 Humanities Lit.

11 February 2007

Like Trees in November

When doing the chapter reviews, I was responsible for giving a brief overview of Chapter fourteen, “Like Trees in November.” The passage that I chose was something that struck me as both surprising and significant to the story of Watership Down. On page 80, there is a passage that I read that completely stood out to me more than anything else that I have read in the story.

The passage that I chose was a conversation in which was help between the characters of Hazel and Cowslip. Hazel tells Cowslip that he and Blackberry are going to silflay, but Cowslip insists that it is raining much too hard for them to go outside and that there is plenty of food inside for them to eat. After Hazel insists they go outside, Cowslip responds by laughing at them. According to the text, the phenomenon of laughter is unknown to animals. The effect it has on Hazel and Blackberry was overwhelming, in which it states that Hazel’s first thought was that Cowslip was showing the symptoms of some sort of disease (Watership Down 80).

The reason I found this to be so surprising is because in the text, Richard Adams is constantly giving the rabbits of the story human like characteristics from the first page of the story all the way to the last. For example, rabbits do not “talk” in real life, but in this story, Adams has made the rabbits able to speak plus more. He has even gone as far as allowing the rabbits to experience different stages and types of emotions. But what puzzles me is the fact that Richard Adams has given the rabbits almost every human like trait thought possible, except for one of if not the biggest, which would be laughter. I just do not understand why these rabbits are almost in a sense just like humans, but the phenomenon of laughter is something that is foreign to them, while it is something that occurs daily in human life. On the other hand, I also feel that this could be considered significant to the story because it is what makes Hazel truly realize that Fiver had been right all along and that there really is something strange about these rabbits.

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This comment is a "model" response worthy of commendation. Good job. Students, this is what I am looking for regarding an acceptable engagement with the text.

Posted by: Lyndsay Krall at February 11, 2007 08:39 PM

Professor Hobbs,

My name is Justin Bleggi and I reviewed Greg Crossland’s response. He responded to a passage in chapter 19: “Fear in the Dark”, pages 136-138 where a group of rabbits is frightened by a mysterious figure in the brush.

Greg seems to be saying that rabbits, like humans, even tough humans: military, police trained, etc., can be scared to the point of panic. Many times in the course of the novel Adams says that rabbits are scared of what they don’t know: in the woods, meeting Kehaar and crossing the brook. Bigwig, a tough and strong willed rabbit, thinks the animal in the bushes is a ghost and shuts down.

Greg might be able to use another example from the text to bolster his main point and then elaborate on what makes people or rabbits scared and what makes people or rabbits courageous and able to overcome this fear and hardship. Other than some mistakes made with MLA formatting, it was well written and easy to read.

Justin Bleggi

Posted by: Justin Bleggi at February 11, 2007 08:41 PM

Mr Hobbs,

The Story of El-ahrairah: Rabbit Folklore

In chapter 5: "In the Woods" on pages 22-25 of Richard Adams’ Watership Down, a group of wily rabbits use their wits, speed, and ingenious trickery to best opponents, locate food, and escape danger. These main traits are attributed to El-ahrairah the Prince of the Rabbits; whose name in Lapine, the language of the rabbits, means “The Prince with a Thousand Enemies.” (Adams 24) El-ahrairah outwits his enemies, other animals, and Frith, the creator of the universe, world, and all that inhabit it. The stories of his triumphs have been passed down from rabbit generation to rabbit generation. (Adams 26) Rabbit folktales seem to serve the same purpose as our folktales, fairytales, and children’s stories: teach lessons and impart knowledge, relate a portion of the history of a culture or society, and also to entertain. Using a filter with touches of the historical, structural, and archetypal/mythic approaches, I seek to depict some connections between rabbit folklore and what it means to them and how it relates to a few popular human examples that Adams’ conveniently includes in the text.

In the middle of chapter 5 Adams draws some interesting parallels when he compares El-ahrairah’s adventures to those of Uncle Remus’ Brer Rabbit and Odysseus from Homer’s “The Odyssey.” (24) Both of these characters exhibit the same traits as El-ahrairah while dealing with their own problems. The Brer Rabbit, after getting stuck to Brer Fox’s Tar-Baby, asks Fox to throw him into the briar patch where he struggles free. (Americanfolklore.net) Also, when Odysseus and his party are trapped in the Cyclops Polyphemus’ cave, Odysseus gets the giant drunk and then blinds him with a great spear. In order to make the search for Odysseus and his men easier Polyphemus puts his sheep to pasture, on the underside of each sheep is a member of Odysseus’ party. (Wiki - Odysseus) In the text, El-ahrairah comes to a river inhabited by a vicious pike. In order to cross it, he fashions a clay rabbit and covers it with his own combed hair. He sends the decoy into the water where the pike attacks and then retreats disappointed; after a series of repetitions the pike stops attacking the decoy and El-ahrairah crosses the river. (Adams 24)

“Folklore is the traditional beliefs, myths, tales, and practices of a people, transmitted orally.” (Dictionary.com) Folktales, then, could be described as the stories that make up a particular canon of folklore. In the examples of folktales above, each story came from a particular point in history and a particular region of the globe. The Brer Rabbit hails from the 17th, 18th, and 19th century American south, where the slaves taken from central and southern Africa brought with them folktales where the main characters were rabbits. (Digital History and Wiki – Bre’er Rabbit) Odysseus on the other hand comes from ancient Greece. A hero in the Trojan War, Odysseus led his men on the field of battle and also in their 10 year, hazard bereft journey back to Greece. Both these stories might have served to bolster the hearts of those who heard them. The African slaves used Brer Rabbit to depict victory over the land owners; possibly giving them hope for a brighter future or a chance to escape. As for the rabbits of Richard Adams’ world, the tales of El-ahrairah are used to inspire and support; Dandelion relates a sort of “Genesis Story” in order to calm the other rabbits and inspire them with a tale of rabbit defiance.

The folktales of a certain society or culture might also reflect their makeup or position. The slaves of the American south didn’t have any privileges, power, weapons, etc. so their stories and heroes reflect what they did have: wits, intelligence, and resourcefulness (ability to make something special out of what they had at hand). The rabbits are much the same way: they aren’t the highest on the food chain, they can’t fly, etc. However, they are incredibly fast runners, they can dig holes and create complicated tunnel systems; they are able to devise plans that fool not only predators and natural hunters but also other rabbits. To each of these cultures, their stories reflect the good and hopeful things that they had, and they used these things to bring or keep themselves above their travails.

Justin Bleggi

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This comment is a "model" response worthy of commendation. Good job. Students, this is what I am looking for regarding an acceptable engagement with the text.

Posted by: Justin Bleggi at February 11, 2007 08:48 PM

11 February 2007

Professor Hobbs,

I reviewed Derek Hensley’s passage. His passage was from Chapter 4: The Departure, page 35.

After reading Derek’s close reading, it made me realize something that never really stood out to me while reading the story before. Derek chose the passage in which Holly and Bigwig have a confrontation which turns into a physical blowout, which the guards that were with Holly become intimidated by Bigwig and his friends and end up running off leaving Holly all alone. Derek stated that in his opinion, this showed how truly strong and fearless Bigwig was, which is something that I completely agree with. But Derek also said that this encounter was symbolic of something else, that it was also meant to show how strong Bigwig and the group as a whole is. This is something that I never realized while reading the story, but is however very important to the story because it shows that these rabbits can overcome any obstacle they are faced with as long as they stick together. Another reason that I came to like this passage so much is because it is symbolic of human life, that friends should stick together, and that good will always overcome evil.

Sincerely,
Lyndsay Krall

Posted by: Lyndsay Krall at February 11, 2007 08:57 PM

I was an S.A. on Friday.
Thanks,
Rebecca Shenkle

Posted by: Rebecca Shenkle at February 11, 2007 09:04 PM

Lorin Gdula

Close reading review revised. Chapter 8:”The Crossing”, Page 47
Adams, Richard. Watership Down. New York: Rex Collings, Ltd.,1972

Most of the rabbits didn’t realize what Blackberry went through to save them, nor did they take the time to. I feel that you would expect something like this from Bigwig, because he seems to be the more powerful one of the group, but by Blackberry doing this it puts him a step up from the others. Hazel realizes Blackberry’s capabilities, but the others don’t. Hazel knows Blackberry is very smart, and he can always turn to him when he is in trouble. But, you just don’t expect this from Blackberry, he in a sense proves himself to the rest of the rabbits by stepping up and having such a great idea. He could have very well just left them their to fend for themselves but he didn’t, he knew that he needed them and they needed him. I think that is why Blackberry comes out and makes them realize that they do need him and I feel he now becomes a more powerful character in the story because of the fact that there is more to him than what we knew.

Fiver realizes what Blackberry did to save them, and Blackberry is sort of modest about it, saying, “Yes, I know that that was a great idea on my part.” (pg 47) Even though the others don’t realized what occurred Blackberry says,” Let’s remember it. It might come in handy again sometime.” (pg 47) Blackberry thought of them before himself and saved their lives and he knew that someday he was going to need repaid the same way and he wants them to be there for him.

I feel a lot of people can relate to this passage. Everyone, at some point in their lives, has had someone do something great for them, and you always feel like you have to pay them back. This passage especially reminds me of my father who volunteers in his spare time at the local fire station as a volunteer firefighter. He always says how people are so thankful for things he has done and they always want to know what they can do to thank him. He always says that he is just happy if they appreciate what he has done for them. So this ties in with how Blackberry feels towards that other rabbit’s ad how they might respect him a bit more and look at high more highly.

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This comment is a "model" response worthy of commendation. Good job. Students, this is what I am looking for regarding an acceptable engagement with the text.

Posted by: Lorin Gdula at February 11, 2007 09:06 PM

February 11, 2007

Professor Hobbs,

I reviewed Lauren Wozniak’s passage. Her passage was from chapter 26, “Fiver Beyond” pages 228-229.
Adams, Richard. Watership Down. New York: Rex Collins, Ltd., 2005

I agree with Lauren in that there are a lot of things in this passage that show symbolism. While the rabbits look for Hazel they approach a blackbird and it has to symbolize something because of the way it is described in the passage. It’s very silent and calm and then all the sudden this blackbird appears. Why do you think that author made it a bird? Did he make it an animal that could have been harmful to the rabbits on purpose? She also mentions the rock symbolizing life and that is what led them to Hazel. I would have liked to read more about why you thought certain things in this passage showed symbolism.

I would have liked to know more about the title “Fiver Beyond” and what it really means. After reading the chapter and looking back at the title, I thought that it might mean how the other rabbits start using their heads and go beyond what is right in front of them and start determining things for themselves instead of going by what Fiver’s instincts are all the time. Or, you could look at it being Fiver going beyond what he normally does to try and save Hazel and get the rest of them to a safe warren.

Posted by: Lorin Gdula at February 11, 2007 09:17 PM

Professor Hobbs
Peer Review
Sheryll Daugherty argued that although this story is fiction she compared it to the United States government by how each of the rabbit had specific duties. When I was reading this story I never thought of the story as comparing it to the United States, but after reading Sheryll's Arguement I can understand how she said the story and the United States government had similarites. Many times in the American culture people have tales or traditional stories that they go by and pass to one generationto the next and so did the rabbits in this story. Sheryll did not actually have a passage but she still had a good comparison arguement.
Melisa Parsons

Posted by: Melisa Parsons at February 11, 2007 09:32 PM

Professor Hobbs,

Revised Close Reading

The passage that I have chosen from Waterford Down, not only has a great impact on the meaning behind the story, but it can be viewed even further in to the moral/intellectual critical approach to the survival of the rabbits. It states in Chapter 15 “The Story of the Kings Lettuce,” “And from that day to this no power on earth can keep a rabbit out of a vegetable garden, for El-Ahrairah prompts them with a thousand tricks, the best in the world”(99). From this passage we learn about the infamous El-Ahrairah, the master of tricks. This character is known for his prestigious and well thought out tricks, that give other rabbit’s the key of survival, which is trickery. Furthermore, this selection out of this chapter is just one of the many classic rabbit tale stories that give the book such purpose.

Through this single story we can see that El-Ahrairah has set an example to represent rabbit trickery. However, other rabbits such as Hazel and Fiver may not think it’s the best way to solve a problem. For the most part though, trickery is the only way for a rabbit to survive. Trickery is used so often among rabbits, because the stories they have been taught and told are solely based on tricks. Therefore, trickery becomes instinct to rabbits and they do not rely on any other means of resolving a problem. Trickery to the rabbits is a quick decision to escape a dangerous situation.

Furthermore, I can relate this passage to the moral/intellectual critical approach from Writing About Literature, because the passage I have chosen represents a time when El-Ahrairah began using trickery to help out his fellow rabbits in a time of need. Because of this theme trickery has revolutionized a way for all rabbits to survive in their living conditions. From the story that was told the rabbits learn a lesson that the key to survival is trickery. Overall, Writing About Literatures states that the moral/intellectual perspective is suppose to help convey a lesson or message (182). Therefore, within the rabbits warren, El-Ahrairah is a heroic leader that the rabbits look to for answers. From this the rabbits have learned through his adventures that trickery and wits are the keys to survive.

April Hunsberger

Works Cited
Adams, Richard. Watership Down.1972. New York; Scribner, 2005.
Roberts, V. Edgar.Writing About Literature. 2006; Pearson, 2005.

Posted by: April Hunsberger at February 11, 2007 09:52 PM

Melisa Parsons
February 07, 2007


The Story of the Blessing of El-ahrairah
Page 26
Reader response
This passage stood out to me because it was similar to a story I heard once before, which was a biblical story. The way the author explained Frith I assumed that he was supposed to be the God of rabbits. While reading this passage I was comparing these two stories which was very amusing to me . While reading this passage “the story of the Blessing of El-ahrairah “made me think of the story of “Adam and Eve”. This passage was interesting to me because it was so funny how the author made this passage as a beginning of time story for rabbits so similar to stories some humans go by .
The reason why Adam and Eve came to mind while reading this passage is because the story states how Frith made the world and the creatures in it. The story of Adam and Eve states how God created the world , creatures , stars ,rivers and etc. In story of El-ahrairah states that all creatures were made to be friends, until El-ahrairah disobeyed his orders to control his people . Once El-ahrairah defied Frith he punished him by blessing every animal with some type of feature that could harm all rabbits. Frith made it so that the rabbits had many of enemies and the only thing the rabbits received were strong hind legs and cleverness. In the story of Adam and Eve God told the people not to eat the fruit and they did anyway and God punished them as well. Women was giving labor pains when they have children and he created sicknesses and diseases. This passage was creative to me and I really enjoyed it.


Posted by: melisa Parsons at February 11, 2007 10:04 PM

Greg Crossland
English 121
MWF- 11:45-12:45
Dr. Lee Hobbs


Worst Nightmare
In the 19th chapter, Fear in the Dark, on pages 136-138 of the book Watership Down, the band of downtrodden and warren-less rabbits think they come face to face with a rabbit’s worst nightmare. This particular section picks up after they arrive at Watership Down. After a long and strenuous day of migration and digging of new burrows, they decide to go back down the hill to nibble on some soft and appetizing grass.
While they are feeding, they hear terrible and unnatural sounds coming from an area not so far away. As they are scrambling to the predestined shelter, they are trying to decipher what could be making the horrible noises. The inkling in the back of their head is that of the terrible black rabbit of death. When the being calls for Bigwig, by name, they freeze up almost to the point of “tharn”, which means unmoving and in a state of panic. As their legs start trembling from the fear of “The Black Rabbit of Inle,” (Adams 137) Bigwig states, “You have to go when he calls you” (Adams 138). Hazel, in a state of shear terror, which makes it hard to gather reasonable thoughts demands that Bigwig should stay put while he investigates. As Hazel began to absorb his surroundings and look for clues to this intruder, he hears the figure repeat words with the meaning of destroyed and finished. He pinpoints the figure to a rabbit shape under a clump of hemlock. Could it be a rabbit’s worst nightmare?
The author is making a point of how a rabbit, much like a human, can be afraid of un-worldly creatures. While in the woods at nightfall, if a human hears something, they might think it was a ghost or another creature that will bring harm. Your mind has a way of thinking the worst, even if that means visualizing something that is unreal. Richard Adams does this to show the relationship between the rabbits in his novel and their human counterparts are alike. Also, he brings to attention many times in the course of this book how the rabbits have feelings and emotions like a human. Rabbits are scared to die, show love to others and even rally behind friends and family like any human would.
In addition, he uses these events to develop the characters in the book. Adams shows how a former Owsla brute could be so frightened; and how a smallish but resourceful rabbit, Hazel, exhibits traits of bravery and leadership in the face of the ultimate fear. Events like these in Watership Down, go a long way in the construction of the characteristics and elements of this group of hermits.
In conclusion, I believe this section of Fear in the Dark, is an important part of Watership Down because it shows how the protagonists of the novel have feelings and attributes similar to humans. If the author where to replace the rabbits with humans, this would still be a valid conclusion sustaining this fiction novel.

Works Cited
Adams, Richard. Watership Down. New York: Scribner, 2005.

Posted by: Greg Crossland at February 11, 2007 10:25 PM

Jenny Troutman
ENGL 121 003 – Humanities Lit
Summary
2/9/07


Professor Hobbs,

I did my peer review on Chapter 16, Silverweed on pages 109-110.

Within the chapter 16 in Watership Down, there was a poem that was stated from Silverweed. As he mentions in the poem, he gets into fine detail and it makes you feel like you are already there and you see all your surroundings. For instance, “The wind is blowing, blowing over the grass. It shakes the willow catkins; the leaves shine silver,” (p.109). With those two phrases being said, I read it over and over again because I get the sudden sensation of being outside when it’s warm out and just feel the gentle breeze blowing. As the poem goes on, Silverweed goes more into like a fairy tale story and gets all the rabbits to really have an enjoyment.

“Where are you going, wind? Far, far away. Over the hills, over the edge of the world. Take me with you, wind, high over the sky,” (p.109). With these sayings, it seems like Silverweed had nature talking to each other. It feels and seems like they want to run away and just soar across the world. These sayings are unique, thoughtful, and more like entertainment. The rabbits probably thought that this is the way that nature communicated to each other and felt peaceful with their surroundings. As they got use to their surroundings, they felt at peace and nothing harmful was going to hurt them.

“Where are you going, stream? Far, far away. Beyond the heather, sliding away all night. Take me with you, stream, away in the starlight,” (p. 110). This part of the poem goes with the one above paragraph. Silverweed made the rabbits believe that this was their way of communicating to each other. To me, personally, I feel at ease and peaceful because from where I live, you can hear the water trickling down the streams and it just feels relaxing. Nature really does make your fears, troubles, and problems go completely away. As the rabbits were listening to Silverweed, they took their problems of having the fox run after them or some animal that will come and harm them. As the Silverweed ended the poem, the rabbits felt at ease and they slept extremely well with no worries on their minds.

Posted by: Jenny Troutman at February 11, 2007 10:26 PM

Wozniak 1

Lauren E. Wozniak
Instructor Lee Hobbs
ENGL 121
12 February 2007
Close Reading
Revision

In my close reading of Chapter 26, “Fiver Beyond” by Richard Adams Fiver finally wakes up from his dream/nightmare and realizes that he needs to find Hazel because she is still alive! Fiver and Blackberry go up to the slope and notice that everything around them is still. Since Fiver was a tiny rabbit, Blackberry led the way through the weeds and such while Fiver was busy sniffing for fear; since that’s what he does best.
Soon after Fiver and Blackberry reached the top of the hill, a blackbird began to sing. This was indeed a sign, a moment before everything on the hill was silent and motionless. Now, there was movement and noise; which signified life. Finally, Fiver and Blackberry began to sniff around; they moved around the bottom of the ditch and found a projecting stone. To Fiver and Blackberry this stone symbolized that Hazel was still alive. Soon, they came across dried blood on the outside of a pipe, this symbolized hope.
Finally, Fiver looked into the “bloody hole” and realized it was blocked by a rabbit, Hazel! With the signs and symbols of the blood and the projecting stone, Fiver and Blackberry have hoped to believe that the rabbit inside the hole is Hazel.

Posted by: Lauren Wozniak at February 11, 2007 10:33 PM

Lauren E. Wozniak
Instructor Lee Hobbs
ENGL 121
February 12, 2007

I responded to Lorin Gdula’s passage on pg. 47, Chapter 8 “The Crossing”. Her passage was very informative on how the rabbit’s showed their emotion and gratitude towards Blackberry. While reading her passage I felt as though I was able to understand the relationships between the rabbits. Although this passage was helpful in that way, it did not tell me where, when, or what was going on. Instead of recapping her passage in a sentence or two, and let the reader know what was happening; she jumped right into her feelings and emotions towards the passage. It was very helpful that she related her passage to a real life example. By comparing the two I was able to see the similarities between the book and life today.

Posted by: Lauren Wozniak at February 11, 2007 10:47 PM

Greg Crossland
English 121
MWF- 11:45-12:45
Dr. Lee Hobbs

Peer Response


I reviewed Justin Bleggi’s reading response to chapter 5: In The Woods. His response is about the folklore of the Rabbits. He argues to the similarities of the folklore of rabbits to that of their human counterpart. It is a well written response that draws conclusions from historical folklore of humans and the story in chapter 5 of Richard Adams’s novel. I think he should also go into detail about a certain/particular tale that hit a personal chord or one that he can relate to. Overall, it is a good response that is organized, well written and cited. If he just adds a little personal touch, it well be much improved.

Posted by: Greg Crossland at February 11, 2007 10:49 PM

Donnetta Allen
Instructor Lee Hobbs
ENGL 121.003 Humanities
9 Feb. 2007
Professor Hobbs,
Here is the revised version of my close reading. I was an SA on friday but you said if turned in we coulld receive a point.
Close Reading: Intro for El-ahrairah and the Black Rabbit, pg 268
The beginning starts suggesting people who may have told King Darzin the truth about the lettuce. I can not understand why Yona would be referred for telling. I could understand why Hufsa would divulge this information, for the fact that El-ahrairah made him look like a fool during the trial. So, why would Yona tell the King? Could it be that he felt like a fool for singing to slugs, on top of a box? He could have refused, but he didn’t, so why tell the king? Or was it just that Yona was already a gossiper?
As the passage goes on we understand that the King is angry. If the King was as angry as the book described him, then why did he want to wait to get El-ahrairah back? Why didn’t he do something at that instance? All that did was allow El-ahrairah to do something else to make him even angrier. Did he know that El-ahrairah would try something else because he was so sneaky? Was that the King’s purpose for waiting? When El-ahrairah had rescued Rabscuttle why was the King even angrier? Upon capturing Rabscuttle he should have known that El-ahrairah would come to the aid of Rabscuttle. If the King wanted El-ahrairah so bad he should have secured Rabscuttle a lot better if that was his plan. If in fact that was the plan, to lour El-ahrairah in with the capture of Rabscuttle, the El-ahrairah made him look loki a fool once more and that is why he was so angry the second time around.

Adams, Richard.Watership Down.1972. New York; Scribner, 2005.

Posted by: Donnetta Allen at February 11, 2007 10:55 PM

Joe Tuorinsky

Instructor Lee Hobbs

ENGL 121.017 Humanities Literature

February 11, 2007

The Piece I selected for my close reading was a conversation between Bigwig and Woundwort from chapter 37 “The Thunder Builds Up.” P. 337

“Have you ever run from a fox?”
“Yes Sir, a few days ago, while I was coming here.”
“You led it onto some other rabbits and it killed one of them. Is that correct?”
“I didn’t intend to lead it onto them. I didn’t know they were there.”
“You didn’t tell us anything about this?”
“It never occurred to me. There’s nothing wrong in running from a fox.”


I chose this piece because I liked the suspense brought on between the happenings between Bigwig and Hyzenthlay, and also the tension created between Bigwig and the officers of Efrafa, especially with Woundwort. Bigwig’s quick thinking and ability to stay cool kept General Wouldwort from detecting any treachery, seeing as how there was a cunning plan to liberate several does and a prisoner from the clutches of the evil officers. The characters Wouldwort and Bigwig are developed here, as you see that Bigwig is a very valuable member of Hazel’s rabbits. His quick thinking, courage, and cool have helped him survive and gain the trust of General Woundwort. Woundwort himself also displays his character traits in this conversation. His blunt questioning and suspicion show what kind of leader he is and how he takes care of business with his rabbits. I also felt a foreshadowing of Woundwort’s insecurity. He has to act in such a manner as to keep himself respected and feared among the rabbits of Efrafa.
You can also sense the surroundings in which Bigwig is in. The totalitarian attitude in Efrafa is very evident in this scene. Bigwig knows he’s between a rock and a hard place, and his plans could all come tumbling down if he doesn’t play his cards right.


Adams, Richard. Watership Down. 1972. New York: Scribner, 2005.

Posted by: Joe Tuorinsky at February 11, 2007 10:58 PM

Jaime Hersh
Professor Hobbs
ENGL 121
2/9/07

Chapter 19 – Fear in the Dark – pages 143-145.

I believe this excerpt of the story portrays rabbits as having a brave disposition. Typically rabbits are seen as cowards afraid of almost anything, but in this story the rabbits are extremely brave. For example in Adam’s book “Watership Down”, Bigwig believes the creature in the brush is a fierce predator such as a cat. All rabbits know how dangerous cats are and are very afraid of them. Although Hazel and Dandelion are horrified, they risk everything to approach the “predator” to see who it really is. I think this portrays the demeanor of rabbits ironically. They are often viewed as tiny horrified creatures when in this story; there is hardly anything that can stop them. They are extremely brave and outgoing, considering their size, stature, and the number of predators around.
Although the creature in the bush is only Holly, it was brave of Hazel and Dandelion to venture away from the warren to explore. They did not have any protection. Rabbits normally hide from things they are afraid of and stay in one safe warren for their entire lives.

Work Cited:
Adams, Richard. New York: Rex Collings, Ltd., 1972.

Posted by: Jaime Hersh at February 11, 2007 11:00 PM

Professor Hobbs,

I reviewed Rebbecca Shenkle's Passage. Her passage was the poem by Silverweed on page 102-103. I didn't really see the poem tthe same way that she did. I thought the beginning he wanted to be where nature was. I agree that he is with Frith in the ebd but I disagree that he wants to be with him in the beginning. To me the poem seems as if he just wants to get away by any means. I would have asked why did he want to get away? Or why does he go from nature, straight to Fraith?I felt she could have done a little more then just restate the poem. She should have asked more question and answered then in connection to the text. Other then that she did a good job of summarizing the poem.

Donnetta Allen

Posted by: Donnetta Allen at February 11, 2007 11:05 PM

Professor Hobbs,

I reviewed Katie Kovak’s close reading on chapter 23, Kehaar, pages 184 through 202. I thought that it was a very good idea to bring up the importance of Keehar. He is very crucial to the survival of Watership Down. Without him the warren probably would have never been able to find any does.

Reading this response gave me insight on the story. It made me focus on Keehar alone, which I didn’t do when reading the entire story as a whole. I think that is very important, because he is critical to the story. This reading response definitely positively influenced my understanding of the novel. It enabled me to simply focus on one important character of the story at a time. Keehar is often overlooked because he is a bird and not a warren rabbit, so a response on this character was beneficial to my understanding.

Jaime Hersh

Posted by: Jaime Hersh at February 11, 2007 11:09 PM

I reviewed Erika Gillenberger's paper. she wrote a comment bluebell made in chapter 33 "The Great River." Here was my response:
I liked the sentence where you said "help the group by altering their thoughts of fear into thoughts of invention." Learning new things and trying new methods that are strange to the rabbits is a common idea seen several times in this book. The rabbits are always breaking tradition to adapt to the new situations the rabbits find themselves in.
It may also be cool if you extended this to mention that many of the rabbits that aren't really the leaders such as Fiver, Bigwig, and Hazel are not always the ones stepping up as leaders and that they are contributing to the group in a positive way.
The mention of you owning rabbits was a great way to reinforce your point.
Maybe try to find a synonym for eccentric, so you don't have to use it so many times in such a short space. It slows you down when your reading and a different word may help the flow of your paper.

Joe T.

Posted by: Joe Tuorinsky at February 11, 2007 11:12 PM

Stephanie Vrabel
Instructor Lee Hobbs
ENGL 121.003 Humanities Literature
9 February 2007
Hazel-rah
In chapter 20, pgs 145-149 of the novel “Watership Down”, by Richard Adams, the Chief Rabbit, Hazel, saves the life of a mouse by helping it to hide from its predator, a kestrel. It is not a typical event for a rabbit to save the life of a mouse for two reasons. For one, they do not see how saving the mouse could achieve anything for them, and secondly the kestrel is also a predator of rabbits. “‘Hazel,” said Bigwig, ‘I know you’re not stupid, but what did we get out of that?’” (145) Bigwig is simply questioning Hazel’s motives, and what the warren would gain from the salvation of this creature.
The author may have intended this gallant scene to illustrate how the rabbits are taking on human characteristics. Hazel, in this situation, is seen as a hero to the mouse. He saved a less fortunate, weak creature from experiencing harm by another, while placing himself in danger as well. This tale reminds me of the tale of Spiderman and Mary Jane, or Aragorn and Frodo. The author may be attempting to emphasize the importance of Hazel’s character and how he may be seen as a hero to the rest of the characters.
Another reason this passage may have been added into the story is to show how the rabbits are expanding their abilities in planning and thinking ahead. A couple pages later, when the mouse is about to leave the warren, he leaves Hazel one last note. “No wait owl. But a what I like a say. You ‘elp a mouse. One time a mouse ‘elp a you. You want ‘im ‘e come.” (149) When the mouse begins to leave the warren, he tells Hazel that he and any mouse will help him when he needs a hand. With this Hazel somehow realizes that creating allies with creatures a rabbit normally would not, may benefit them in the future. This could be foreshadowing to a future event in the tale. An example of this from a well known fable is of the lion and the mouse. Who would have ever thought that a mouse could save a lions life? Well the lion in the end benefited from befriending and helping the mouse in the beginning of the story, even when he wouldn’t do so by instinct.


Works Cited
Adams, Richard. Watership Down. 1972. New York: Scribner, 2005.

Posted by: Stephanie Vrabel at February 11, 2007 11:32 PM

Stephanie Vrabel
Instructor Lee Hobbs
ENGL 121.003 Humanities Literature
10 February 2007
In this close reading from the novel “Watership Down” by Richard Adams, the writer Jennifer Naugle, describes how, through the passage in chapter 23, pages 183-185, the story may have had more than one hero. She also informs the reader on what defines a hero, and compares two of the characters, Hazel and Bigwig, on these terms. I agree that Hazel is the main hero of the story because, even though he is not the biggest or toughest rabbit, he knows what is best for the warren and will gladly put himself on the line for them. Not only does he possess those qualities, but he also has learned to expand his mind and his resources, for example, by befriending Kehaar. That is a very important aspect of being qualified as a leader and hero. Near the end of the close reading it may be more helpful if the writer would include a quote from the novel on how Kehaar had helped the group. Overall, I agree with Jennifer’s opinion of this passage and how Hazel is a great hero and leader.

Sincerely,
Stephanie Vrabel

Posted by: Stephanie Vrabel at February 11, 2007 11:35 PM

Professor Hobbs,

The name of my Close-Reading Writer was Bettina Herold-She focused on Chapter 18 entitled “Watership Down” on page 124.

Bettina’s response began with a summary of the events in the novel, “Watership Down” up until the page in which she had written her response. The chapter she had chosen shows another example of how Hazel is considered the leader of the pack. She backed up her statements about Hazel and his leadership by supporting them with concrete examples. She also did a very good job in pointing out throughout the story each character had “stepped up, in their own strength to lead others against a fearful situation.”
The second paragraph is somewhat repetitive speaking of Hazel and the other characters’ strength to lead. She could have talked about the characters individual leadership skills in one paragraph and then could have gone on to focus on Hazel in the next. I think it was good to point out that it wasn’t just Hazel leading, but also the rabbits needing to work together as a whole.
Throughout her essay Bettina pointed out a quality that had been apparent throughout the story-- leadership. Hazel’s role in this novel is made clear in this passage. He made important decisions, as well as solutions to those problems. He brought his “troops” to safety as a great leader is supposed to do by offering himself.

Sincerely,
Tina W

Posted by: Tina Walter at February 11, 2007 11:46 PM

Professor Hobbs,
My Short passage:
“Premonition”
In the novel “Watership Down” by Richard Adams, page fifteen of the first chapter entitled “The Journey”, finds two rabbits, Hazel and his brother, Fiver, roaming their warren, when Fiver notices piles of dirt, leftover nails, and the smell of a burnt out cigarette, along with the strange odor of newly painted posts. Fiver becomes terrified when he receives a premonition that something terrible is about to happen. What exactly is scaring Fiver? The passage keeps you wondering what could be the cause of Fivers fear. In the distance, he sees the vision of a field covered with blood. As I read I thought the sight of blood filling a green field was rather gruesome. I had never thought fear would provoke such disturbing thoughts in an animal. Hazel, and well as the reader doesn’t quite understand his brother’s peculiar reaction to the scene ahead.
By the end of the first chapter we discover what Fiver had accidentally bumped into: a sign advertising new home developments to be built on their warren. I found that it was interesting that Fiver could get a sense of danger from the sign. As a human, we understand what the sign states because humans can read. As a rabbit not being able to see the sign, it was rather amazing that a bad future could be predicted by Fiver. This passage sets the tone for the rest of the novel. The plot continues, as we are made aware of a main character’s fear of bad things to come. What exactly would be some of the challenges that the rabbits would face? Would the rabbits be accompanied by any other rabbits during their “journey”? As a reader, I was interested to find out if this was the exact reason the rabbits decided to flee their warren and, hopefully, find a new safe haven.

Works Cited:
Adams, Richard. Watership Down. 1972. New York: Macmillan Publishing Company, 1975.

Thank you,
Tina W

Posted by: Tina W at February 11, 2007 11:59 PM

Andy Hood
Instructor Lee Hobbs
ENGL 121.003 Humanities Literature
11 February 2007
The Threarah Faces Costly Decisions
I chose to do a close reading on a passage from Chapter 21 “For El-ahrairah to Cry” of Richard Adams’ Watership Down. The passage is a semi-speech given by the Threarah while he is “thinking out loud” (150-51). He complains about how tough a decision it is to take into consideration or not, something a scared little rascal brings to life. The Threarah tries to explain about the many that come forth claiming they can foresee something horrible about to take place. How do you decide which ones are real and which ones are not? Of course, it is widely heard and praised when one turns out to be right. However, nobody seems to even notice when one turns out to be wrong. It seems to just fade away like they never said anything.
The Threarah’s situation reminds me somewhat of “The Boy Who Cried Wolf”. If the Threarah is constantly being faced with the same nonsense, it is going to make it very hard for him to believe it in the future. The Threarah wants to be able to think something of a young one coming to him with such a bold statement or request, but past experiences tell him differently. The description of the Threarah at the beginning of story states that the Threarah stood his ground once before in the face of danger instead of running (10-11). The Threarah views these bold persons as the weak who are looking to find their way up the ladder. He finds it hard to believe that they have extraordinary powers. Past experiences shield the Threarah from being able to accept such nonsense.
I chose this passage because I too make decisions based upon past experiences. Sometimes it is good, and sometimes not so good. But success is a positive reinforcement so if it works once, I’m probably going to try it again. This is how I interpret the Threarah’s way of thinking. He acts based upon past experiences. It is hard for him to go against what he knows best.

Posted by: Andy Hood at February 12, 2007 12:22 AM

Andy Hood
Instructor Lee Hobbs
ENGL 121.003 Humanities Literature
11 February 2007
Peer-Review Response
Colin Hough did a close reading on Chapter 34 “General Woundwort”. He discusses the specific structure of the rabbit government and hierarchy. He sees similarities between the world around the later 1960, early 1970’s, and the world of Watership Down. It is obvious to see that the rabbit hierarchy is set up with different levels of power similar to that of the world that author Richard Adams observed during his lifetime. Colin points out that the story seems to be quite military-based also like the world that may have influenced the author.
Colin’s interpretation of the book may have been influenced by our supplemental reading earlier this semester about “How to Read Literature”. The contents of our reading suggested that one must take into account the author and his background while reading a text. Colin referred to the author and his era so he was definitely influenced in that way of thinking as I was, but he also took it a step further. He also related the passage to a piece of American History as well which didn’t cross my mind. Colin refers to the struggle of different activist in American history around 1960-1970. However, it may create a better picture for his readers if he were to be specific and give examples. Overall, it seems Colin tried to stick with the 2-3 paragraph instructions so he summarized his thoughts rather than elaborating further.

Posted by: Andy Hood at February 12, 2007 12:23 AM

corrected close reading:

To read this passage from a reading response way may have the reader think of a certain leader and a certain war ... I'm referring to George W. Bush and Iraq, of course.

Bigwig tells Blackavar he's going to escape and not to do anything, but "just brace up and get yourself ready." (Adams 350) He doesn't wait for a response and does his thing. Bartsia warns Bigwig he will be reported since he's disregarded authority three times. Once again, Bigwig does his thing and leaves to sleep.

This reminds me of the Bush-Iraq situation because before launching war on Iraq, he pretty much implied that he was going to do it anyway. Even when other countries warned him, he did it. And he just kept doing what he wanted to do and "sleeping just fine" like he was quoted in dozens of newspaper articles I read.

When 70 percent of his citizens opposed him sending more troops -- when half a million protesters cried for his impeachment if he did -- he did it anyway, yet again.

Other people may not have thought of this while reading this passage, but since all I can think about is how my tax dollars are funding the senseless slaughter of the Iraqi people, I couldn't help it.

This analogy stands true for any war. There's prelude, anticipation and defiance. Both Bigwig and Bush excel at this. But at least Bigwig is helping others.

Works Cited
Adams, Richard. Watership Down. New York: Avon Books, 1972. 350-351.

Posted by: Kendra Sledzinski at February 12, 2007 12:54 AM

I reviewed Brooke Decker's close reading of Chapter 25 in Richard Adams' book, Watership Down. In it, she summarizes the chapter and then writes about how it made her feel afterward, which is what I did with my short passage, too.

Brooke felt that after reading the passage, the author personified the rabbits. While she didn't explicibly state that, she said that she "got the idea [that] rabbits can be just as sneaky as human beings" and we shouldn't underestimate them because they are animals. I think she could've played up the emotions, citing that even non-fictional rabbits have them -- indicative by noises they make when scared. Also, rabbits love and nuture their young like humans.

She also wrote about how Adams' use of the word "raid" humanizes the rabbits because it reminds her of police officers raiding an abandoned house.

Aside from more than several grammatical errors, I think Brooke's review was fine because I thought much of the same when I read the same chapter.

Posted by: Kendra Sledzinski at February 12, 2007 01:00 AM

Nicole Novak
9 February 2007
Lee Hobbs
English 121.003

Watership Down by Richard Adams
Chapter 29: Return and Departure, page 252


Apprehensive Little Rabbits

The passage I chose is “I’ve had shivers and horrors for days. I keep thinking I was back in Efrafa” “what was it like in Efrafa” “I’d rather die than go back to Efrafa, said strawberry” This passage is very powerful because it really describes how bad Efrafa was for some of the rabbits. In fact it was so bad some of the rabbits suggest death as a better option than returning. For these same rabbits the thought of Efrafa is much like a nightmare, one that seems realistic and causes shivers and horrors.
Previously, Holly had told everyone that he had been there before, and that they would be making a bad decision to go there. He said they were basically just going to get everyone killed. However Hazel, Bigwig, and Kehaar think going to Efrafa and bringing back does is a risk worth taking.
This passage means a lot to me because I know what its like to fear to return to a place. I fear going back home much like Strawberry and Holly’s fear of Efrafa. As we grow up and our environments change we all prefer to be in once place vs. another. Some students may miss home and dread going back to college after summer and winter break, but I dread the breaks. These rabbits have found a new place, like my school apartment that they prefer to live in.
Adams, Richard. Watership Down. New York: Rex Collings Ltd., 2005

Posted by: Nicole Novak at February 12, 2007 07:50 AM

Professor Hobbs,
I reviewed Kristin Dudra’s passage. Her passage was from Chapter 21: page 171.
Adams, Richard. Watership Down. New York: HarperCollinsPublishers, 1972.

Dear Kristin,
I’m glad that this passage made you feel the way that it did, because it’s true without change our lives would be boring and repetitive. We all need to change our environment and surroundings every now and again. With the changing of our surroundings sometimes we seem to change our personality a little. However, I don’t always think it’s a bad thing. I know from personal experience I start to pick up speech patterns from other people if start to hang out with them a lot. I even picked up a little bit of a Jersey accent from my roommate from freshman year! Maybe these rabbits are kind of doing the same thing, as they combine they all take their previous knowledge and try to make a team of supper rabbits!

-nicole novak

Posted by: nicole novak at February 12, 2007 07:52 AM

Dr. Hobbs, here is my close reading response.


Erin Knisley
Dr. Hobbs
ENGL 121.003
Feb. 11, 2007

Means to An End: The Use of Foreshadowing
In An Excerpt of Watership Down

The essence of foreshadowing, like the building of thunder, grows slowly and steadily until it breaks like a harsh wave meeting a firm coastline. Richard Adams fully grasps this concept in his 1972 novel, Watership Down. Foreshadowing and the building of suspense present throughout the entirety of the work, flow in and out of the passages as easily as breathing. To choose the most exemplary passage which demonstrates foreshadowing is a daunting task. In choosing only one however, the reader takes a closer look into one peculiar premonition, connecting it with what it foreshadows (thus gaining a further understanding of the work in itself) and where the author’s ideas are leading. In the simple passage of Watership Down found in chapter fourteen (from the bottom of page 87 to the top of 89) the reader gains more insight than is realized.
In this grouping of paragraphs, Hazel, Blackberry, and Pipkin share their shock and surprise of Cowslip’s odd laughter, as well as their hidden suspicions against the entire Cowslip warren. They find it odd that Cowslip should laugh, for rabbits do not laugh, and especially not in the ominous way that Cowslip does (Adams 87). Hazel and Blackberry take flight, as well they should, as if sensing something worse than the alarming laughter to come. Sadly, even though Hazel comments “I can see what’s troubling Fiver” (Adams 88), he continues on with “…though he’ll get over it I dare say.” (Adams 88). Important to note, however, is that Hazel does find the situation odd and listens intently while Blackberry speaks of the rabbits’ peculiar singing. Furthering their puzzlement, Hazel brings up the stones in the walls. Each oddity builds upon the other, showing the rabbits there is much more than meets the eye to this strange Cowslip and his warren.
The peculiar rabbits of the Cowslip warren create unease amongst Hazel’s companions in differing levels, as well it should. As the rabbits sit quietly, whispering their fears and suspicions, Adams builds a great force which looms in around the uneasy fellowship; a wave of apprehensive foreshadowing that is waiting for its chance to break. What Adams depicts in word is important, but more so is what is not voiced. Underneath the suspicious outlook Adams creates, he is preparing something much worse for his unsuspecting heroes. It is only later that we discover just where the foreshadowing is leading; the entire warren is laden with cutting wires to choke and kill the rabbits for the man who ‘cares’ for them. It is this secret that Cowslip’s group tries so hard to keep under wraps. It justifies their odd behavior, their utter fearlessness of elil (for the man shoots them all), as well as their unwillingness to speak on certain topics, particularly the word “where”. However, the passage where Hazel, Blackberry and Pipkin express their mutual confusion while attempting to dislodge their fear of the unknown, is monumentally significant in the later discovery of the wires. The strange sadness that Pipkin alludes to (Adams 88) is suddenly made clear to Hazel and company; those of the Cowslip warren are sad for the loss of their fellows (to the wires) which they only keep in memory and never speak of. The strange stones in the wall glimmer in the light of realization; sticking stones in walls was a way for Cowslip’s warren to keep their mind off of reality. It is now that one understands how such a small passage becomes important, voicing so much more than meets the eye once the reader analyzes it both aesthetically and for what lies beneath. It creates the flow from one event to another while arousing the interest of the reader in wondering what the author has around the next bend. It is foreshadowing that creates the ebb and flow of a story of any kind; the thunder leads the storm, the rabbits’ suspicion of Cowslip leads to discovery--each shadowy event suddenly takes light when its meaning is realized.
Adams uses this sense of suspenseful foreshadowing in the passage to draw the reader in, as well as set up the thunder, or the basis of the story. Without the passages to come before, there would be no passages to come after. Without the artful suspense that Adams creates in Watership Down, there would be no story, but simply a list of calendar-esque statements flowing roughly together.

BIBLIOGRAPHY


Adams, Richard. Watership Down. New York: Avon Books, 1972.

Posted by: Erin K at February 12, 2007 08:28 AM

Dr. Hobbs,

Thanks for your help and advice on Friday. Here is the second half of my close reading information. Thanks!

Peer Review: Close Reading Response

Close Reading Writer: Erika Knox
Name of Reviewer: Erin Knisley
Passage found on page 38 of Watership Down

Erika Knox’s decision to do a character analysis of Blackberry was very different from my own and expanded my ideas of how I might do a character analysis as well. Ms. Knox pulls a lot of information about Blackberry from a very short passage, which is to be congratulated considering it is the entire purpose of a close reading. She examines Blackberry from the perspective of his heightened intelligence in a broad (in that her examination can apply to Blackberry’s personality over the course of the work) as well as in a detailed fashion (she uses a specific example from the text that shows her point). Considering the proposed paragraph length of only two paragraphs, she has created a very good start for a full essay on the passage. However, the writing could contain more quotes or other supporting information in order to back up the excellent point Knox is making. Some references to Blackberry’s intelligence later in the novel could be made, not to take focus from the singular passage, but to truly emphasize the opinion and thought created from the passage. Knox’s beginning is a terrific start to what could easily develop into a thought-provoking and persuasive essay.


Erin Knisley
ENGL 121.003 MWF


Posted by: Erin K at February 12, 2007 08:30 AM

This response is written by Erin Rock. She wrote this about a text told by Hazel. The text that she did a close reading to was in Chapter 13 on pg 72.

Her response began with a summary of the passage. In the second paragraph, she went into what the passage makes her think about. I likes this a lot. It seems very well thought out. It really is amazing how blind people are able to do teh same things as a full sighted human, but without any vision. This is amazing.

I think she should possibly make a few more connections between teh rabbit and blind person if at all possible.

Overall, the response was very good and thought out clearly.

Amber Dunmire
Engl 121

Posted by: Amber Dunmire at February 12, 2007 09:05 AM

Amber Dunmire
Engl 121
2/9/07
Close Reading

My close reading is done while reviewing Chapter 13, entitled, Watership Down. My passage talks about when the rabbits are at Watership Down. All of the rabbits understand that they are on this journey together. But in this chapter, they got attacked by rats when they were in the barn, and Buckthorn, Silver and Bigwig had to fight off these rats until everyone was outside and safe. After this happening, they took a step back and thought that they would have never been able to fight off the rabbits by themselves. At this point, they need qualities of every single rabbit. They had come closer together relying on and valuing each others capacity. When the rats came in, Buckthorn and Silver actually obeyed Bigwig. This is how they worked together, to fight them off. This is a great quality that these rabbits can have because teamwork is necessary when in a big group(Adams 128,129).
This reminds me of when our military is at war. Our soldiers may not always get along with all of the other soldiers, but when they are at war, they know they have to work together, so they don’t get killed. They realize that they have to trust who is next to them, working with them, driving in a vehicle with them, whoever it is that is next to them, because they are in it together. Both soldiers are fighting for the same thing.

Adams, Richard. Watership Down. New York: Macmillan Publishing Company, 1975.

Posted by: Amber Dunmire at February 12, 2007 09:15 AM

Dear Professor Hobbs,

Erika L. Knox
Instructor Lee Hobbs
ENGL 101.003 Humanities Literature
12 February 2007

Blackberry the Thinker
The society depicted in Adams’s Watership Down has lived as they do now for generations. They live life as their father and grandfathers before them: in simplicity. They lived comfortable lives in their warren, and for the most part did not feel the need to ask for anything more. The society in which they lived did not require them to change, and so they did not. Science is like magic to the rabbits; a foreign concept which they have no interest in understanding, which as far as they are concerned does not have a “practical” application. Their thoughts are consumed by the present. If they cannot see the problem now, then they think that it must not something that they need to worry about after the fact. They do not ponder the reason “why”. They simply let it go.
Blackberry on the other hand is a little more evolved than most of the other rabbits in the society. He is the philosopher, the scientist, the free thinker. It is he who discovered the raft, and it is he who the other rabbits have come to rely on as an intellectual leader. Blackberry understands the properties of the world around him. The question is, however, is are the other rabbits intellectually inferior because it is their nature, or as a direct correlation to their society? When inquiring this thought attention can be brought to the last passage of chapter eight on page 39. Pipkin for example has absolutely no comprehension of how Blackberry saved their lives. If he is put in the same situation again he would likely drown. Some of the other rabbits, like Bigwig and Silver, understand the concept after the fat, but would not have discovered it on their own. To succeed they must start to build on past knowledge in order to have a greater comprehension for the future.
As the free thinker, Blackberry serves the group well. And as the rabbits gain more experience to the world outside of their original Warren they become more familiar with the way that the world works around them, and the mindset that they must achieve in order to survive. By incorporating new ideas like the honeycomb in their warren, alliances with other animals, and of course the use of a boat, the rabbits are using their intellect to their best advantage, and causing a greater likely hood for prosperous days ahead.
The way that Adams focuses on rabbits being tricky, especially in the rabbit’s folk tales, allows the reader to understand that intelligence is important to the rabbit lifestyle. In order to plan out a trick you need to be able to think about it. Blackberry is a vital character to the story. Without him the group would be in a very poor state, and Adams makes that clear. Intellect and free thought are essential to the survival of all great civilizations.

Works Cited
Adams, Richard. Watership Down. 1972. New York: Scribner, 2005.

-Erika Knox

Posted by: Erika Knox at February 12, 2007 10:14 AM

Dear Professor Hobbs,

Erika L. Knox
Instructor Lee Hobbs
ENGL 101.003 Humanities Literature
12 February 2007
Peer-Review Response: Erin Knisley
By: Erika Knox

Peer Review

The section that Erin has chosen to write about focuses on how Adams uses foreshadowing to help better explain what is about to happen in the story. The way that the rabbits laugh, for example, is a queer way that leads the rabbits to be uncomfortable around them. The Warren of the snares is nothing like their old warred, and the peculiar behaviors of these rabbits as well as Fiver’s intuition allow them to get out of the warren before it is too late.
The way that Adams does his foreshadowing is subtle in some ways, buy painfully clear at others. The readers have been taught to listen to Fiver, and although this serves a purpose it also makes the story a bit predictable at times.
Erin’s paper is written artfully, and contains some very concise thoughts. Her set up is good, and she does a very nice job of bringing attention to specific areas. The topic of foreshadowing is also a great idea to focus on, especially because of the way Adams looks at Fiver’s relationship to the rest of the story.


-Erika Knox

Posted by: Erika Knox at February 12, 2007 10:15 AM

I did my peer review on Amber Dunmire’s passage, chapter 13, from the text.
Amber talks about an interesting passage in her paper. She discusses when the rabbits were attacked by the rats when they are at the Watership Down. Amber brings up the topic of teamwork and how the rabbits decided that they cannot fight off these rats alone.
Even though rabbits are bigger than rats, there was a higher quantity of rats and it would have been impossible for them to go one on one with them. They never would have survived.
Amber decided to do more of a synopsis of the passage. These are not qualities of a close reading. She should have expanded on this and brought up a similar topic or possibly gave her own opinion in her paper. Other than this, she did a good job on the assignment.

Posted by: Erin Rock at February 12, 2007 10:19 AM

Professor Hobbs,

El-ahrairah

At the end of chapter 6 El-ahrairah receives his gifts from Frith, “’Very well, I will bless your bottom as it sticks out of the hole. Bottom, be strength and warning and speed forever and save the life of your master. Be it so!’ And as he spoke, El-ahrairah’s tail grew shining white and flashed like a star,” (p. 28). My first reaction to this was why did Frith bless his tail to be white and bushy? I tried to find the answer to this online but couldn’t figure out how to go about finding this answer so I tried to come up with my own hypothesis. The only thing I could think of is that while the rest of their body blends with the ground, this is meant to blend with the plants they live around, like cotton. This may not be right but the story never explains how it’s a gift so all we can do is guess.
After his tail is blessed El-ahrairah gains another new attribute. “And his back legs grew long and powerful and he thumped the hillside until the very beetles fell off the grass stems. He came out of his hole and tore across the hill faster than any creature in the world…Be cunning and full of tricks and your people shall never be destroyed,” (p. 29). Now this part also left me a little confused. If rabbits are meant to be faster than every other creature, why did Frith make it so easy for hawks, cats, and dogs to run them down? It calls rabbits the fastest but I think that’s an exaggeration and Frith’s promise that they will never be destroyed is a lie. Maybe he means as a race they will never be destroyed, but the weak rabbits will certainly be picked off. Thirdly, why aren’t humans mentioned anywhere in this story? This is a creation story for rabbits but the exclusion of humans from counting as animals suggests it was written from a more Christian point of view. Considering it’s supposed to be the story of rabbits I don’t see why rabbits would view humans as anything but animals and so I think it only makes sense that they be in that story too.
Though this story has a few gaps I suppose it’s not bad since every other creation story has a lot of gaps that are just filled in with “God’s right.” So if this is to be like any other creation story we can just say “Frith made their tails white because he’s Frith and he’s automatically right, don’t question it.” Things that aren’t to be questioned are what I love to question the most, which is perhaps why I enjoy creation stories so much.

Jeff Hoover
11:45-12:45

Posted by: Jeff Hoover at February 12, 2007 10:30 AM

Derek Hensley
Eng 121-03
Close reading
Chap. 4 pg 35 bottom half
revised

Bigwig’s Stand Against Holly


In this passage Holly and Bigwig have a confrontation which turns into a physical altercation because Holly believes Bigwig wants to overthrow the chief rabbit. The guards that were with Holly move in and wait for a chance to jump in the fight. Noticing this, Bigwigs friends jump in before the guards get a chance to and overwhelm Holly and his crew. The guards were intimidated and ran off leaving Holly all alone.(35)

I believe this all showed how strong and fearless Bigwig was. However, it also showed the loyalty and respect that some of the other rabbits had for Bigwig. Consequently, it showed the opposite for Holly and his guards who ran away in a cowardly manner. It seemed that Richard Adams wanted to show how strong Bigwig was, as well as how strong Bigwig and his friends could be as whole, especially when everyone pitched in. They author also gave the impression that Bigwig seemed to inspire the group and give them confidence through leading by example. In conclusion, this was one instance where Bigwig proved his dominance and leadership by standing up to Holly, which is something that the other rabbits would probably have never done. Bigwig gained respect from the others by doing what he did that day.


Adams, Richard. Watership Down.1972. New York; Avon, 1975.

Posted by: Derek Hensley at February 12, 2007 10:55 AM

Reviewer: Derek Hensley
Student Reviewed: Lyndsay Krall
Chapter 14 Pg. 80

In this passage that Lyndsay chose, she talks about the author giving the rabbits human characteristics. She raises the question about laughter. She says that if the author gave the rabbits nearly every other human characteristic including talking, why would he not also give them laughter.
I agree with Lyndsay, however, I believe this passage deals more with the confidence of Cowslip and how it affected the other rabbits. The rabbits needed a quick place to hide out but did not know Cowslip well; therefore they are hesitant to trust him. Cowslip is so well spoken and confident that most of the rabbits in the small group end up listening to him and trusting him.

Posted by: Derek Hensley at February 12, 2007 11:12 AM

Professor Hobbs
Jeff Hoover – Review of Jenny Troutman’s paper

I did a review of Jenny Troutman’s close reading on chapter 16. I felt this was a great close reading because it was of a particularly descriptive part and told about how those details made her and the rabbits feel. It’s a very well thought out response to this section covering all areas and shows a real connection to the story here and it seems that’s what a close reading is all about.
The only things I would change in this are a few sentences that don’t make much sense to me. “It seems like Silverweed had nature talking to each other,” at this sentence and at one other nature is referred to as “each other” which I’ve always thought as nature as kind of one being or thing so I would’ve say itself instead of each other. The only other sentence I would change is the end of paragraph 1 where it says “and gets all the rabbits to really have an enjoyment.” The word enjoyment doesn’t make much sense to me right there so I’d rewrite the sentence a little differently to be something more like “and all the rabbits felt joyful,” or something along those lines.Other than these two sentences I thought this was very well thought out and very well written.

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*NOTE* The deadline for this assignment has now passed. Comments are no longer being accepted for this exercise

~Lee

Posted by: Jeff Hoover at February 12, 2007 11:39 AM

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