Watership Down Character Analysis

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In Machiavelli’s book The Prince, he says that it is better to be feared than loved, if you cannot be both (chapter XVII). Fear is an externally based emotion, and focuses on what a person can do to you. Love, on the other hand, is an internally based emotion, and it focuses on how someone feels about a person. The intimidation of a tyrant motivates people to obey him immediately, without question or complaint. However lack of absolute fear can lead to resentment, rebellions, and riots. Love, alternatively, inspires trust and respect for a leader. Those who trust a leader will follow him willingly, and the respect they have for that leader causes them to work sacrificially. In Watership Down, Richard Adams shows two diametrically different leadership types.…show more content…
General Woundwort is a power hungry rabbit who increases his power by increasing the number of rabbits in his warren. Because of this, Efrafa is severely overcrowded, however “the warren [is] not to extend further, on account of… the weakening of the central control” (275). As a result, the rabbits in Efrafa are depressed and does are even reabsorbing their litters in their distress. Even when “a group of does [came] before the Council and asked to leave the warren”(276), Woundwort refuses to allow them to leave as doing so may loosen his tenacious hold over the warren. Additionally, Woundwort uses fear tactics in his warren. When Blackavar tries to escape, “Campion [catches] him and [brings] him back and the Council [rips] up his ears and [says he has] to be shown every morning and evening… as an example to the others” (284). Woundwort uses Blackaver as a way to show other rabbits what will happen to them if they try to leave Efrafa. This makes the rabbits in Efrafa easier to control as they are consumed by helplessness. Woundwort’s absolute greed for control and power corrupts his leadership and makes him a
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