by Richard Adams
Watership Down Chapters 48-50 Summary
Dea ex Machina
- The quote here from Dylan Thomas (a Welsh poet) is all about being happy and young. So this will be a pretty bloody chapter, right?
(Also the title is a slight play on the usual "Deus ex Machina", which is that outside force that saves the hero in the end. Except instead of "Deus" (God), we have "Dea" (Goddess).)
- Surprisingly, this chapter is from the point of view of some humans at Nuthanger Farm. Human girl Lucy Cane wakes up to find her cat attacking a rabbit.
- Lucy saves the rabbit to show to the visiting human doctor, who's coming that day to look at her sick human mum.
(This section is so British, it hurts. Everything is "mum" and "bloody.")
- Also, the Cane's dog comes back, and he's clearly been fighting. (And we know whom he's been fighting with, though the Cane family doesn't.)
- Doctor Adams examines the rabbit, who seems pretty healthy.
- But since Lucy can't keep a wild rabbit, Doctor Adams agrees to drive the rabbit out to a field where he can't do any damage to the farm—say, how about a field near Watership Down?
- And so that's how Hazel rides in a car, just like Hyzenthlay prophesied in chapter 35.
Hazel Comes Home
- We're so close to being finished with these epigraphs, thankfully. This quote is from a Robert Graves poem about two soldiers ("fusiliers" are people who use an early type of rifle, not people who eat fusilli pasta.)
- They've been through a lot together, so they're good friends.
- Similarly (like that transition?), we get to see in this chapter what happens after the war and which rabbits remain friends.
- Some Efrafans survive in Watership Down, thanks to Woundwort's slowing the dog down.
- Other Efrafans, led by Campion, go back to Efrafa. (But very few: the original army was twenty-six or so; only about fourteen or fifteen leave to go back to Efrafa; and only six or seven make it home.)
- Also, Bigwig is close to death (again—he should probably buy real estate since he's there so frequently).
- And Fiver and Pipkin find Hazel after Doctor Adams let him out onto the field.
- This chapter starts with a quote by the amazing Jane Austen, from Northanger Abbey. (It's dangerous to quote Jane Austen, since she is one of the best writers ever.) This quote is about an interfering General whose interference actually works out for the best. Who could that be?
- We pick up the story in October, catching up with all of our favorite flowers. And rabbits, all of our favorite rabbits.
- There's some mating going on, so it's like life has returned to normal.
- But now they have legends about General Woundwort, who might still be out there, fighting off predators.
- And one of Fiver's kids has his same psychic powers. So it really is like everything's going to be okay for the rabbits of Watership Down.
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