Sunday, 3 July 2011

ALL ANIMALS ARE EQUAL BUT 'SOME PIGS' ARE MORE EQUAL THAN OTHERS

I am currently re-reading Charlotte’s Web, beloved by children everywhere. It falls into that strange category of ‘turn a blind eye’ fiction. Much rejoicing occurs when Wilbur is saved or the Chickens complete their run or The Tamworth Two make a dash for it. But what happens next? Never mind, have a bacon sandwich and forget all about it.

Conversely, looking up Watership Down after re-reading it last week, I found that it is frequently condemned for its chauvinistic attitude. Apparently the bucks engage in prolonged male camaraderie until they realise that in order to secure the future of their warren they must abduct some does, showing a lack of ‘sensitivity’. Puffin Modern Classics even saw fit to publish an apologetic afterword in the 1993 edition of the novel.
They are rabbits!

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