The Wind in the Willows

Kenneth Grahame



Book Description

The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame. The Wind in the Willows is a children's novel by Scottish novelist Kenneth Grahame, first published in 1908. Alternatingly slow-moving and fast-paced, it focuses on four anthropomorphised animals: Mole, Rat (a European water vole), Toad, and Badger. They live in a pastoral version of Edwardian England. The novel is notable for its mixture of mysticism, adventure, morality, and camaraderie, and celebrated for its evocation of the nature of the Thames Valley. The characters of the story are as follows. Mole: known as "Moly" to his friends. An altruistic, humble, loyal, polite, home-loving animal, and the first character introduced in the story. Fed up with spring cleaning in his secluded home, he ventures into the outside world. Initially overawed by the hustle and bustle of the riverbank, he eventually adapts. He proves intelligent as shown with his trickery against the Wild Wooders before the assault to retake Toad Hall. Rat: known as "Ratty" to his friends (though actually a water vole), he is cultured, relaxed and friendly, and enjoys a life of leisure; when not spending time on the river, he composes doggerel. Ratty loves the river and takes charge of Mole. He can be stubborn when it comes to doing things outside his riverside lifestyle, but can do which must be done as shown when he risks his safety to help Mole in the Wild Wood and to help free Toad Hall from the weasels. Mr. Toad: known as "Toady" to his friends, the wealthy scion of Toad Hall who inherited his wealth from his late father. Although good-hearted and optimistic, he is also arrogant, conceited, and impulsive. He is prone to obsessions and crazes (such as punting, houseboats, and horse-drawn caravans). Having a short-attention-span, he gets bored with each of these activities in turn and drops them, finally settling on motorcars. His motoring craze degenerates into a sort-of addiction that lands him in the hospital a few times, subjects him to stiff fines for his unlawfully reckless driving, and eventually gets him imprisoned for theft, dangerous-driving, and gross impertinence to the police. Two chapters of the book chronicle his daring escape from prison and subsequent adventures before meeting up with the Water Rat. Mr. Badger: a gruff-but-benevolent soul, Badger embodies the "wise hermit" figure. A friend of Toad's deceased father, he is uncompromising with the irresponsible Toad, yet hopes that his good qualities will prevail. He lives in a vast underground sett, part of which incorporates the remains of a buried Roman settlement. A brave and a skilled fighter, Badger helps clear the Wild-Wooders from Toad Hall with his large stick.







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