The Rabbits Marsden Analysis

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Analysis of The Rabbits Grades 5-6 The Book: Marsden, John. The Rabbits. 2003. 0-9688768-8-9. This simple but powerful allegory describes the results of most of the colonizing in the history of our planet. The spare text and stylized illustrations tell the chilling story of invasion, cultural subjugation and environmental destruction in simple terms. This is an excellent opener for discussion at many levels. Background: The Rabbits is an allegorical story that can make many people uncomfortable. It shows an area, place, or country being overrun with rabbits and that is ultimately devastated by the environmental impact. Most people see in the story the overtaking of the Americas by the Europeans and the loss of land by the Aboriginal…show more content…
They need to have some knowledge of such elements as the European arrival in the Americas and their rise to dominance, Aboriginal land rights, the stolen generation (residential schools), and the growing degradation of the environment. The story shows a different perspective than the usual one about the arrival of Europeans in the Americas. Some people are upset by the apparent truths in the story, others say they feel responsible for the losses suffered by the Aboriginal people, yet others (non-Aboriginals) feel they are being blamed for something they didn’t do and still others feel that overall, the settling of the Americas by Europeans was good for both Europeans and Aboriginal people. Clearly, this very short story raises a lot of issues. It’s great for use with an older, more aware group of…show more content…
(Colonization, War over territories, Overpopulation, Residential schools, Environmental degradation) • In what ways do you think the story is an accurate depiction of events? In what ways does it over-simplify or exaggerate? Comparing Stories: The following three books can be usefully compared to The Rabbits, and to each other. Cherry, Lynne. A River Ran Wild. 1992, 0152163727. The story of a river, from the first people thousands of years ago, how people came to depend on it, used it, abused it, polluted it, and finally cleaned it. Beautifully illustrated, and powerfully presented, his book is a classic in environmental studies Trottier, Maxine. Voyage of Wood Duck. 1995, 978-0920336700. Long ago when dreams were more real than they are today; there was a young boy who lived by the sea. He was called Wood Duck. He wanted to voyage across the sea, but when he did so, he longed for home, and also had premonitions about the people he met to the east of his Atlantic seacoast home. Yolen, Jane. Encounter. 1992, 015201389X. A Taino Indian boy on the island of San Salvador recounts the landing of Columbus and his men in 1492. Compare The Rabbits with Encounter. How are they similar?
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