Kenneth Grahame and The Wind in the Willows: A Symbolic Autobiography

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2014-01-15
Authors
Sakai, Liane
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University of Hawaii at Manoa
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The Wind in the Willows is a rare book which through its depiction of the adventures and idyllic pastoral life of its animal characters not only provides its reader with absorbing plots, poetically vivid, articulate descriptions, and memorable characters which incorporate a credible duality of animal and human qualities, but also emanates reassurance and restoration for a troubled spirit. Some critics have observed that the intangible qualities of the book which so appealed to its countless readers could only have been created by one of those unique personages “who have kept fresh in their hearts the ‘everlasting child,’ whose eyes look out still with wonder on a wondrous world who … hear the pipes of Pan among the rushes, and the flowers talking in the forest.” (6:146) Other critics attribute its appeal to its "symbolism [which] embodies some of mankind's deepest and moat ineradicable yearnings: the pastoral dream, the Golden Age, the search for lost innocence." (6:236)
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27 pages
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