Animal Society: Just the Stats, Ma'am

Monday, December 7, 2009



As you probably noticed, I like books. I also like lists.  So, for your reading amusement (and not just because I'm super-busy this week), I'm wrapping up the Animal Society Theme with a quick statistical-ish comparison of the six books I read.

Reviews, in case you missed 'em:

Wind in the Willows
The Rescuers
Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH
Redwall
Mouse Guard
Watership Down


Stats Away!

Continuum of Anthropomorphism:

Extremely human-like society
Wind in the Willows
Redwall
The Rescuers
Mouse Guard
Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH
Watership Down 
Slightly human-like


Positions on various species:

Weasels are jerks, along with all their kin
Wind in the Willows, Redwall, Mouse Guard

Cats are bastards
The Rescuers, Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH, Watership Down

Rats are evil
Redwall, Watership Down

Rats are great!
Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH, Wind in the Willows

Birds?  They're okay
Redwall, Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH, Watership Down, Wind in the Willows

Nope.  Birds are bastards too
Mouse Guard

Primary Protagonists are 90% mammalian
ALL

100% mammalian?
Mouse Guard, The Rescuers

100% mammalian or avian?
Mouse Guard, The Rescuers, Redwall, Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH, Watership Down

So Toad stands alone, huh?
Pretty much


Nationality:

Animals are British:
Wind in the Willows, Redwall, Watership Down, Mouse Guard?  (Rabbits have British accents)

Other European?
The Rescuers

American?
Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH

To be fair, does that exactly match the nationalities of the authors?
Well, yes, except that Margery Sharp is British but very vague as to where her books take place...


Homo Sapiens:

Animals understand humans:
Wind in the Willows, The Rescuers, Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH

Animals talk to, understood by, humans:
Wind in the Willows, The Rescuers

Narrator relates human speech, even though characters don't understand it:
Watership Down

What's a hu-man?
Redwall, Mouse Guard


Stuff:

Animals brandish artificial weaponry:
Redwall, Mouse Guard, Wind in the Willows, The Rescuers (sort of)

Animals wear clothes:
Same list.  Huh.

Live in holes in the ground:
Watership Down, Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH

Live in hidden places that are well appointed inside:
Mouse Guard, Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH, The Rescuers, Wind in the Willows

Live in explicitly human-type dwellings:
Wind in the Willows, Redwall, The Rescuers (Miss Bianca and her Porcelain Pagoda)


Animal-Animal Relations:

Animals think nothing of making friends outside their own species:
Wind in the Willows, Redwall

Animals think twice about making friends outside their own species, but it does happen:
Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH, Watership Down, The Rescuers

Animals try to keep to themselves:
Mouse Guard


Is it Cannibalism if...?

Fish are not mammals, therefore they do not speak and we can eat them!
Wind in the Willows, Redwall, Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH (although it seems less weird in the latter)



Ultimate Goal of Society (More or Less):

Wind in the Willows: Good Food, True Friends, Messing around in Boats.
The Rescuers: … Rescuing people?  Well run meetings, Duty to the 'Greater Good'(TM).
Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH: Survive, thrive, keep superpowers firmly under wraps...for now...
Redwall: Defend nice people.  Only stab bad guys, but don't worry, they'll identify themselves.
Mouse Guard: Crush your enemies, See them driven before you...
Watership Down: Live in (relative) safety, Help one another.  Tell Stories, Make baby rabbits.


Regular Book Write-ups return next week, or earlier if circumstances allow.
Cheers!

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