The Wind in the Willows/Headscratchers

Everything About Fiction You Never Wanted to Know.

  • Seriously, did Kenneth Graham even know if he was writing about Funny Animals or Talking Animals? The opening scenes suggest more the latter than the former: yes, Ratty has a boat, but he lives in the riverbed, and compliments Mole on his "velvet smoking jacket", which is clearly Mole's actual pelt. Then we learn Toad lives in a big house and it gets a bit confused. Then it turns out Toad can drive a car, be tried and convicted as a human, and successfully disguise himself as a washerwoman. And meanwhile we're back to the other animals living in holes and being completely disconnected from the human world. What's going on? By the end of it all, I don't even know how large these animals are meant to be, let alone whether they usually wear clothes!
    • Congratulations, you just came across the Anthropomorphic Shift. It's not that much of a big deal, really, though I have to agree it gets a little confusing. Just remember that everything is an allegory, and you'll get along fine.
    • Kenneth Grahame himself addressed it: when asked by a fan how Toad could drive the train, he answered that "Toad was train-sized and train was toad-sized".
      • I always thought it was intended as satire, the characters representing various types of Edwardian gentleman ... It's no weirder than Hey, Arnold!
    • Since he wasn't reading TV Tropes, he didn't have to make his characters fit only into one or the other of those categories...
    • AA Milne's theory was that the animals were actually fairies, so they could do whatever they liked.
      • I love that theory. When The Call comes tell it that it's a fairy. Please?