1) What do you think about the characters beinganthropomorphized
animals? Is this easy or difficult for you to reconcile with their behaviors?
2) Chapter One introduces us to Mole and his experiences one spring day as he decides to forego house cleaning and frolic in the fresh air instead. What do you think of his joy in the spring and of the river: “Never in his life had he seen a river before--this sleek, sinuous, full-bodied animal, chasing and chuckling, gripping things with a gurgle and leaving them with a laugh, to fling itself on fresh playmates that shook themselves free, and were caught and held again. All was a-shake and a-shiver--glints and gleams and sparkles, rustle and swirl, chatter and bubble. The Mole was bewitched, entranced, fascinated.”
3) What do you think attracts Mole and Rat as friends? I think initially, Ratty is attracted to Mole because he just can't fathom that Mole knows nothing of the river that Ratty knows, and loves. Its incomprehensible to him that there is "someone" out there who doesn't know of the river. (Inconceivable!). For his part, Mole is so taken with the river that I think he'd do anything to stay near it. As time goes on, they get used to each other, and comfortable with each other. I think they bring out the best in each other. As solitary animals, they were wanting companionship, and they found it with each other.
4) In Chapter Two, we meet Toad who “Disregarding the Rat, he proceeded to play upon the inexperienced Mole as on a harp. Naturally a voluble animal, and always mastered by his imagination, he painted the prospects of the trip and the joys of the open life and the roadside in such glowing colours that the Mole could hardly sit in his chair for excitement” and embarks with Mole and Rat in tow. What do you think of Toad, and of their adventure? And, what do you think when at the end of the chapter, Toad buys a car.
5) In Chapters Three and Four winter comes and we are introduced to Badger. What do you think of the contrast between the spring and summer adventures, and the winter adventures? Also, what do you think of the character of Badger and how he joins in?
6) As we finish this section, are there other themes or questions I’ve missed? No, I think you covered it pretty well.