The Velveteen Rabbit

10 October 2016

It further explores the progressive and dichotomous nature of what is ostensibly real against what is not. The plot of the Velveteen Rabbit traverses and meanders through various stages of psychological and internal growth counterpoised by declining external appearance, both driven forward by the power of love and acceptance from the Boy. The wisdom from the Skin Horse and the total as well as the final liberation of the Rabbit by the nursery magic Fairy’s wisdom and love, become quintessential.

In the beginning, the Rabbit is splendid, ‘it is fat and bunchy, as a rabbit should be… with real thread whiskers… and ear lined with pink sateen…’ The eternal and sublime quest becomes, what a “Real and True Rabbit should be. ” This depicts a picture so ‘magnificently charming’ and pleasantly ‘real’ that the Boy loves the Rabbit for at least two hours, until the end of the Christmas festivities when the Rabbit is put away and forgotten thus beginning the period when the Rabbit questions himself, his ‘realness’ and his place in the world or the nursery.

The Velveteen Rabbit Essay Example

The personal crisis and conflict the Rabbit proceeds to, is further exacerbated by the environment in the toy cupboard and nursery floor. The Rabbit harbors feelings of insecurity, loneliness and insignificance as the other toys act superior than him, boasting and bragging about their importance and how real they were compared to him. His salvation begins with the friendship and wisdom Skin Horse shows him. In contrast to the young toys, Skin Horse is vibrant and mature, both on the outside and inside; wise, old and tattered.

He begins to take the Rabbit on a Socratic journey of self-discovery. He responds quite aptly to the Rabbit’s question, “What is REAL? ” with the profound words, he responds, “Real isn’t how you are made…It’s a thing that happens to you. When a child loves you for a long, long time, not just to play with, but REALLY loves you, then you become Real. ” Hence this essay argues that love has transformative power and is at its core, essentially a force for transformation and self-discovery. In addition to answering the Rabbit’s questions about what is Real.

Skin Horse expands on the nature and process of Love. He emphasizes to the Rabbit that becoming Real is a process – a painstaking and long process that often hurts and is not for the fragile and thin-skinned. It ages and weathers the beloved although this is immaterial to the one that loves. So becoming Real is a dialogic and symbiotic process between the two – one even though long and hurtful, is ultimately worthwhile and process. In telling the Rabbit, “…Once you are Real you can’t become unreal again.

It lasts for always…” Skin Horse is elucidating for the Rabbit, that becoming Real and self-actualized that when one is loved, it is a progressive and never a regressive process. Furthermore, this process entails external and physical demise or ‘death’ which is countered by this psychological resurrection, renewal and growth. The true transformative agency of love and engagement begins in earnest as the Boy starts playing, sleeping and loving the Rabbit after his china dog went missing.

This process is the authentic genesis of the Rabbit becoming Real – at least to the Boy. Like Skin Horse who talks to and shows appreciation and warmth towards the Rabbit, the Boy in turn, continues where Skin Horse left off. He talks to, plays with, loves and appreciates the Rabbit even as his outward appearance is deteriorating. The Boy’s love eventually exposes and defends the Rabbit’s Realness, when Nana, who does not see the Rabbit as Real says, “Fancy all that fuss for a toy,” the Boy retorts strongly; “… He isn’t a toy.

He’s REAL! ” In return, when the Boy gets scarlet fever, the Rabbit returns all the care, love and compassion he had shown him such that he became Real, thus the tale reaches its literary climax. As the story winds towards the resolution, the remaining elements of becoming and indeed being Real are realized. First, the Rabbit becomes not only Real to the Boy, but to Nana as well, who notices this and exclaims; “I declare if that old Bunny hasn’t got quite a knowing expression. The ultimate revelation of the Rabbit as Real is however realized when the nursery magic Fairy informs the Rabbit that: “You were Real to the Boy… because he loved you. Now you shall be real to every one,” thus completing the Rabbit’s journey to becoming Real by making him Real through giving him hind legs or the ability to become part of the group to the wild Rabbit and everyone else. The essence of the transformation therefore is that in the beginning, Real is visible and in the eye of beholder but ultimate and true Real is, in the end, in the eyes of all who behold the beloved.

How to cite The Velveteen Rabbit essay

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The Velveteen Rabbit. (2016, Oct 02). Retrieved June 18, 2021, from
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