Last Updated 20 Apr 2022

Mrs. Frisby and the rats of Nimh by Robert C. O’Brien

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This book narrates the problems faced by the mice belonging to the family of Mrs. Frisby who is the main character of this fiction. The story of Frisby shows that she had the courage and determination to look after her family after the death of her husband. After the death of her husband Mrs. Frisby was expected to take care of her children. The story begins with the description of the life style of Mrs. Frisby’s family and the problems faced by this family as they depended on the humans for their survival.

Due to the problems that mice’s family faced during winter, they were forced to change their places of habitation. However, Frisby’s son Timothy had a weak health. Due to his illness, Frisby could not carry her family to the safer place during winter, but it was important to find some solution the health problem of her son.

This book consists of various adventures of Frisby who was able to even challenge a dragon. Frisy was able to save a crow who advised the mouse to go to old owl who was reluctant to give any advice until he heard the name of Mr. Frisby. Indirectly, Mr. Frisby is also mentioned in the book although he was dead. The old owl advised Mrs. Frisby to seek help from the nest of rats, which lived under a rose bush. After hearing the name of Mr. Frisby, the rats decide to help the mouse.

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It is curious to note that the rats led an independent life as they were able to establish their own colony with electricity, roads, streets, lifts, and various other facilities. Thus, Mrs. Frisby is introduced to the secret world of the rats. It is interesting to note that rats had mastered the art of reading and the young rats were expected to learn reading. The rats had succeeded in imitating the humans by establishing their own civilization in this secret world.

The rats execute the plan of lifting the block of Mrs. Frisby’s house and shifting it to a safer location. This shows that these animals had mastered the art of modern technology by the use of latest machineries. Through this mastery of human skills, the rats had become independent of the control of human beings. Although the main characters are mice and rats, the story reveals the human character and values found in these animals as they think and behave like humans.

For example, it is surprising to note that mouse goes to the owl and seeks the advice as there is a general perception that owl is always looking for the flesh of mouse. Mrs. Frisby shows her motherly affection when her son falls ill. The problems faced by the mouse’s family are also depicted in the fiction. Naturally, this book has attracted the attention of many students who study in elementary schools. Initially the book does not reveal the secret world of the rats. By doing so, the author is able to sustain the curiosity of the readers.

Apart from mouse and rats, other characters in this book are Mrs. Frisby’s friend Mr. Ages, the crow, Jeremy, and the owl. Mrs. Frisby also learns that her husband was a close companion of the rats and out of respect for her husband the rats had agreed to help her. The reader is also informed that the rats had earlier depended on the human beings; later they decided to migrate to their present place where they established their own civilization. This book has been liked by the younger generation as there is description of the human character of the animals.

Bibliography

O’Brien, R.C. (1971). Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of Nimh. New York: Puffin

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