| Quote #4
"I've been to a day-school, too," said Alice. "You needn't be so proud as all that."
As the annotations to any good edition of the book will tell you, the Mock Turtle is confusing the fees for extra subjects at boarding school with the fee they charge for doing your laundry. His rationale seems to be that anything you pay for makes you more educated. But we know that (unfortunately) it takes more than buying a lesson to really learn it.
| Quote #5
"Reeling and Writhing, of course, to begin with," the Mock Turtle replied; "and then the different branches of Arithmetic – Ambition, Distraction, Uglification, and Derision." (Wonderland 9.73)
As we're sure you've guessed, these are parodies of the subjects you learned in school: reading, writing, addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division. Yet all the things listed in the parody are things we learn in school too – competing for grades teaches us ambition, there are plenty of things to distract us as we study, we learn to mock and deride one another, and so on.
| Quote #6
"What else had you to learn?"
OK, "Mystery" is history, "Seaography" is geography, "Drawling, Stretching, and Fainting in Coils" are drawing, sketching, and painting in oils. Of all these, we're most amused by "Mystery," since so many of the things that have happened over the course of human history are bizarre, ridiculous, or inexplicable.