Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking-Glass
Education Quotes Page 3
How we cite our quotes:
"I went to the Classical master, though. He was an old crab, he was."
"I never went to him," the Mock Turtle said with a sigh. "He taught Laughing and Grief, they used to say." (Wonderland 9.82-83)
The things the Mock Turtle learned in school are parodies of what a good Victorian child would have learned. Unlike most American schools today, pretty much every nineteenth-century British school would have taught classics – Latin ("Laughing") and Greek ("Grief") language and literature. The puns are based on the fact that Latin is an easier language to learn than Greek (grief).
"And how many hours a day did you do lessons?" said Alice, in a hurry to change the subject.
"Ten hours the first day," said the Mock Turtle: "nine the next, and so on."
"What a curious plan!" exclaimed Alice.
"That's the reason they're called lessons," the Gryphon remarked: "because they lessen from day to day." (Wonderland 9.85-88)
Don't we just wish they did!
"We gave you the opportunity of doing it," the Red Queen remarked: "but I daresay you've not had many lessons in manners yet?"
"Manners are not taught in lessons," said Alice. "Lessons teach you to do sums, and things of that sort."
Alice separates intellectual from moral lessons – and people still debate what role schooling should play in one's moral or humanistic education. What do you think?