Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking-Glass
by Lewis Carroll
Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking-Glass Madness Quotes
How we cite our quotes: Citations follow this format: (Book.Chapter.Paragraph)
Alice waited a little, half expecting to see it again, but it did not appear, and after a minute or two she walked on in the direction in which the March Hare was said to live. "I've seen hatters before," she said to herself: "the March Hare will be much the most interesting, and perhaps, as this is May, it won't be raving mad – at least not so mad as it was in March." (Wonderland 6.69)
Alice distinguishes several degrees of madness. Apparently madness is something that can wax and wane, that ranges across a broad spectrum.
"They were learning to draw," the Dormouse went on, yawning and rubbing its eyes, for it was getting very sleepy; "and they drew all manner of things – everything that begins with an M—"
"Why with an M?" said Alice.
"Why not?" said the March Hare.
Alice was silent.
The Dormouse had closed its eyes by this time, and was going off into a doze; but, on being pinched by the Hatter, it woke up again with a little shriek, and went on: " – that begins with an M, such as mouse-traps, and the moon, and memory, and muchness – you know you say things are "much of a muchness" – did you ever see such a thing as a drawing of a muchness?" (Wonderland 7.91-95)
While the Dormouse lists things that can be drawn with varying success, Lewis Carroll makes his own "sketch" of something beginning with an "m" – madness.
A large rose-tree stood near the entrance of the garden: the roses growing on it were white, but there were three gardeners at it, busily painting them red. (Wonderland 8.1)
The height of madness is to pretend to be what you aren't. Instead of enjoying the white roses, or pulling out the tree and planting red roses, the gardeners simply try to paint over their mistake.