Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking-Glass
by Lewis Carroll
Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking-Glass Philosophical Viewpoints: The Absurd Quotes
How we cite our quotes: Citations follow this format: (Book.Chapter.Paragraph)
"You couldn't have it if you did want it," the Queen said. "The rule is, jam to-morrow and jam yesterday – but never jam to-day."
"It must come sometimes to 'jam to-day,'" Alice objected.
"No, it can't," said the Queen. "It's jam every other day: to-day isn't any other day, you know." (Looking-Glass 5.16-18)
In one sense, the Queen's exactly right: it's always today, and so if something only happens yesterday and tomorrow, then in a certain way it never happens. But, even though the argument for this perspective makes sense, at the end of the day it's still an absurd way of looking at time.
Alice was glad to see that it revived him a good deal. "There's nothing like eating hay when you're faint," he remarked to her, as he munched away.
"I should think throwing cold water over you would be better," Alice suggested: " – or some sal-volatile."
"I didn't say there was nothing better," the King replied. "I said there was nothing like it." Which Alice did not venture to deny. (Looking-Glass 7.24-26)
Extreme literalism is one kind of absurdity that's very common in Wonderland and Looking-Glass World.
"This is a child!" Haigha replied eagerly, coming in front of Alice to introduce her, and spreading out both his hands towards her in an Anglo-Saxon attitude. "We only found it to-day. It's as large as life, and twice as natural!"
"I always thought they were fabulous monsters!" said the Unicorn. "Is it alive?"
"It can talk," said Haigha solemnly.
The Unicorn looked dreamily at Alice, and said "Talk, child."
Alice could not help her lips curling up into a smile as she began: "Do you know, I always thought Unicorns were fabulous monsters, too? I never saw one alive before!"
"Well, now that we have seen each other," said the Unicorn, "if you'll believe in me, I'll believe in you." (Looking-Glass 7.63-68)
Our question is: How could you not believe in someone or something standing right in front of you?