Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking-Glass
by Lewis Carroll
Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking-Glass Violence Quotes
How we cite our quotes: Citations follow this format: (Book.Chapter.Paragraph)
The Queen turned crimson with fury, and, after glaring at her for a moment like a wild beast, began screaming "Off with her head! Off with – "
"Nonsense!" said Alice, very loudly and decidedly, and the Queen was silent. (Wonderland 8.18-19)
The Queen of Hearts is bloodthirsty, and execution is the only response she has to any situation or problem that presents itself. Strangely, a single word from Alice is enough to put her in her place.
Alice began to feel very uneasy: to be sure, she had not as yet had any dispute with the Queen, but she knew that it might happen any minute, "and then," thought she, "what would become of me? They're dreadfully fond of beheading people here: the great wonder is, that there's any one left alive!" (Wonderland 8.45)
The same could probably be said of the world at large. People are so fond of hurting each another, of war and murder and general unpleasantness, that it's amazing our species is still around. This is definitely one of Lewis Carroll's darker moments, where faith in the human race is in short supply.
"I like the Walrus best," said Alice: "because he was a little sorry for the poor oysters."
"He ate more than the Carpenter, though," said Tweedledee. "You see he held his handkerchief in front, so that the Carpenter couldn't count how many he took: contrariwise."
"That was mean!" Alice said indignantly. "Then I like the Carpenter best – if he didn't eat so many as the Walrus."
"But he ate as many as he could get," said Tweedledum.
This was a puzzler. After a pause, Alice began, "Well! They were both very unpleasant characters – " (Looking-Glass 4.27-31)
Alice tries to find a way to interpret one of the two friends as innocent and the other as guilty. Tweedledum and Tweedledee, however, remind her that the Walrus and Carpenter are both complicit in the murder of the Oysters. Their violence can't be pinned on one bad person; the blame is shared.