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Perhaps it hasn’t one…

November 27, 2009

Recently we had an in-class essay over the Duchess’ morals in chapter 9.

My classmates and I were asked to write about how one of the Duchess’ morals relates to the meaning of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. The Duchess’ morals are as follows:

-Oh, ’tis love, ’tis love, that makes the world go round!
-Take care of the sense, and the sounds will take care of themselves.
-Birds of a feather flock together.
-The more there is of mine, the less there is of yours.
-Be what you would seem to be.

Yet, none of these morals explain the meaning of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. Of course people could analyze and pick apart every single moral until they made one of the Duchess’ morals explain Alice’s adventure, but that just doesn’t cut it.

Many children’s stories often have a moral at the end or some hidden message about how the children should learn something from reading the story. However, being so young the children usually aren’t trying to learn something from reading or listening to a book. Often they are too involved with the colourful pictures and the array of funny looking characters such as when Alice in Wonderland was made into a movie. The children watching the movie and listening to the story of Alice are simply enjoying it, not trying to find reason as to why the rabbit can talk and why Wonderland is so odd. Maybe Carroll intended for his readers to have a more childlike perception of the story. After all, he completely made the story up in the first place and had no intentions of turning it into a book. The story was meant to be for pure entertainment and for that reason, it is difficult for others to find meaning in a story that wasn’t meant to have one.

With the Duchess’ quote, “Everything has a moral, if only you can find it” people argue the story has to have a moral, but I personally believe this is untrue. Just because a character says something, does it have to be taken as the truth?

Classmates and others: what are your thoughts on the Duchess’ morals?

Do you think the Duchess’ morals relate to Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland?

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One comment

  1. When children read a book they are looking at the pretty pictures and the funny story. This catches their eyes and grabs their attention. The morals are woven into the story and sometimes hidden, but they still understand and learn them. That is why parents read these stories to their children. For example when I was young I loved the story “The Little Engine That Could”. The engine always said “I think I can. I think I can.” From that moment on everytime I had a difficult situation I would remember how the engine could and I knew that I could.



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