Your Majesty

December 1, 2009
“What’s your name, child?” “My name is Alice, so please your Majesty,” said Alice very politely.

This post is inspired by Scott’s The Third Witness.

“Is there any significance to the Queen of Hearts being the first and only person Alice tells her name to?”

As we discover in the final chapter, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland isa dream.  Alice is in her own dream world and therefore is the “person in charge”. Perhaps the Queen, being the figure of authority in Wonderland, is the person Alice felt obliged to politely introduce herself to. The Queen seems to be the only person that Alice is truly polite to, and this is probably because Alice has been taught to view royalty as requiring respect. However, even though she is polite to the Queen in public, she thinks to herself, “Why, they’re only a pack of cards…” This is not very respectful. Alice is a child and has been taught to be polite and respectful to adults, especially royalty. As an older child, she still thinks childish disrespectful things about the Queen, but she is grown enough to keep those opinions to herself. Also, “Why, they’re only a pack of cards, after all. I needn’t be afraid of them!” shows that Alice recognizes that they have no real power over her. However, Alice choses to respect the authority of the Queen anyway.

I propose that the significance of Alice introducing herself to the Queen is that the Queen represents authority. As I said before, Alice has been taught to respect and be polite to adults, the figures of authority in a child’s life. However, most of the characters in Wonderland aren’t adults. There are talking dodos, smoking caterpillars, vanishing cats, and all sorts of unusual characters in Wonderland, but few that she recognizes as an adult. The Hatter is too crazy to seem adult and has no authority, and while Alice is polite to the calm, authoritative Cheshire-Cat, it isn’t human (or at least human-like). Amid the craziness of Wonderland, the Queen’s authority is something that Alice can understand. The Queen is royalty, and royalty require respect. Alice follows this rule, trying to apply what she knows to the nonsense of Wonderland. In the very end of the story Alice loses her respect for the Queen and says, “You’re nothing but a pack of cards!” This exclamation of logic ends Alice’s adventures in Wonderland and returns her to reality.

One comment

  1. One thing that your post brought to mind is the fact that authority is not then it is given. If Alice had totally ignored the power of the queen because she is only a card, I think she would have had nothing to fear. Because the queen already holds Alice in respect. When she is threatened she exclaims Nonsense! And the queen is silent. This alone sets her apart. even the duchess was punished for disobedience, but not Alice. I found this point very interesting.

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