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Ambition, Distraction, Uglification, and Derision: Summary of Chapter Nine (2 of 2)

November 26, 2009

In chapter 9, the Queen wants to finish her game, but all of her players were in custody. Alice was the only person left except for the King and Queen. The Queen asks her if she has seen the Mock Turtle, but Alice has no clue what that is. A Mock Turtle is a turtle with the hed, hind hoofs, and tail of a calf. The Queen doesn’t explain it very well. All she says is that Mock Turtle Soup is made from it. Mock Turtle Soup is actually an imitation of Green Turtle Soup which is usually made from veal. First the Queen and Alice see a Gryphon which has the head and wings of an eagle and the lower body of a lion.

The Gryphon takes Alice to see the Mock Turtle so the Mock Turtle can tell Alice his history. The Mock Turtle starts to explain his story, but Alice kept interrupting with questions.

The Mock Turtle Tells His Tale

The Mock Turtle talked about when he was little and he went to school in the sea. His teacher was called Tortoise because he taught them even though he wasn’t a real tortoise. Alice was trying to get the attention when she said that she has also been to a day-school. The Mock Turtle proved that his school was more special by proving that it has “extras.” The Mock Turtle called his regular course “Reeling and Writhing and then the different branches of Arithmetic- Ambition, Distraction, Uglification and Derision.” Which means Reading and Writing with Addition, Subtraction, Multiplication and Division. Alice didn’t understand what Uglification was until the Mock Turtle talked about beautifying and uglifying. The Mock Turtle seems to like all these different subjects, but they had different names that Alice did not understand. Alice also did not understand how their days went. One the first day they had ten hours of school and it decreased day to day. Alice wanted to know what would happen on the twelfth day, but the Gryphon changed the subject before the Mock Turtle could answer.


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