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The End: Analysis Of Chapter Twelve (2 of 2)

December 3, 2009
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For part one of this analysis, go to Lindsay’s Blog.

At this point in the story, Alice is in the Card’s Court, and has spoken against the Red Queen in saying that the absence of the Knave’s signature doesn’t make him guilty in stealing the tarts. After the verses are read, Alice is sure that the evidence is useless. The poem is complete nonsense, and doesn’t really pertain to the trial. It’s apparent (with help from the annotations) that the larger Alice becomes, the more confident she gets. The next few lines with the king reading the poem himself are pretty interesting. He said that if the paper no meaning, then there was no need to find a meaning; that is such a politician thing to say! It’s obvious and all he is doing is repeating himself. What I noticed was that the Wonderlandians in the trial refer to the poem as “the paper.” This might be a witty joke Carroll made, because by saying “the paper” is unimportant is almost like calling yourself unimportant- because the King and Queen are made of paper! Carroll also wrote that the King was reading the notes with one eye, which could mean that he was not paying much attention to actually interpreting what it is saying.

The King was so oblivious to detail that he did not notice the tarts were in front of him the entire time. Even after the point was made that the tarts weren’t stolen, the King still had reason to think otherwise. This whole scene seems rather random, and the trial isn’t getting anywhere. This could again be thought back to the annotation in The Caucus Race that mentioned that perhaps Carroll thought that politicians went through their job in a pointless manner. The Red Queen then tell the King that she has never lost her temper, and then throws her ink at Bill the Lizard. Isn’t the courtroom a place of honesty? Why is the Red Queen, who ordered more beheadings than ever occurred in the French Revolution, admitting to being a stable person? Everyone in the court knows she’s mad! Everyone is mad!

Once Alice has grown fully, she has the confidence to speak against the Queen. She is upset at the Red Queen for calling a sentence before a verdict is even reached. Isn’t this also contradicting her behavior moments before? How simple-minded can one be to first make a decision before knowing what to do? Of course since Alice was Goliath by this time in comparison to the cards, she (nor the cards) budged when the Queen ordered a beheading. It was when Alice insults the court as a whole, calling them “just a pack of cards,” that they all attack her. Then, without discovering Alice’s fate… she awakes. It might be important to consider that once Alice determined that she was more powerful than Wonderland, that when she regained control of her wild dream, that she wakes up.

The last curious thing I found about Alice before she left the story was the fact that she completely remembered her dream, because most people tend to forgot what they had dreamed about. Alice’s sister’s dream based upon the story told to her also show how well Alice actually remembered the story. The sister went over every major scene from the book itself. As the story was ending, the sister was thinking about Alice growing up and telling this story to her kids, and feel good about it. I saw this as contrasting to Lord of the Flies, when Ralph wept for the end of innocence. In this case, Alice gets to keep hers.

For an overview of chapter twelve, visit Connor’s Blog.

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