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“Four legs good, two legs bad”

November 17, 2009

First, I named this post “Four legs good, two legs bad” because throughout the time we have been reading The Annotated Alice, I keep thinking back to Animal Farm and how similar these two stories are.Just like Animal Farm, the story is using animals to represent people, and they are acting out situations from their lifetime. Just like in Animal FarmThe Annotated Alice has lessons to be learned throughout the plot.

The other day while discussing The Annotated Alice on cover it live with my team, we were noticing different animals keep appearing in the story. These animals could be representing real people in Alice’s or Carroll’s life. Also, the situations that are occuring in wonderland, could also be real life events from Alice’s and Carroll’s life.

As we already know, the book says that the mouse in this story was Miss Prickett, the children’s governess. But, my mind keeps wondering about Alice’s cat, Dinah. In the beginning, Alice keeps referring to her cat, Dinah. Then later on in the story Alice meets the Cheshire Cat. Then during the times she is with the Chershire cat, she Dinah is not brought up as much. What I am wondering is, do these to animals relate in any way, and are they suppose to represent something?

3 Comments leave one →
  1. Haley M. permalink
    November 19, 2009 11:12 am

    To Jackson:
    Yes, I realize Alice’s cat, Dinah, is out of Alice real world and has no part in wonderland. And the Cheshire Cat is a character in Wonderland. What I am trying to say is, is the Cheshire cat Alice’s version of her cat Dinah? In the beggining she talks about Dinah knowing what to do. Then at one point, she moves to the Cheshire Cat, asking him where to go.

  2. November 18, 2009 12:18 pm

    Interesting point! I loved Animal Farm, and it was my favorite book in 8th grade. I thought about that the other day, that the animals have a meaning in each person’s life. Maybe, and it would be really interesting if the annotations gave us everything, but however, not all that information is out there. Perhaps Carroll didn’t want us to know what they represent, because rememeber, he didn’t want us to analyze this story, and also-curiousity killed the cat.

  3. Jackson H. permalink
    November 18, 2009 11:31 am

    You raise an interesting point. However, I don’t think the two animals have any relation. The namesake of the Cheshire Cat is a phrase: “to grin like a Cheshire Cat.” Alice’s cat Dinah is not really a component of Wonderland. Dinah is a sub-character, mentioned only in passing. She is a character brought into Wonderland by Alice. Wonderland, in order to preserve its integrity, attempts to push the foreign Dinah out, much as Alice often feels uncomfortable throughout the entire novel. As such, any mention of her is immediately suppressed by the other characters (though not suppressed in the manner described in chapter 11). The Cheshire Cat, however, is a resident of Wonderland. As such, he/she/it is by no means a regular cat. Therefore, I believe that the Cheshire Cat is not related to Dinah.

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