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The Cheshire Cat: Alice’s Anchor to Mental Sanity

December 2, 2009
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I was talking to another student, and another idea came to me. When people are away from their family and/or friends for long periods of time, they usually take a picture, or something similar, or their family with them. This helps them remember the people they love, especially if they are in a scary or new environment.

It has been shown that people who are put in isolation away from reality may go mentally insane. They have no one to love, and this scares them. They also have no one to place their trust in. Taking a picture of their family with them helps them maintain their mental sanity. It reminds them of the people they can trust in and love, and this is simply good for the mind. Is it not for the same, or at least a similar, reason that people put pictures of their family on their desks at work?

So, let us look at the Cheshire cat. The cat was perhaps the only character in Wonderland that Alice really liked and could trust. There was, of course, the duchess, who was nice to Alice, but Alice did not like her presence. The duchess was far too annoying with all of her morals. I think that because the cat would talk to Alice, and explain things to her, it helped her maintain her mental sanity. Without the cat, Alice would have had no real friends in Wonderland, and everyone knows that that is a bad feeling, and not a good situation to be in.

How do you think Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland been different without the Cheshire cat?

3 Comments leave one →
  1. December 4, 2009 11:37 pm

    Yes, even more so than the friend aspect, the Cheshire cat seemed to be the philosopher, or sense maker in a nonsense situation for Alice. This post made me remember just how cool I always thought the cat was.

    • December 5, 2009 5:36 pm

      Thanks for the comment! I agree, the cat is probably my favorite character.

  2. Derek_M permalink
    December 3, 2009 9:58 am

    I really do believe that The Cheshire Cat is definitely Alice’s tie to reality. Her cat Dinah seems to be the focus of her mind in the beginning of her journey. As her journey progresses, Dinah is not mentioned. The Cheshire Cat takes her old cat’s place. Alice loves her cat, so the Cheshire cat is playing the role of her cat Dinah in Wonderland. I really appreciate your connection to the story. Fantasy versus reality can be applied to almost any scene in Alice. Alice has to be somewhat tied to reality, but also with some insanity. Everyone goes to Wonderland sometime in their lives. Dreams happen and our escape of the boundaries of the modern day world can be achieved through this analysis. Props on your point using the Cheshire Cat.

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