The Lobster-Quadrille

“‘You may not have lived much under the sea–’ (‘I haven’t,’ said Alice)–’and perhaps you were  never even introduced to a lobster–’ (Alice began to say ‘I once tasted–but checked herself hastily, and said ‘No never’) ‘–so you have no idea what the Lobster-Quadrille is!'” (Lewis Carroll 76)

Okay two points:

Point 1: Unlike the first time with the “french” mouse Alice found in the flood, she did correct herself this time to not offend the Mock Turtle. With the mouse, she kept talking about Dinah and how she would hunt mice. However, this time around, Alice remembered and was more considerate. I interpreted this as a type of political correctness. During RA training, we had a section dedicated to learning about political correctness and how we need to apply it with our diverse residents. During that, I was shown this following Tumblr post/picture to better understand a situation (the situation where we say things that are problematic but didn’t mean to say it) many us were guilty of doing:

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Read the bold!

Point 2: Like Alice, I also did not know what a lobster quadrille was, even after reading the passage several times, I still struggled with visualizing it. So I googled it! And I came across the a scene in the 1999 Alice in Wonderland TV movie. The cast list for this movie is incredible and filled with so much talent! Gene Wilder was the Mock Turtle actually, and may he rest in peace, he was phenomenal and passionate in his roles: Gene Wilder’s Interpretation of the Lobster Quadrille

“‘But it’s no use going back to yesterday, I was a different person then’” (Carroll 80).

I had always seen this quote sewn into canvas bags, on posters, mugs, etc. This quote is often used to be the tie in, or summary, of what the Alice and Wonderland had to offer. And to an extent, it’s true. This novel, to me, is largely about change. Although Alice is referring to when she was literally a different size, I sense an undertone of that is emotional change. She has learned new perspectives in lives she never considered were akin to her own, and dilemmas other creatures faced that would have never affected her. And this is incredibly relevant today with social justice. I do disagree that this is the only concept Carroll meant for the reader to take away, but it’s arguably one of the main.

Who Stole the Tarts?

“’And that’s the jury box,’ though Alice; ‘and those twelve creatures,’ (she was obliged to say ‘creatures,’ you see, because some of them were animals, and some were birds,) ‘I suppose they are the jurors’” (Carroll 84).

This is another moment where Alice displays political correctness and consideration for the creatures she has met.

“One of the jurors had a pencil that squeaked. This, of course, Alice could not stand, and she went round the court and got behind him, and very soon found an opportunity of taking it away. She did it so quickly that the poor little juror (it was Bill, the Lizard) could not make out at all what had become of it” (Carroll 85).

Yet, at the same time, it is very interesting how Alice is considerate with only some things. She was not enjoying the squeak of this pencil. I also enjoy how Carroll utilized Bill the Lizard to be a running gag trope of “the side/extra character with all the bad luck.” I really regret not nominating Bill the Lizard for our clan animal. I do want to suggest that perhaps for another rendition of this class, the clan animal should be chosen after the Alice in Wonderland books have been read. Even with reading about the characters nominated on a wiki page or through the purple books, it was not the same as seeing the character in the context itself. I honestly chose the Jabberwocky because it was one of the creatures that has a dominant modern presentation in the Tim Burton films.

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Alice’s Evidence

“…for the accident of the goldfish kept running in her head, and she had a vague idea sort of idea that [the jurors] must be collected at once and put back into the jury-box, or they would die” (Carroll 90).

I believe this to be one of the best analogies/representation of Alice’s feelings. This scene put me into a better perspective to this overall scene. Alice was growing, and so she viewed the creatures as helpless and which is why she felt responsible for putting the jurors back into their box. While the jurors were thrown and shaken up by this power. So basically, this scene shows a great power dynamic and the effects of Alice’s physical growth.

“‘If you didn’t sign it,’ said the King, ’that makes the matter worse. You must have meant mischief, or else you’d have signed your name like an honest man.’ There was a general clapping of hands at this: it was the first really clever thing the King had said that day” (92).

It is so humorous to read how these two monarchs (the King and Queen respectively) are terrible leaders yet everyone seems to follow them blindly. I wonder what Carroll is trying to convey here, hmm?

“…with the dream of Wonderland of long ago; and how she would feel with all their simple sorrows, and find pleasure in all their simple joys, remembering her own child-life, and happy summer days” (97).

I had so many thoughts go through my head in this last paragraph. I cannot stress it enough (and I read many of my classmates agreed with this statement as well) but it does seem as if Disney’s 1951 version depicted the sister less open to this idea, and that is something Disney completely missed out on including since imagination is such a base core to the Disney franchise. In any case, this last paragraph summarizes not only what it means to be a child but also how to be a child for the rest of your life. CHildhood is not just about innocence, it’s about being considerate, loving, and accepting. Society corrupts us as we grow up, conditioning us to believe in what we should accept and what we should not, but as a child, we do not care. I do wat to keep emphasizing this “theme” of acceptance and open-mindedness that is established throughout the work.

Lastly, I do think that another base for this paragraph is simply to love your imagination and never grow up, which is something I try to do on the daily.

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