- Alice assumes that a person's temperament is at least somehow connected to what they eat or are exposed to (nurture over nature). This being the case, it makes sense perhaps that the baby boy was so ill-tempered, augmented of course by the ill temper of the others in the kitchen with him, affected as they all were surely by the airborne pepper. It's only upon leaving the source of "hotness" that he calms and turns into a pig. Maybe boys are simply polar creatures: hot-tempered or piggish. So what happens when they're fed candy?
- "When I'm a Duchess...."
- Does the finding of morals in everything separate children from adults, or join or distance Carroll from Alice? Does he moralize his tale or leave it to the reader to find the automatically intrinsic morals? (Carroll said in his "The New Belfry of Christ Church Oxford," "Everything has a moral if you choose to look for it. In Wordsworth a good half of every poem is devoted to the Moral: in Byron, a smaller portion: in Tupper, the whole.")
- The making of the world go round is most commonly done in literature and song by Love. So what of Minding One's Own Business (and might there be a riddle in the connection between it and Love amounting to "much the same thing")?
- "Take care of the pence and the pounds will take care of themselves." Sense and Sound is Carroll's own development.
- Once again, from a child's perspective, adults are all mad; their words are gibberish, their morals bologna, and their motives an utter conflux of misappropriations. I love the literal realization of this here in the scene Alice shares with the Duchess. By combination of this and a nightly observation of my family's house cat, Jesse (who feels it her duty to, in turn, accompany my children, in turn--the first until she falls asleep, at which point she offers a perfunctory lick to the face, and then moves to the second), the evident sanity of the Cheshire Cat has come to make a little more sense. Adults often have a hard time with cats, because cats are independent, disobedient, haughty, etcetera--seemingly insane, really (I like my cat for this very reason: I don't have do anything but feed it!). However, kids love cats. Kids get cats. At least my kids do. I did when I was a kid. There's nothing mysterious or insane about cats from a child's perspective.
- The Gryphon is the emblem of Oxford's Trinity College. It is also the mythical guardian of ancient goldmines and is meant as a symbol of utmost vigilance. Finally, medievally it was a common symbol of the union between God and man (how so, I'm not really sure, but there you go).
New thought (new to me, anyway): The griffin pulls a chariot carrying Beatrice in Dante's Purgatorio, and the final lines of Paradiso run thusly (Longfellow translation): "Here vigor failed the lofty fantasy: / But now was turning my desire and will, / Even as a wheel that equally is moved, // The Love which moves the sun and the other stars." This final line follows the same pattern as the Duchess' "Oh, 'tis love, 'tis love, that makes the world go round!" Now that I'm looking, there are striking parallels between The Divine Comedy and the Alice books. There are tours, guides, episodes underground, fits, bizarreries, torments, ecstasies, and so on. Especially, there is a female character highly idealized by the author. Thoughts?