First Thought? Of Course I Ought! (Ch.8)

Summary: What quirky images/ thoughts pop up in my head as I dive into each chapter of The Annotated Alice? Let’s get some popcorn and our megaphones out to watch the battle at “The Queen’s Croquet-Ground”! (Ch.8)

(Note:  If you’re interested in these ideas, feel free to check out the previous posts on Ch. 1-7 under one of our categories found in the side bar, ”First Thought? Of Course I Ought!”, too, if you want.)


My first thoughts?

I was very excited to read this chapter, for it has the famous quote “painting the roses red!” which in the Disney version was made into a song!

It gets into you head huh?

I find it interesting that in the Disney version, Alice arrives into the garden, aka the Queen’s Ground, by a whole/door in the tree that was opened by the Cheshire Cat. In Carroll’s story, there is a door in one of the trees, yet it leads Alice to the room of doors in which she opens the garden door with the golden key and nibbles her way to being a foot tall so she can enter the Queen’s garden. Similar? Yes, yet not all of the components of the Disney version are exactly like Carroll’s story.

I also think it is funny that it was the 2, 5 and 7 of spades that Alice encounters in Carroll’s version and in the Disney version it was the Ace, 2, and 3 of clubs. Really Disney? Was it that hard to draw a 5 or 7 spade of cards? If the cards were spades, the rose trees could not have been in the shape of a spade, or an upside-down heart. The annotations show what each suit of cards represents: Spade-Gardeners, Clubs-Soldiers, Diamonds-Courtiers, and Hearts-Royal children. If Disney wanted any part of this symbolism, they probably would not have put the gardeners as clubs and the other suits of cards various slave-like people to the Queen.

By the way, what a weird ladder the cards are using. I don’t think I have ever seen a ladder with one of the legs a straight poll/stick. Anything can happen in Wonderland I guess.
When I was looking at this picture, I noticed that the King and Queen’s noses were shaded. What does this mean? From the annotations, they say that the shaded nose signify boozers. Since both of their heads are pointed to the sky, I believe the shading could be a bad sunburn and Tenniel was adding realistic features into his drawing. It could be either one. It is also interesting to think about the symbolism of the cards. The entire base cards, Ace-10, are not to be seen in this picture.

What does this mean?

It could mean many things. One, this picture could illustrate the political differences between Alice and Royalty. Two, the facial expressions of the Royal Cards have a different interpretation than if the base cards were reacting to the scene. Here is yet another example of Nobility vs. Peasantry, Upper-Class vs. Lower-Class or what ever you want call it.

*Can you spot the White Rabbit?*

Stay tuned for “First thought? Of Course I Ought!” (Ch. 9)

Image 1 can be found here.


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  • Welcome to the “Alice Project”

    What happens when a group of insightful 10th grade students explore Alice's journey into Wonderland?