First Thought? Of Course I Ought! (Ch.9)

Summary: What quirky images/ thoughts pop up in my head as I dive into each chapter of The Annotated Alice? Let’s travel with Alice to go her “The Mock Turtle’s Story”! (Ch.9)

(Note:  If you’re interested in these ideas, feel free to check out the previous posts on Ch. 1-8 under one of our categories found in the side bar, ”First Thought? Of Course I Ought!”, too, if you want.)


My first thoughts?

In the beginning of this chapter, we see the Duchess again, yet her personality has changed dramatically. She shows affection, kindness, and sympathy unlike her grouchy, violent, selfish attitude when Alice first met her in Chapter 6. I agree with Alice’s assumption with “perhaps it was only the pepper that had made her so savage when they met in the kitchen” (pg. 90). Could other object/elements change other personalities of the creatures and Alice throughout Wonderland?
morals Pictures, Images and Photos
We also come upon five important morals:

  1. ‘Oh, ’tis love, ‘tis love, that makes the world go round!’
  2. ‘Take care of the sense, and the sounds will take care of themselves.’
  3. ‘Birds of a feather flock together.’
  4. ‘The more there is of mine, the less there is of yours.’
  5. ‘Be what you would seem to be.’

All of these morals can be related to Alice’s journey throughout Wonderland, yet these aren’t quite the meaning of her journey since it is much more complex than a simple moral.

I also find it interesting that out of blue the Queen suggests Alice to go meet the Mock Turtle and here his story. Could this be a distraction for Alice or could this meeting change her whole perspective on Wonderland?

I also find it offensive that Carroll adds  (If you don’t know what a Gryphon is, look at the picture.)  I can quite see that the picture on pg. 95 is a picture of a creature that is not Alice, the Queen, or the Mock Turtle, so out of process of elimination the picture must be of a Gryphon. Nevertheless Carroll sees the need to add this comment into his story.

Finally after laughing at the numerous ‘puns’ at the end of this chapter, Alice poses an excellent question “And how did you manage on the twelfth?” She asks this when the turtle explains to Alice that one learns a subject 10 hours on the first day, 9 hours the second day, and so on… thus on the 11 day there was a holiday and the 12 day?

The annotations wonder if the pupils start teaching their teacher, which could be plausible yet I know from feedback that teachers learn many things from their students everyday. The fact that the Gryphon quickly changes the subject when Alice asks this question, raises suspicion if the Mock Turtle was making up the whole story or if they didn’t want Alice to know.

Stay tuned for “First thought? Of Course I Ought!” (Ch. 10)

Image 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?