Master of Word Play



First, might I just say, that I adore the Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland illustrations and images.  I love the detail and fantasy of it all.  I can truly understand why this book has captured so many people over the generations.  I’m completely addicted to the story at this point.

One of my favorite parts of the “Caucus-Race” scene is the word play.  I absolutely love Carroll’s use of words in this scene and it’s just showcased so beautifully.  It is a well known fact that Lewis Carroll was a mast of word play and the book is filled with words of multiple meanings being swapped.

In this scene, the protagonist is a little wet from swimming in her own tears (a deep thought if you think about it) and so our the other animals.  They desire nothing more than getting dry.  So, the mouse decides to tell the story about William the Conqueror, a very dry story for sure.  It’s a beautiful play on the word dry and absolutely cracked me up.  If only it would work that way.

The other play on words in this scene is when Alice begs the mouse to tell her the story of why it hates dogs and cats.  Alice determines that if the mouse was to tell its tale it would look something like this:



Of course it would.  Why wouldn’t a mouse’s tale look like a mouse’s tail?  It is only logical if you think about it.

The book is filled with examples like this and it truly is a part of the book that I treasure most.


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