Posted by: Derek_M | November 16, 2009

“Birds of a Feather Flock Together”

Commonalities bring people together, and I think that the Duchess brought up a very good point in chapter nine. Although she says that flamingos and mustard both bite, therefore they flock together. She is portraying a life example. Everyone looks for common traits in other people. It is what brings us together. Whether the point of interest is religion, culture, skin color, or hobbies, we, as humans, search for other people who relate to us on some level. I think that there is a very valid underlying truth that the Duchess states. She is basically saying that anyone or anything, no matter what they are, come together based on common interest. For example, the football players always sit together at school and why might you ask: because their point of common interest is football. This applies to other creatures as well.

For example, chimpanzees only form social networks and groups based on their look. As long as they are a chimpanzee, they are allowed into the group by the alpha chimpanzees.

All of these examples can be found throughout Alice’s jounrey. If you look at all of the cards in The Queen’s croquet game, the club cards are the soldiers and they band together because of it. The spades are the gardeners, the hearts are the royal children and the diamonds are the courtiers. Do you notice the pattern?

To provide more evidence from Alice, go back to chapter 3.

They were indeed a queer-looking party that assembled on the bank–the birds with draggled feather, the animals with their fur clinging close to them, and all dripping wet, cross, and uncomfortable.”

Not only does outward appearance affect the groups, but state of mind can also be found in creatures of similar stature. If anything, just try to find these subtle innuendos in Alice and you will be surprised on how much it mimics the real world. Birds of a feather always flock together.

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  1. Quite honestly when the Duchess was cannoning off morals I was inclined to believe that she makes absolutely no sense and that she is easily the most insane of all the characters in a book filled with nothing but insanity, but she actually made a good point in one of her morals. The moral obviously being “birds of a feather flock together”. That moral struck me as interesting particularly because it relates to present day life so well. As you point out, humanity forms groups based off of similar characteristics, and as you once again point out, so do other creatures. I also like the point that Deron makes about there being exceptions to every rule. To be honest a rule without an exception is the exception itself. Nice analysis of a very true moral, very well though out.

  2. Interesting point you make towards the end: “Not only does outward appearance affect the groups, but state of mind can also be found in creatures of similar stature.” State of mind is indeed a vital element to contemplate in terms of this pattern of behavior and world view.

  3. I really like Derek’s point. Birds of a feather do flock together. People (and animals) that look, act, and think the same tend to form their own groups away from the general population. High school is one of the most obvious examples of this. Walk down any high school hallway and you will find many distinct groups. Of course, this does not apply to all species and even all humans for that matter. There are exceptions to every rule. For the most part, the moral (and Derek) are right. Birds of a feather flock together.

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