Posted by: Angela W. | December 3, 2009

“Don’t Interrupt… RUDE!”

Why are all the characters in Alice in Wonderland so rude to Alice?

It seems that every person she encounters has no respect for her and is just straight up rude. First she meets the rabbit… well, she doesn’t exactly meet him. She follows him down the rabbit hole and yells after him but he totally ignores her and just says that he is very late. She then runs into the talking and swimming mouse. He doesn’t so much ignore her but just has impatience and a tone with her. It seems like he is always in a hurry to get away from her. She then meets the caterpillar. The caterpillar first does not seem to notice her or give her any attention at all. Once they start talking, all he asks is who she is and won’t listen to what she is saying. He also criticizes her for her lack of knowledge as well as her height. Down the journey, she encounters the Duchess. The Duchess makes rude remarks such as “you don’t know much” and so on. There are many other characters that she meets that are rude to her, like the Queen.

My question is why is this? Is Carroll trying to tell us that people treated Alice rudely? Or maybe he is trying to get Alice to realize what is wrong and what is right?

Your opinion?



  1. I also think it’s amusing that Alice keeps insisting that they are rude and that they should act in a certain way. She sort of expects they will follow traditional behavior, even thought they are talking rabbits and Queens of a card deck, etc.

    I like the suggestion that maybe they mimic the adults in her world in the way they speak to her.

  2. This is so true! All the people she meets during her adventure in wonderland seem to be rude in a way. The rat could have been a little bit nicer instead of acting so childish. The Caterpillar only seems to be thinking of himself. Also, like you mentioned the Dutchess said “you don’t know much”. But, maybe none of the creatures in Wonderland know they are coming across as rude. They obvious live a very different life then Alice is use to, so they might have never been taught right from wrong.

  3. Wow, I love the directness of this post! It is apparent that most of the characters in Wonderland and increasingly rude to Alice and have no manners. What if you encountered some strange alien creature who knew nothing about your world and was starting chaos everywhere they went? You would soon get very impatient with their lack of knowledge and this is what makes some creatures feel like they’re above Alice.

    I also think the reason they are all so rude and don’t show common courtesy that you and I would show a stranger is because Carroll wanted these characteres to represent the authority figures in Alice’s life. They all come off as older, more mature, and wiser than her. So they look as if they are scolding Alice or just speakin gto her like an adult would speak to a silly little child causing trouble and being naughty.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: