Posted by: Brittany M | December 3, 2009

The Underdog of Wonderland

Although much attention had been payed to character such as the Cheshire, Mad Hatter, and of course the infamous Alice, the one that I think has been rather neglected is the Duchess. We know nothing about her except that we are spontaneously introduced to her and if you are like me, you are given a negative opinion of her due to the baby incident. A Duchess is supposed to be a woman of an upper class status who carries herself well and is or was once married to a Duke. So was this the Duchess of Wonderland?

She is described as an ugly woman, and the illustrations help confirm whatever you had come up with in your own mind as far as her visual appearance. I just find it odd that she is introduced sitting ugly in a chair taking very poor care of what we can only assume to be her child. I must say I was not impressed by this long chinned woman off of her first impression. She did not complete what I think of to be a Duchess of a land and this bothered me. Especially since I had just recently watched the movie The Duchess with a fellow classmate of mine, this caused me to judge this character even more. I did not come around to actually enjoying this womans presence until she begins her rant about morals. It is then when I began to see she is one of the few optimistic characters who is actually understandable and does not speak in a type of secret language. She tells Alice some morals which i find to be inspiring and can even be related to the world outside of the situations Alice finds herself in.

So while I at first was very unhappy with the status of this character I began to realize Carroll uses her as a good example not to judge too quick. So, while she may not be as popular as some of the other characters in this tale, I believe that the Duchess can be considered the true underdog of the story.


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