Tea for Three (Plus a Rodent)

15 11 2009

Alice has fallen into a world where everything is topsy-turvy and nothing makes much sense at all. So naturally we’re going to come across characters that match the setting.

She comes across a fabulous tea-party with a few characters that are going to give her a headache. The March Hare and Hatter are rather like the Caterpillar in the fact that they talk in a circular manner, but while the Caterpillar speaks in a very neat, defined circle, the Hatter and Hare speak in loops and zig-zags and turns that hardly resemble a circle at all. One could go so far as to say that they have ADD, as they change the subject so much.

One has to wonder why these characters were introduced. Was it simply for entertainment, or was there some underlying reason that the Hatter and Hare were added? There’s certainly enough madness in Wonderland that they could have done without these characters.

There is one particular detail about their conversation that stands out: It is the first time that a secure character* states that they are mad. This is kind of like a one of those break-throughs that you hear about in therapy sessions when the patient has an epiphany, and starts on the road to recovery. Only this time, everything goes down-hill from the moment that they say that magical word. The conversation turns from weird do down-right disturbing as they jump from topic to topic in the blink of an eye. Now, what’s the significance in the fact that someone says that they’re crazy? It’s very simply the fact that a suspicion we’ve had of of the sanity (or lack thereof) has been proven.

* What I mean by “secure character” is that unlike the Cheshire Cat (who was technically the first Wonderland inhabitant who mentioned being mad), the Hatter and Hare have a very distinct setting that you can link them to.

While the Cheshire Cat wanders about and does as he pleases, the Hatter and Hare are stuck to their tea party, and then the trial (ch. 11) and are very set in their places. While the Cheshire Cat does not obey anyone and is a rather lose character, and strange even by Wonderlands standards.


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