I Mean What I Say….Do I Say What I Mean?

30 11 2009

It’s already been thoroughly covered that Wonderland is a crazy and mixed up place, where meanings mean little and sayings say a lot. And when one statement is repeated by two totally unrelated characters, it’s bound to have some significance. The phrase “I mean what I say” is said both by Alice to the March Hare and Hatter, and by the Mock Turtle to Alice. If we were to only look at the phrase in it’s individual scenarios, then it would simple be a way to confuse or embarrass Alice. But since such utterly different characters used the phrase, I’d like to try to apply it to the rest of the story. If we look back at the entire story, did any character say something that they didn’t mean? Whether the character was being obnoxious or insulting or kind or whatever, they ALL said EXACTLY what they meant. If they meant to be insulting, then you can be sure that Alice was insulted. If they wanted to be obnoxious, then they would be like a younger sibling on caffeine without a second thought.

But, as the Hatter and Hare point out, meaning what you say and saying what you mean are two totally different things.

“You might as well say that ‘I like what I get’ is the same thing as ‘I get what I like’!”

Obviously, these are very different things. So, what DO the inhabitants of Wonderland mean? We’ve already established that they mean what they say, but do they say exactly what they mean? That’s my question.



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