Moral Gratitude?

30 11 2009

When the Ugly Duchess joins Alice on the croquet field she is cheery and talkative. This is just a bit different than her first appearance when she was cross, beating the pig-baby, and demanded Alice’s decapitation. Alice had inadvertently freed the Duchess with her solution to the executioner’s paradox. My guess is that the Duchess was made aware of the reason for her pardoning and was grateful to little Alice for freeing her from the Queen’s wrath. She then spent a good while pontificating for Alice. What advice she gave was partly blather, but meanings can be found in her supposed “morals”. She was being good-intentioned throughout the entire episode. However, this waxed annoying for her disgusted audience, Alice.

This is a sparkling example of gratitude in its giving and receiving. The Duchess is clearly joyful and probably grateful for her freedom. She exhibited her gratitude in being amiable and eager to grace (if we can call it that) Alice with her philosophies. Alice’s response to the emotions and words being forced upon her consist of a more negative line. So here the concept of gratitude was addressed in that we all feel it at some point for other actions or words. However we do not always return gratitude with graciousness. However, was Alice justified in being bothered with the Duchess’ thanks? Furthermore, when gratitude is due and it is given, what should our responses be? Does this set up a societal limitation?



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