A Race of Life and Politics

As already noted in the side comments of the Annotated Alice, chapter three has a mass of political references within. From the Caucus race over the prizes to Alice’s thimble, everything seems to represent some political element of Victorian England. But within these metaphors there is even more. Not only is there a statement about politics, but also one about life and being.

The Caucus race, a truly curious event within the book, seems to represent the running for office that all politicians must go through. This race is never truly won, simply because the only way to win it is to have people remember you forever. Politicians spend so much time on running for office, get so cought up in the less important part of their job, that it is astonishing that they get anything done at all. And often at the end they look back and have accomplished nothing, done nothing, and ask why. They want to stay racing, but do not know why they race.

But I like to think of the Caucus race as something different, yet related. Just like politicians when they run for office, we oftentimes run in circles in our daily lives. Life itself, so it seems, is a constant struggle that cannot be won and is as repetitive as running in a circle. We oftentimes ask ourselves why we even keep on going, when we think we never can win. But after some time we realize that we do win. We do get our own piece of Comfit, made up of the toiling and the perils of life. It is the experience that makes us win, it is the action that emerges victorious.

So when all of the animals ask Alice for their winnings, they have ended their race and are asking for their prize. But what they are really asking is what they may have gained from the experience. What do we receive for living? We toil andlessly on our track, but what do we gain from it? Once more, we do get our comfit at the end. What we gain from life depends on what we want to gain from it. If we want to get dry, we will get dry. But even if we only want to get dry originally, at the end we still are asking for the comfit. Should we not clearly state why we are having this race and then stick to the reason, instead of expecting something else?

I think that we to often have incorrect expectations to something, or are not sure of what we want. With less of this ambiguity, we would have a better world.

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