Are the Rich Getting Richer (or Snobbier)?

Going all the back to chapter 7, one thing that struck me was how much of a brat Alice acted like during the tea party. She rudely planted herself down in an open seat without even asking if it was taken. The March Hare took offense to Alice assuming that the seat was hers. Alice should have kept quite and apologized for her actions but instead became angry when the Hare got back at her by offering wine that really wasn’t there.

Now flashing all the way back to the introduction. When we are first introduced to the real Alice we learn that she is from a well off upper class English family. The same goes for the imaginary Alice.

Stereotypically, upper class citizens are seen as snobbish. We all know (or should know) that those stereotypes are often very, very inaccurate. In an era where the divide between rich and poor was very steep, could Carroll be trying to convince Alice to not fill the stereotype of the time?

On the other side, Alice could be rude just because she still holds on to her childhood innocence. Children are known for being immature and often rude just because they don’t know any better. As children mature, they are able to avoid situations where they can be misunderstood.

Questions:

Could Carroll be warning the real Alice to not fall into the same trap as the imaginary Alice or is he just illustrating how childhood innocence can sometimes be perceived as rude and immature?

Is he even trying to make a point at all?

4 Responses to “Are the Rich Getting Richer (or Snobbier)?”

  1. Edward C. Says:

    I think Alice is acting like this becasue she does not have a gardian figure to stop her. Therefore she is acting like a ‘brat” becasue she can. In your blog you said Alice is rude. To a certain degree she is but she is also honest. So should being honest be considered rude? I guess it depends on your intentions of telling the truth. I think this scene is trying to show that children are honest which can sometimes be missunderstand as rude.

  2. I don’t think Carroll was really trying to make a point or teach a lesson about this. I completely agree with you though! I noticed the same thing. Throughout the story we saw Alice as a young, sweet, innocent girl. At the beginning of the story, Alice was always very careful of what she said or did. She always thought twice before she did things because she didn’t want to offend anyone. What happened? She suddenly became a rude girl with no manners. I don’t think the character of Alice really changed on purpose. I think Carroll just took the character and let it follow the story and what is going on in Wonderland.

  3. I think this is an interesting perception. Whether or not you are correct and he is truly warning her about not becoming the stereotypical upper class type, I’m not sure we’ll ever know, but it does give us something interesting to chew on. It seems as if all of the wealthy characters in the story are rather snobbish-Alice, the Duchess (at first), and the Queen. They all somewhat abuse the power that comes with their class. I think this absolutely could possibly be a dig at the stereotypical upper class. I also think you make a valid point about it being about childhood innocence, as well. All children consider themselves on top of the world, with nothing to lose. Maybe Carroll was just trying to exemplify that behavior, not necessarily as a “dig”, but, as you said, like a simple illustration.

  4. IF he is trying to make a point (who really knows if he is or not) I would say he most likely was “illustrating how childhood innocence can sometimes be perceived as rude and immature.” I don’t think he would be warning her not to fall into the typical stereotype of upper class behavior because he himself was a part of that class. He may have also been making fun of Alice, as if she were already that rude. Because she probably did walk around with that innocent air around her that made her speak her mind and act before thinking.

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