Chapter IX Book Review on Alice

In this next adventure Alice meets up with Duchess again who greets her fondly. Alice thinks perhaps the pepper was the cause of her hot temperment when they first met in the Duchess’ kitchen. As they stroll along together conversing, Alice discovers that the duchess finds a moral in everything that is said. The duchess thinks so highly of her words and morals that she leaves them all to Alice as a present. (Though many of her morals seem nonsensical, in theory I find a great deal of truth to this as shouldn’t our words should bring life to those we present them to?).
Suddenly the queen appears and gives the duchess an ultimatum to leave or have her head cut off. She chooses to leave and the Queen tells Alice they should get on with the game of croquet. However the Queen quarrels constantly and demands so many heads to be cut off that soon there’s no one left to play the game but the Queen, the King and Alice. That’s when the Queen tells Alice that she must find the Mock Turtle and listen to his history.

They meet a sleeping Gryphon along the way and the Queen commands it to wake up and take Alice to see the Mock Turtle while she goes back to tend to her executions.
After the queen leaves, the griffon chuckles and answers an inquiring Alice by telling her that the Queen never executes anybody…that it is all just her fancy (empty threats?).
The Gryphon and Alice travel on and soon find the mock turtle. The sobbing mock turtle appears very sad and lonely sitting on a rock ledge. When Alice, pitying him, inquires about his sorrow the Gryphon says, “ It’s all his fantasy…he hasn’t got no sorrow.” (Is this perhaps where he got his name ‘mock’?) But the teary-eyed turtle continues sighing deeply and proceeds to tell his story by beginning,
“Once I was a real turtle.” He tells Alice of his childhood in the sea, of his teachers and what lessons he learned, such as reeling and writhing, arithmetic, addition and distraction. When Alice asks a question of him, he is angered and calls her dull. And so the scenario continues with the turtle describing more about his schooling in rather strange terminology. When he mentions that he took a course in uglification Alice says she has never heard of such, to which both the turtle and the Gryphon are taken aback by her ignorance and call her a simpleton. (Well, if we think about it, I guess we have all met people who must have taken a course in uglification and know a great deal about uglifying).
As the Mock Turtle continues to describe his childhood lessons, Alice finds out from him and the Gryphon that each day the amount of time spent studying decreases, which is why they are called lessons…because they lessen from day to day. When Alice asks another question about this approach to learning, the Gryphon says ‘That’s enough!’ He now wants to hear about the games. Do you?

Published by Debi

I live in Leesburg, Virginia where I teach high school students in the Agriculture Department. Additionaly, I am self-employed as a horticultural consultant and landscape designer. "Beefriend the Bees!" and "Neither Here Nor There" are children's books I wrote and illustrated available from Amazon ( Chaves&x=12&y=25. Other interests include singing and playing my guitar (also have a CD for sale on Amazon called "Gardening Therapy"); walking my American Bulldog, Cloud and Olde English Bulldogge, Sky; staying active in my local church, and blogging on the

6 thoughts on “Chapter IX Book Review on Alice

  1. I see Lewis Carroll in this great work of art found a way to show how simple many of us may be when we do not ‘beautify’ ourselves from the ‘uglification’ work of angry, gossip, lying, deception and much more of the like.

  2. We read many scriptures from God’s Holy Word, we quote them often, we may even think we know them but the mouth and action reveals the truth. Debi in her book review says, (Well, if we think about it, I guess we have all met people who must have taken a course in uglification and know a great deal about uglifying). I did and do think about it and I have many times taken a course in uglification and practiced it all too often.

    But, I am with a grateful heart today that God will and had freed me from uglification with His vigorous action.“…I will free you from their bondage and I will rescue you with an outstretched arm…” (Exodus 6:6, AMP). Then I will remember and practice beauty and exactness……Hallelujah!

  3. I guess it was easier for Alice to be a “simpleton”, but we all must take ownership for being sinners. God’s Word tells us that “All have sinned and come short of the glory of God”. I sure have had my turn in the course of “uglification”, and am thankful that God can forgive me and all others that will confess and repent.

  4. In the story the Gryphon says to Alice something like, you don’t know what uglification is? You know what beautifying is.
    The dictionary says that ugly can be offensive to the sight, but it is also morally offensive or objectionable.
    When I read II Peter 1:3-7 I see beautifying: diligence, faith, virtue, knowledge, self-control, perseverance, godliness, brotherly kindness, love. Uglification is the lack of these things. I can say also that I have had my name on the uglification course roster many times.
    I think this hymn by Albert Orsbon would be sung and practiced in the Beautification course and accompany II Peter 1 very well.

    “Let the beauty of Jesus be seen in me
    All His wonderful passion and purity
    O my Savior divine, all my being refine
    Till the beauty of Jesus be seen in me.”

  5. Debi, looks like from your thoughts and request you are up for some test. Well, you always did like school!!!!!

  6. It is amazing how Lewis Carroll’s caricatures cleverly define the human condition so clearly and creatively in the allegories of his ALICE series. I can see myself in many of those comedic portraits of human emotion & attitudes attributed to his historical yet comic-book-like characters. The truth is he portrays well, mankind’s reactions and responses of ugly “un-virtues”….. that laundry list of “UN_Holy Ghost” ugliness warned against in Gal. 5:19-21.
    Speaking of songs, Debi, here’s one of Sara’s favorite written by Gwen Shaw.

    Let the love of my God shine through me
    Let the beauty of Jesus, men see.
    Let the pattern of the Son be the one the only one
    That men may see in me.

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