Alice and Authority

Within the world of Wonderland, things are weird and normalcy is almost nonexistent. Even the dynamics of the characters, especially those perceived to be in authority, are odd and interesting to analyze. When looking at the royalty throughout the novel is we can see that the suit of hearts is the ones in the position of power. In card games, the suit spades are the most important suit, so it is odd that hearts are in charge. The novel could be maybe playing on the other associations with the word and imagery of the word heart. Another thing that doesn’t fit is the way that although visually the characters are closer in reference to cards, the power dynamics of the characters are much closer to those of the game chess. For example, the queen appears to have much more power than the king, as she is the one who sentences others to be beheaded for minor offenses.

The queen also uses her power to make the court do seemingly nonsensical activities such as croquet with live animals. There are no rules in the game that make sense to Alice and the others there are only playing to appease the queen. In the Novel and the Police, it states that “once a power of social control has been virtually raised to the status of an ontology, the action becomes so intimidating that is effectively discouraged”(31). Wonderland could be outlining how the concept of fear in those in power is one that is ridiculous, as the people in subjugation are the ones who place them in power. The queen of hearts is a figure everyone fears but as we can see, and hear from the Gryphon, “they never executes nobody, you know”(76). This outlines the way that the people of the kingdom are blinded by the appearance of punishment from the social norms.

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