Why Not?

Third Law of Wonderland by Jackson
November 25, 2009, 5:30 am
Filed under: Jackson
After posting a comment on Haley’s blog post “Four legs good, two legs bad”, I’ve had some time to reflect on my thoughts, and elaborate a bit. My original comment is as follows.

“You raise an interesting point. However, I don’t think the two animals have any relation. The namesake of the Cheshire Cat is a phrase: “to grin like a Cheshire Cat.” Alice’s cat Dinah is not really a component of Wonderland. Dinah is a sub-character, mentioned only in passing. She is a character brought into Wonderland by Alice. Wonderland, in order to preserve its integrity, attempts to push the foreign Dinah out, much as Alice often feels uncomfortable throughout the entire novel. As such, any mention of her is immediately suppressed by the other characters (though not suppressed in the manner described in chapter 11). The Cheshire Cat, however, is a resident of Wonderland. As such, he/she/it is by no means a regular cat. Therefore, I believe that the Cheshire Cat is not related to Dinah.”

The thing that has struck me as more interesting than the original comment is the mentioning of Wonderland’s drive to preserve itself.

Wonderland operates in a manner curiously accordant with Isaac Asimov’s Third Law of Robotics. This law reads as follows:

‘”A robot must protect its own existence, as long as this does not conflict with the First Law (A robot may not harm a human being), or the Second Law (A robot must obey all orders given to it).”

Wonderland preserves its own existence by suppressing all outside influences. Dinah, Alice’s cat, is abhorred by the mouse, and the subject is dropped. Alice’s sisters are mentioned only in passing, and they are dropped from conversation immediately. Everywhere in the story, characters that Alice brings into Wonderland are abhorred. Alice herself is a nuisance to the creatures of Wonderland. She is confused and befuddled throughout the novel, having to ask many questions to attempt to understand the ways of Wonderland. Since she can’t be dropped as a subject in conversation,

Wonderland settles for “uncomfortable.” Alice is put in strange situations, with no obvious way out. When Alice is finally rejected from Wonderland, you could well assume that the denizens of the area are having a better town, now that the outsider is banished.

1 Comment so far
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A very interesting proposal. I believe this is a sort of extension from my earlier blog post:


I have not looked at it this way, though. It does appear that all of the characters have shut out any idea that Alice has brought up in Wonderland. Her cat(multiple times), her classes, her science(axis), her logic on watches… the list is a large one. Alice, even being so young, might be a “real” world contamination in their world and they are doing anything they can to keep her out.

Comment by Connor M.

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