Posted by: Rachel M. | December 4, 2009

What’s the Queen’s Obsession?

I am trying to understand the Queen’s preoccupation with beheading. Yes, it is a very morbid topic for a children’s story. I don’t think Alice probably thought much of it, considering she was just a child and probably hadn’t thought too deeply about the enigma of death. But to me, the inclusion of chopping some one’s head off may be similar to the inclusion of hookah; Perhaps it was meant symbolically, or maybe it was all in good fun.

On another note, we learn later via the Gryphon that no one ever really loses their head, and that the Queen never follows through with her vicious commands. This is where I made the connection between the Queen and Carroll. They both have obsessions with something considered taboo. The Queen has her beheading and Carroll has his love of Alice. Neither of them can act upon their feelings and in the end ignore their obsessions. Perhaps Carroll was speaking about humanity in this instance, or maybe he was just trying to reassure Alice that no violence actually took place. It could plausibly be the latter.

This aside, I wonder why the Queen was so feared even though she never followed through with her threats. If it was Carroll’s intention, perhaps he was suggesting that often government reigns with terror and a violent facade, yet in the end never follows through as promised. What do you think?


  1. As you can see, the Queen’s famous quote came from a Shakespeare play where they were talking of an execution thru beheading. I don’t remember the name of the play, but I hope this clears something up.

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