The heroine of the story. Her adventures begin with her fateful jump down the rabbit hole, and the tale is an extended metaphor for the challenges she will face as she grows into an adult. She possesses unusual composure for a child, and she seems bright but makes many charming mistakes. She grows more confident as the book progresses.
Alice's adventures begin when she follows the White Rabbit down the rabbit-hole. He is a messenger and a herald at the Court of the King and Queen of Hearts. He wears a waist-coat and carries a pocket watch.
Alice meets the mouse while swimming in the pool of tears. He hates cats and dogs, and he begins to tell Alice a disturbing story about being put on trial. He is very sensitive.
A lizard in the service of the White Rabbit. When Alice is a giant and stuck in the White Rabbit's house, she kicks Bill out of the chimney. Bill is also one of the jurors at the trial at the end of the book.
Wise, enigmatic, and unshakably mellow, the Caterpillar gives Alice some valuable advice about how to get by in Wonderland. He smokes a hookah and sits on a mushroom. He gives Alice the valuable gift of the mushroom (one side making her bigger, and the other making her small), which gives her control of her size in Wonderland.
The Pigeon is afraid for her eggs, and mistakes Alice for a serpent. Alice tries to reason with her, but the Pigeon forces her away.
When Alice first meets the Duchess, she is a disagreeable woman nursing a baby and arguing with her cook. Later, she is put under sentence of execution. The Duchess seems different when Alice meets her a second time, later in the book, and Alice notices that the Duchess speaks only in pat morals.
Argumentative, and convinced that pepper is the key ingredient in all food. She first appears at the house of the Duchess, where she is throwing everything in sight at the Duchess and the baby. Later, she is a witness at the trial of the Knave of Hearts.
The baby the Duchess nurses. Alice is concerned about leaving the child in such a violent environment, so she takes him with her. He turns into a pig.
Possessing remarkably sharp claws and alarming sharp teeth, the Cheshire cat is courteous and helpful, despite his frightening appearance. His face is fixed in an eerie grin. He can make any and all parts of his body disappear and reappear.
A madman who sits always at tea, every since Time stopped working for him. He takes his tea with the March Hare and the Dormouse. Alice is temporarily their guest, although she finds the event to be the stupidest tea party she has ever attended. Later, the nervous hatter is forced to be a witness at the trial.
Playing with the expression, "Mad as a March Hare," Carroll puts him in the company of the mad Hatter and the narcoleptic Dormouse. Their strange tea party is at the March Hare's house.
Another guest at the mad tea party. He can't seem to stay awake. He is also one of the observers at the trial.
Two, Five, and Seven
These three unfortunate gardeners are struggling to repaint the Queen's roses, as they planted white roses by mistake and now fear for their lives. Like the other people working for the queen, they are shaped like playing cards. When the Queen orders their beheading, Alice hides them.
Queen of Hearts
Nasty, brutal, and loud, the Queen delights in ordering executions, although everyone seems to get pardoned in the end. The people of Wonderland are terrified of her. Although Alice initially thinks she is silly, she grows frightened of her. In the end, however, a giant-size Alice is able to stand up to the Queen's temper and her threats.
King of Hearts
Somewhat overshadowed by his loudmouthed wife, the King of Hearts is a remarkably dense figure. He makes terrible jokes, and cannot seem to say anything clever. Alice outreasons him quite nicely at the trial.
The Gryphon, mythical animal that is half eagle and half lion, takes Alice to sea the Mock Turtle. He attended undersea school with the Mock Turtle.
The Mock Turtle
The Mock Turtle is always crying, and he and the Gryphon tells stories loaded with puns. His name is another play on words (mock turtle soup is a soup that actually uses lamb as its meat ingredient).
The Knave of Hearts
The unfortunate Knave is the man on trial, accused of stealing the tarts of the Queen of Hearts. The evidence produced against him is unjust.
She helps to anchor the story, appearing at the beginning, before Alice begins her adventures, and at the end, after Alice wakes up from her strange dream. Her presence lets us know that Alice is once again in the real world, in the comfort of home and family.
Alice in Wonderland Questions and Answers
The Question and Answer section for Alice in Wonderland is a great
resource to ask questions, find answers, and discuss the novel.
Closely connected with growth and adulthood is size change is another recurring concept. The dramatic changes in size hint at the radical changes the body undergoes during adolescence. The key, once again, is adaptability. Alice's size changes...