The books > Symbolism of the thimble in chapter 3

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Frumious Bandersnatch
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Symbolism of the thimble in chapter 3

Postby Frumious Bandersnatch » Mon Aug 11, 2014 12:04 am

I was rereading Alice's Adventures in Wonderland for the second time - and thoroughly enjoying it - when I came across page 38, when Alice gives the Dodo a thimble, and he then gives it right back as a prize for the race. I did a quick Google search and found that it was mentioned in Shakespeare's King John as having symbolic meaning, and that the thimble often symbolized courtship and the role that women played in marriage; and given that Shakespeare is mentioned on the same page I didn't think it would be too unreasonable to infer that some meaning is implied in the thimble. I thought that was funny and interesting, and I honestly didn't realize it before. I'm not implying anything here - just making an observation, a discovery perhaps. It probably is just an innocent meaning and Mr. Dodgson added it without thinking too deeply about it.

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Postby Treacle » Wed Aug 13, 2014 1:47 pm

I agree that the author probably meant no conscious symbolism regarding the thimble, since it was something Alice happened to have in her pockets. The thimble is a reminder that Alice is a little girl. (It's easy to forget that AAiW is unusual in being a story about a girl rather than a boy.) The thimble is a realistic detail that helps keep the story credible.

The author stated that the book could mean more he intended. Alice doesn't explain her adventures, and the Gryphon is of the opinion that she can't explain them.

It's called "Wonderland". Maybe we're supposed to wonder.

Frumious Bandersnatch
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Postby Frumious Bandersnatch » Thu Aug 14, 2014 9:21 am

I guess that's what makes the story all the more interesting: the fact that it can mean more than one thing. Thanks for the insightful comment Treacle!

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