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Re: [lewiscarroll] Shillings; Guinea-pigs

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  • Michael Everson
    ... They appear in The Rabbit Sends in a Little Bill : The poor little Lizard, Bill, was in the middle, being held up by two guinea-pigs, who were giving it
    Message 1 of 3 , Jun 30, 2009
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      On 30 Jun 2009, at 16:32, knaveofarts wrote:

      > Later, "one of the guinea-pigs cheered." I see no previous
      > mention
      > of guinea-pigs in this chapter, and possibly in no previous chapter.

      They appear in "The Rabbit Sends in a Little Bill":

      "The poor little Lizard, Bill, was in the middle, being held up by two
      guinea-pigs, who were giving it something out of a bottle."

      Michael Everson * http://www.evertype.com/
    • knaveofarts
      ... In 1.5 the two guinea-pigs are supporting Bill the Lizard, to whom they are apparently giving brandy from a bottle. So he may be still tipsy when he goes
      Message 2 of 3 , Jul 11, 2009
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        --- In lewiscarroll@yahoogroups.com, Michael Everson <everson@...> wrote:
        >
        > On 30 Jun 2009, at 16:32, knaveofarts wrote:
        >
        > > Later, "one of the guinea-pigs cheered." I see no previous
        > > mention
        > > of guinea-pigs in this chapter, and possibly in no previous chapter.
        >
        > They appear in "The Rabbit Sends in a Little Bill":
        >
        > "The poor little Lizard, Bill, was in the middle, being held up by two
        > guinea-pigs, who were giving it something out of a bottle."
        >
        > Michael Everson * http://www.evertype.com/
        >

        In 1.5 the two guinea-pigs are supporting Bill the Lizard, to whom they are apparently giving brandy from a bottle. So he may be still tipsy when he goes to court, and the two guinea-pigs may have accompanied him, supporting him on each arm. Apparently the WR selected Bill to be on the jury, perhaps as the foreman, although Pat seems to be the foreman of the WR's domestic work-crew. Are the guinea-pigs also jurors, or are they in the courtroom? Why does Alice say: "Come, that finishes the guinea-pigs!" thought Alice. "Now we shall get on better." Is it because the guinea-pigs, in cheering the King, are hostile to the Hatter, a human? Perhaps everyone in the back of the Court are Cards, that is, of human appearance, and Alice is more comfortable among her kind?
        In this vein, could Wonderland be the model of an English colonial society, divided into native birds and animals, and Cards, some of whom constitute an aristocracy? The March Hare is an aristocrat, but he seems to be a marquis, which ranks below duke. Perhaps he represents the preexisting native aristocracy? However, the Duchess, who may have had a half pig-baby, may have already `gone native,' with a guinea-pig, although perhaps the Knave of Hearts thinks he is the father; he seems to be involved in some kind of 'funny business'. Perhaps the guinea-pigs are the native equivalent of dukes, for there are no dukes nor duchesses in a deck of cards. Perhaps the Hatter can't ingratiate himself with the English aristocracy, and so spends time with the March Hare But both are somewhat abusive of the native Dormouse, so the native aristocracy may not have been much better than the aristocracy imposed by the conquering foreign Cards. The WR may have been commissioned by the English government to be a figurehead on the Wonderland Court, as the King of Hearts wants to show that his treatment of the natives is just, although we see from the abuse of birds and animals in 1.8 that it isn't. Hence, the jury consists entirely of natives. If the two guineas pigs are jurors, then their suppression means that the jury no longer has a quorum., and, in the end, it is the Cards, not the natives, who judge, or attack, Alice. Perhaps Alice has been getting along too well with the natives, and the Cards are afraid she may lead a popular revolt? If AAIW is a model of an English colony, is TTLG an image of a civil war, modeled on the chess game, with contention between the Red and the White? Possibly the combat between Tweedle-dum and Tweedle-dee represents civil war.
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