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John Tenniel's CookThe Queen of Hearts

Introduction

The Queen of Hearts first appeared in Carroll’s original Alice’s Adventures Underground, and, although she doesn’t actually appear in Chapters 5, 6, or 7 of Wonderland, her character is introduced in Chapter 6, first by the footmen and then by the Cheshire Cat.  It is the Queen that invites the Duchess to the croquet game, which Alice later attends.  At the croquet game we discover that the Queen is every bit, if not more violent than the Duchess, screaming “off with her head” at every opportunity.  Freudians have interpreted the Queen as a symbol of “uncontrolled animal passion” (Empson 357) and indeed in most of the film versions the Queen is certainly quite frightening and “out of control”.  Other interpretations have compared the Queen of Hearts with Queen Victoria, Dodgson’s mother, or even an alternative Alice.

Texts

Alice's Adventures in Wonderland -Chapter 6
Plain Text, Hypertext

 

Glossary

Off with her head – an order of execution (which never seems to be carried out, since the King intercedes), in this case the Duchess seems to be usurping the Queen's role by ordering the cook to chop off Alice's head.

 

 

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