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John Tenniel's CookThe Cook


The cook, furiously adding too much pepper to the soup and hurling pots and pans at the Duchess and baby is one of the most senselessly violent characters in the book. Some critics have interpreted her violence against the duchess as symbolic of the anger of the oppressed lower classes of Britain against the privileged upper classes in the Victorian era. Interestingly, the cook never speaks a word to Alice or anyone else, also perhaps representing the lower classes inability to speak up for themselves.
Although the encounter manages to be entertaining in the book, usually on film the cook, like the Duchess, is simply disturbing and frightening.


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

Image Gallery

Click on one of the illustrators in the right hand column to see how the image of the Cook has changed over time. John Vernon Lord's is particulary interesting (and frightening!)

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Other Media

The Cook is not featured in many film versions, and even when she appears her role (like her role in the book) is pretty minimal. The scene from Alice at the Palace (1981) is notable for the use of at least eight people playing "the cook" adding to the confusion and chaos of the kitchen.


Alice in the Duchess' Kitchen
Harry Harris' 1985 Alice in Wonderland

"Pig and Pepper"
Alice at the Palace


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