Fun Fact:
The terms "pigeon" and "dove" are actually basically interchangeable, as both words describe the species from the same biological family Columbidae.





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Small Pigeon (Carroll)The Pigeon

"A sharp hiss made her draw back in a hurry: a large pigeon had flown into her face, and was beating violently her with its wings.
'Serpent!' screamed the Pigeon."



The Pigeon is one of many of the irrational adults which Alice encounters in Wonderland, displaying some of Carroll’s classic flawed logic. In this case the Pigeon asserts that since serpents eat eggs and so do little girls, then little girls must be a kind of serpent. In typical irrational adult style, she is so concerned with asserting what she thinks is true, that she doesn’t listen to Alice at all.
Alice’s encounter with the Pigeon is also crucial in tracking the arc of Alice and her identity.  As when Alice conversed with the Caterpillar, again Alice has difficulty explaining who/what she is to the Pigeon:

"Well! What are you?" said the Pigeon, "I can see you're trying to invent something."
"I--I'm a little girl," said Alice, rather doubtfully, as she remembered the number of changes she had gone through, that day.

The Pigeon is one of the “old characters” first appearing in Carroll’s original Alice’s Adventures Under Ground.  However, she is often left out of most film adaptations.  This is most likely due to the difficulties live-action filmmakers encounter in portraying Alice with a serpentine neck, a necessary component of the scene. Leaving out this scene also allows filmmakers to incorporate more scenes from Looking Glass. An illustration of the Pigeon is also absent from many of the famous illustrated versions (including Tenniel’s), or if she is included, she is often secondary to the more visually interesting image of Alice with her long neck.


Alice's Adventures in Wonderland: Chapter 5
Plain Text, HyperText

Alice's Adventures Underground: Chapter 3
Plain Text, Side-by-Side


Click on an artist from the right hand column to see how the Pigeon has been portrayed by different illustrators over the years. Note that some prominent illustrators (such as Tenniel) leave the Pigeon out of their editions. One likely reason for this is that some illustrators, who allotted only so much space and time to Chapter 5, chose to illustrate the "Father William" set and leave out the Pigeon. Other critics have speculated that Tenniel left out the "Long Neck" Alice (and thus the Pigeon) to avoid "anything that might unintentionally suggest an indecent [i.e. phallic] meaning" (Lovell-Smith 35).

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There is a brief scene from the Disney movie (1951) of the Pigeon yelling at Alice, which unfortunately is not available to view on the internet. To my knowledge, it is the only film that includes this character at all.




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