Wednesday, May 31, 2017

AP English: Cheshire Cat

Hands down, the Cheshire Cat remains one of the most iconic images from Lewis Carroll's Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. He speaks in riddles, floats through the air, and grins without stopping. What makes him so interesting is often hard to describe, and there are many ways to read this magical, mysterious, and curious character.

For today, watch the following clips and answer the discussion questions in the comments section below. Pay close attention to how the Cheshire Cat is characterized and how he is like/unlike the one represented in our books.

1951 scene from Disney's Alice's Adventures in Wonderland

The Cheshire Cat in Tim Burton's 2010 adaptation of Alice in Wonderland.

1999 Cheshire Cat scene from the made-for-TV movie Alice in Wonderland

Questions for Discussion:
1) In your opinion, which cat (from the above adaptations) is most like the one that appears in Chapter VI of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland? Please use specific textual evidence to support your ideas.

2) Which cat is the least like Carroll's Cheshire cat? Why?

3) Pick your favorite Cheshire Cat quote. Explain the nonsense and the logic behind it.

4) Lastly, why a Cheshire cat?


  1. 1) I believe that the Disney's version of the Cheshire cat is most similar to that of the novel's. The Cheshire cat seems to be more random and "mad" than in the other versions. In Tim Burten's version, he acted in a reasonable, helping manner. In the 1999 TV version, the cat seemed to act like he did in the novel, but he did not seem as random or, believable. The quality of the movie is sort of lacking which makes the magic, disappearance part of the cat less believable.

    2) Tim Burten's cat seems to be least like the cat in the novel. This is because in this movie, the cat seems older and more mature, just like Alice has aged and matured.

    3) I love the Disney's Cheshire cat because he is just more fun. His coloring, his voice, how he disappears and communicated with Alice is frustrating to her yet amusing to the audience.

    4) I think Carroll chose a Cheshire cat because Alice loves cats, and throughout this novel, the cat is by her side always popping up, kind of like normal cats. They come over and say hi when they please, so this cat might have a resemblance to Dinah.

  2. 1) I think that the Cheshire Cat in the Tim Burton version looked the most like the one illustrated in the book. His grin is very similar, as well as the coloring of his fur. The Cheshire Cat in the Disney version definitely had the most similar personality to the cat in the book, and they also did the best job sticking the original dialogue that he used.

    2) I think that the Cheshire cat in Tim Burtons version is least like Carroll's version, just because of the way he acts, and also because the storyline changes so much already. He acts much more serious, and was less playful with Alice.

    3) My favorite quote from Alice in Wonderland has always been, "We're all mad here". This is my favorite quote because I think that it can easily relate to anyone. Even though we all aren't actually crazy, we all have our moments or have people in our lives that do act a little crazy. I think what Carroll means by this quote is that there is no such thing as normal, and that everyone is different, or "mad" in their own way at times.

    4) I think that Carroll picked the Chesire Cat because of the saying, "Grinning like a Cheshire cat". I think the huge grin the the Cheshire cat has helps portray him as "mad". I also think that he could have chosen a cat, because of the close relationship Alice has with her cat, Dinah.

  3. 1. The Cheshire cat from the made-for-TV-movie is the most similar in terms of what it says. For looks, Tim Burton's Cheshire cat looked very similar to the illustration in the novel. Plus, I think that his mannerisms were very close to what I imagined while reading that part of the book.
    2. I think that Tim Burton's version of the Cheshire cat is most different compared to the other two cats who seem more similar based on their dialogue which is taken from the novel, itself.
    3. My favorite quote has to be "In that direction," the Cat said, waving its right paw round, "lives a Hatter: and in that direction," waving the other paw, "lives a March Hare. Visit either you like: they're both mad." The cat is saying that madness is a fact of life in Wonderland. No matter where you go, everyone there is crazy. This madness makes everyone equal in someway, though.
    4. I think he chose a cat because cats are naturally mysterious. With the way they act to the way they move-- in a cautious yet kind of calculative way. I also believe it's a cat because Alice's own cat. Alice seems to have the most normal conversation with the cat so far.

  4. 1. I believe that the Cheshire cat from the Disney version is most similar to Carroll's Cheshire cat. On page 49, Carroll writes, "'In that direction,' the Cat said, waving its right paw round, 'lives a Hatter: and in that direction,' waving the other paw, 'lives a March Hare. Visit either you like: they're both mad.'" This quote is extremely similar to what the Cheshire cat says in the Disney version.
    2. The Cheshire cat that is least like Carroll's would be the Burton version. He was very unlike Carroll's in his speech and his purpose in the story.
    3. My favorite Cheshire cat quote is on page 49 when he says, "You see a dog growls when it's angry, and wags its tail when it's pleased. Now I growl when I'm pleased, and wag my tail when I'm angry. Therefore I'm mad." I love this quote because to an adult it makes absolutely no sense, but to a child, it might.
    4. I honestly cannot think of a good reason for a Cheshire cat, except that the whole book seems to have quite random characters.

  5. 1) I think 1951 Disney Adaptation is most like the Cheshire cat that appears in Chapter VI of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. The 1951 adaptation not only uses the same phrases that the book does, such as "We're all mad here" but it the cat also looks the most alike.
    2) I think the cat in Tim Burton's version is the least likely just because he didn't say the same things as the cat in the book, and was trying to help Alice. It seemed like he had a different character.
    3) Pick your favorite Cheshire Cat quote. Explain the nonsense and the logic behind it.
    My favorite Cheshire Cat quote is "We're all mad here." It is nonsense because it would be very unlikely there would be a lot of mad people in the same area, but it's logic because there in Wonderland and everything seems backwards. It also seems like he's saying even sane people are mad.
    4) Because Cheshire cats love to grin

  6. 1) The disney adaptation of the Cheshire Cat is most like LC's character. He is just as mad, and has a very foolish personality. Both versions tend to worry about themselves, and makes Alice's adventure through Wonderland more frustrating.

    2) the Cheshire Cat least like LC's version is certainly from Tim Burton's adaptation. He is more predictable. Although they look similar, the character is not like the original Cheshire cat. He befriends Alice, eventually, and even looks after her.

    3) My favorite quote is, “Oh, you can’t help that,” said the cat. “We’re all mad here.” It's obvious all characters in Wonderland are mad, and that's what makes it Wonderland! Alice is also mad for entering this world, as well, told by the Cheshire Cat

    4) I can only think that the Cheshire cat exists to simply amuse Alice.

  7. 1) I think Disney's Chesire Cat is most like the one that appears in Chapter VI of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. The looks are very different (pink stripes and purple stripes), but many of the quotes stayed the same. The funny and unpredictable personality of the cat stayed very similar as well.

    2) I think the cat in Tim Burton's version is the least like the original story. There are hardly any direct quotes from the original story, and the cat is more dark and creepy.

    3) My favorite quote is, "We're all mad here. I'm mad. You're mad" (chapter 6). In the real world, everyone can be a bit crazy. In Wonderland, everyone is "mad" or crazy all the time. Nothing is the same as it normally would be in real life.

    4) Alice starts the story off playing with her cat at home and it's made clear how much she loves them. I think the cat fits Alice and goes well with the storyline.

  8. 1. To me, the cat from the 1999 movie was the most similar. For one, its fur pattern seemed to be the same. That, and like the tea party, the dialogue was nearly spot on. Such as referring to the pig-baby.

    2. Tim Burton's version I would say is the least like the original. Mostly in terms of dialogue. As none of what he said had anything to do with the story.

    3. My favorite quote overall is when, in response to Alice's question about where to go, he responds with "Where do you want to go?... Then, it really doesn't matter." At first it seems like a rather rude answer, but it makes sense, because if she doesn't know where she wants to go, then he can't give her proper directions. And if it doesn't matter to her where she goes, then in truth, it really doesn't matter which direction she walks.

    4. Cheshire may be in reference to a county in Britain. And the cat may be because cats are often sly in nature, along with being a reminder of Alice's cat.

  9. 1)The cheshire Cat that is the most similar to the one in the book is from the Disney adaptation.They way the cat was drawn to the way it was animated was very different.But the disney version sticks with some of the same quotes from the book.

    2)The Cheshire Cat that is least like the version in the book is the Tim Burton Adaptation.It is not random and not funny.It doesn't say anything that is in the book the conversation is completely different.

    3)My favorite quote is "you see a dog growls when it's angry, and wags its tail when it's pleased. Now I(!) growl when I'm pleased and wag my tail when i'm angry. Therefore I'm mad" I like this quote because it is so random like the cat and like Wonderland it also makes perfect sense the cat would say that. Another reason why l like is because a cat doesn't even growl.

    4)I think the reason Caroll choose a Cheshire cat is to show the differences between Alice's cat and the Cheshire cat.Also about how much she loves them.As well as to show the audience what a cat would say because she asked in the beginning of the story that she wanted to have a conversation with her cat.


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.