Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland Characters

  • Last updated on December 8, 2021

First published: Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland (1865) and Through the Looking-Glass: And What Alice Found There (1871 but dated 1872)

Type of work: Novel

Type of plot: Fantasy

Time of work: Victorian England

Locale: The dream world of an imaginative child

Characters DiscussedAlice

Alice, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderlanda curious, imaginative, strong-willed, and honest young English girl. She falls asleep by the side of a stream in a meadow and dreams that she follows a White Rabbit down his hole. She has many adventures in a Wonderland peopled by all kinds of strange characters and animals.

The White Rabbit

The White Rabbit, anxious, aristocratic, dandified. Alice follows him down his hole, which leads to an enchanted house and garden. The White Rabbit is a prime minister of sorts in Wonderland, for he has close contact with the royalty there and carries out their orders, although he does not institute policy.

The Queen of Hearts

The Queen of Hearts, the ill-tempered Queen of Wonderland. She constantly demands that everyone who crosses her be beheaded. Fond of croquet, she orders Alice to take part in a game in which flamingoes are used for mallets and hedgehogs for balls. She issues an order for Alice’s execution at the end of the book, but the order is never carried out because Alice accuses the Queen and all her company of being only a pack of cards, an assertion that turns out to be true.

The King of Hearts

The King of Hearts, a timid, kindly man. Although he is completely under his wife’s power because of her temper, he manages to pardon all her victims surreptitiously.

The Duchess

The Duchess, another member of royalty in Wonderland, a platitude-quoting, moralizing, ugly old woman who lives in a chaotic house. Deathly afraid of the Queen, she is ordered to be beheaded, but the sentence is never carried out.

The Cook

The Cook, the Duchess’ servant. She flavors everything with pepper, insults her mistress, and throws cooking pans at her.

The Cheshire Cat

The Cheshire Cat, the Duchess’ grinning cat. Continually vanishing and reappearing, he is a great conversationalist, and he tells Alice much of the gossip in Wonderland.

The Duchess’ Baby

The Duchess’ Baby, a strange, howling, little infant. The baby turns into a pig when the Duchess entrusts it to Alice’s care.

The Knave of Hearts

The Knave of Hearts, a timid, poetry-writing fellow accused of stealing some tarts that the Queen has made.

The March Hare

The March Hare, the rude host of a mad tea party to which Alice invites herself and then wishes that she had not.

The Mad Hatter

The Mad Hatter, a riddle-making, blunt, outspoken guest at the tea party. He is a good friend of the March Hare, and at the party, the two try to prove to Alice that she is stupid.

The Dormouse

The Dormouse, another guest at the tea party. He is a sleepy creature, aroused long enough to recite for Alice and then pushed headfirst into the teapot.

The Gryphon

The Gryphon, a mythical creature, half bird, half animal, who escorts Alice to the home of the Mock Turtle so that she may hear the recital of the Turtle’s life story.

The Mock Turtle

The Mock Turtle, an ever-sobbing animal. He recites his life’s story to Alice and everyone else within earshot.

The Caterpillar

The Caterpillar, a hookah-smoking insect who perches on the top of a magic mushroom. Officious and easily offended, he tests Alice’s intelligence with a series of ridiculous riddles.

Bill, The Lizard

Bill, The Lizard, an unfortunate fellow picked by the other animals to go down the chimney of the White Rabbit’s house and try to force out Alice, who has assumed gigantic proportions after drinking a magic potion she found on the table.

The Mouse

The Mouse, who greets Alice in the pool of tears that she has made by crying while she was of gigantic size. Now of minute proportions, she is almost overwhelmed by the Mouse, a creature easily offended.

The Lorry

The Lorry,

The Duck

The Duck,

The Dodo

The Dodo,

The Eaglet

The Eaglet,

The Crab

The Crab, and

The Baby Crab

The Baby Crab, creatures whom Alice meets in the pool of her tears and who swim around with her.

Father William

Father William and

Father William’s Son

Father William’s Son, characters in a poem that Alice recites. The old man, a former athlete, can still balance an eel on his nose, much to the amazement of his curious and impertinent son. The poem is a parody of Robert Southey’s “The Old Man’s Comforts.”

The Pigeon

The Pigeon, a bird Alice meets after she has made herself tall by eating part of the Caterpillar’s mushroom.

The Fish Footman

The Fish Footman, the bearer of a note from the Queen inviting the Duchess to play croquet.

The Frog Footman

The Frog Footman, the impolite servant of the Duchess; his wig becomes entangled with that of the Fish Footman when the two bow in greeting each other.

The Puppy

The Puppy, a playful animal Alice meets while she is in her small state.

The Flamingo

The Flamingo, the bird Alice uses for a croquet mallet in the game with the Queen.

The Hedgehog

The Hedgehog, the animal that acts as the ball in the croquet game.




Two, and


Seven, three quarrelsome gardeners of the Queen. When Alice meets them, they are painting all the white roses in the garden red, to obliterate the mistake someone had made in ordering white ones.




Lacie, and


Tillie, three sisters in the Dormouse’s story. They live at the bottom of a well and exist solely on treacle.


Dinah, Alice’s pet cat in real life.

Alice’s Sister

Alice’s Sister, the wise older sister who is charmed by Alice’s tales of her adventures in Wonderland.

BibliographyBlake, Kathleen. Play, Games, and Sport: The Literary Works of Lewis Carroll. Ithaca, N.Y.: Cornell University Press, 1974. Wittily argues that the Alice books create a world of games spinning out of control. Firmly establishes their author in a Victorian context.Carroll, Lewis. The Annotated Alice: Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking-Glass. Edited by Martin Gardner. New York: Clarkson N. Potter, 1960. Martin Gardner’s notes in the margin alongside the text help to clarify jokes and conundrums and explain contemporary references.Carroll, Lewis. More Annotated Alice: Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking-Glass. Edited by Martin Gardner. New York: Random House, 1990. Based on letters from readers of the original The Annotated Alice, as well as new research, this sequel supplements rather than revises the first book. Reprints for the first time Peter Newell’s illustrations and includes Newell’s essay on visually interpreting Alice in Wonderland.Guiliano, Edward, ed. Lewis Carroll: A Celebration. New York: Clarkson N. Potter, 1982. A collection of fifteen essays, most referring to the Alice books, written to commemorate the 150th anniversary of Lewis Carroll’s birth. Provides many photographs and illustrations, including Lewis Carroll’s original renderings for Alice in Wonderland.Kelly, Richard. Lewis Carroll. Boston: Twayne, 1977. A broad critical survey of Carroll’s work. Emphasizes the humor in the Alice books.Phillips, Edward, ed. Aspects of Alice: Lewis Carroll’s Dreamchild as Seen Through the Critics’ Looking-Glasses, 1865-1971. New York: Vanguard Press, 1971. A wide-ranging and often entertaining omnibus. Includes a comprehensive bibliography.
Categories: Characters