not the easter bunny

rabbit

Its the White Rabbit of Alice in Wonderland. He has an interesting part to play in Alice’s spiritual journey. He provides the immediate cause that leads her down the rabbit hole. Lewis Carroll describes the two characters as being in direct contrast. Alice is audacious, youthful and vigorous, while Carroll describes the white rabbit :

“read elderly, timid, feeble and nervously  shilly-shallying and you will get something of what I meant him to be, I am sure his voice should quaver, and his knees quiver, and his whole air suggest a total inability to say ‘Bo to a goose!”

Alice has the qualities needed to embark on a spiritual journey while the rabbit  is  the personification of ignorance : confused, fearful, and continually misinterpreting things. From ignorance  fear is born, it isolates him from others, and creates the duality of us and them.  The white rabbit is present in the book at the beginning, the middle and the end because ignorance is the final delusion to overcome  in order to become enlightened. He does not appear in Through the Looking Glass, where Alice enters the looking house on her own.

Where there is clarity there is no fear. Rabbits are driven by fear and instinct. the white rabbit is no exception. Carroll also uses the white rabbit to highlight the ridiculous attitudes about class in Victorian Britain. The rabbit judges all the other characters and either acts obsequiously towards his superiors or arrogantly to those he considers beneath him.

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