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lafcadio's adventures

Dodo (Alice's Adventures in Wonderland)

The Dodo is a fictional character appearing in Chapters 2 and 3 of the book Alice's Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll (Charles Lutwidge Dodgson). The Dodo is a caricature of the author. A popular belief is that Dodgson chose the particular animal to represent himself because of his stammer; in that when saying his last name, it would frequently come out as "Do-do-dodgson." There however exists no evidence to support the claim and it is doubtful given what is known of the nature of his hesitation.

In this passage Lewis Carroll incorporated references to everyone present on the original boating expedition of July 4, 1862 during which Alice's Adventures were first told, with Alice as herself, and the others represented by birds: the Lory was Lorina Liddell, the Eaglet was Edith Liddell, the Dodo was Dodgson, and the Duck was Rev. Robinson Duckworth. In order to get dry after a swim, the Dodo proposes that everyone run a Caucus race — where the participants run in patterns of any shape, starting and leaving off whenever they like, so that everyone wins. At the end of the race, Alice distributes comfits from her pocket to all as prizes. However this leaves no prize for herself. The Dodo inquires what else she has in her pocket. As she has only a thimble, the Dodo requests it from her and then awards it to Alice as her prize. The Caucus Race as depicted by Carroll is a satire on the political caucus system, mocking its lack of clarity and decisiveness.

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