The following is one of the best-known passages of this beloved book. At first glance, it may seem as if what the Cat says makes no sense. But when you read it a second time, you can see the wisdom behind the Cat’s words.
“Cheshire-Puss,” she began, rather timidly, as she did not at all know whether it would like the name: however, it only grinned a little wider.
“Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?”
“That depends a good deal on where you want to get to,” said the Cat.
“I don’t much care where—” said Alice
“Then it doesn’t matter which way
, “if you only walk long enough.”
“But I don’t want to go among you go,” said the Cat.
“—So long as I get somewhere,” Alice added as an explanation.
“Oh you’re sure to do that,” said the Cat mad people,” Alice remarked.
“Oh you can’t help that,” said the Cat: “we’re all mad here. I’m mad, you’re mad.”
“How do you know I’m mad?” said Alice.
“You must be,” said the Cat, “or you wouldn’t have come here.”
“And how do you know that you’re mad?”
“To begin with,” said the Cat, “a dog’s not mad. You grant that?”
“I suppose so,” Alice said.
“Well, then,” the Cat went on, “you see a dog growl when it’s angry, and wag 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 call it purring, not growling,” said Alice.