Begin at the beginning," the King said gravely, "and go on till you come to the end: then stop.”
― King of Hearts, Alice's Adventures in Wonderland
Alice's Adventures in Wonderland is a children's book that was written in 1865 by author Lewis Carroll. It follows the story of Alice as she falls down a rabbit hole and into the world of Wonderland which is filled with anthromorphic creatures who teach Alice lessons as she moves through their world.
The Matrix references the book through various homages, simply references to Carroll's work within the Matrix universe. Neo is sent a message to "follow the white rabbit" and upon his first meeting with Morpheus, references to Alice, Wonderland and the rabbit hole are made.
Lewis Carroll was the pen name of Charles Lutwidge Dodgson, the author of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, Through the Looking-Glass and The Hunting of the Snark among other works.
- At the end of the webcomic Get It? Johnny's friend is revealed to be an Agent called Agent Lewis, possibly in reference to Lewis Carroll
The White Rabbit
The White Rabbit appears at the very beginning of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, in chapter one, wearing a waistcoat, and muttering "Oh dear! Oh dear! I shall be too late!". Alice follows him down the rabbit hole into Wonderland.
- Dujour had a tattoo of a white rabbit on her shoulder in The Matrix
- Both Hope (in Burning Hope) and Tiera (as a child in A Life Less Empty) had a white rabbit stuffed toy
The Mad Hatter
The Hatter (as he is referred to in the book: a reference to the phrase "mad as a hatter") is found by Alice at a tea party outside the March Hare's house. The tea party is characterized by switching places on the table at any given time, making short, personal remarks, asking unanswerable riddles and reciting nonsensical poetry, all of which eventually drive Alice away.
- The unlockable Zion Archives level in The Matrix: Path of Neo features a hologram of a Leprechaun who bears a resemblance to the Hatter
- One of the Merovingians' liaisons named himself Madhattah in reference to the Hatter
The March Hare is another character from the tea party, making nonsensical conversation with Alice and commenting occasionally on the Hatter's equally nonsensical remarks. It gets its name from the phrase "mad as a March hare", which was common at the time the book was written, and leads Alice to hypothosise "The March Hare will be much the most interesting, and perhaps as this is May it won't be raving mad – at least not so mad as it was in March."
Through the Looking-Glass
Through the Looking-Glass, and What Alice Found There is the sequel to Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, written in 1871, with its themes and settings making it a kind of mirror image of the first book, the book itself having many mirror themes, such as opposites, time running backwards, and so on. In it, Alice ponders what the world is like on the other side of a mirror's reflection. Climbing up on the fireplace mantel, she pokes at the wall-hung mirror behind the fireplace and discovers, to her surprise, that she is able to step through it to an alternative world. In the mirror world she encounters many fantastic things, including anthropomorphic chess pieces.
- The Animatrix film A Detective Story contained several references to Through the Looking-Glass, with Trinity using the "Red Queen" as a hacker alias, and using symbolism from the book to talk about the Matrix. One detective is driven mad looking for her, so Ash visits him in an asylum with "FIND THE RED QUEEN" scrawled on the wall of his cell, and his floor chalked out as a red chess board, saying that Trinity isn't real, that "he's a...a figment...a cipher........a jabberwocky." He finds her in chatrooms calling himself "White Pawn", saying "I am told he is through the looking glass." Red Queen replies "No. It is you who is through the looking glass" giving "You'll have to jump the first of six brooks" as a clue to meet her