“Why does a raven similar to an office desk?” is a question posed by Mad Hatter at an evening tea gathering in Lewis Carroll’s iconic novel of 1865, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. Alice could not answer the riddle since there was no solution, and Mad Hatter acknowledged that she had no idea.
The question is addressed within Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, in a scene that features Alice and Alice, the Mad Hatter, and the Dormouse at the famous Tea Party. Alice is told that riddles are being traded as the Mad Hatter is asked, “why is a raven similar to the writing desk?” The guests attempt to solve the mystery, but the Mad Hatter confesses a few pages later, “I don’t have the faintest clue.” It’s intended to show the unstable world in which Alice is thrown into, and the entire text shows how adult life appears to youngsters. When Alice inquires as to the reason why they’re wasting their time-solving riddles that aren’t answered, the author is asking an even more important question regarding adults.
What is the difference between a raven and a desk for writing?
“Because it produces only a few notes even, but they’re very plain”, written Destiny.
Pam was of a similar opinion, “because it can produce some notes.”
“Kept at a desk with a pen as a symbol of success”, Jasmine offered.
“They both contain an R in both of them”, An unidentified person suggests.
“They are the two lovers of my tender and young life,” says another poetically.
“HE is not” is the child’s response using flawless logic.
The answer of Lewis Carroll
In his introduction to the edition of 1896 of Alice in Wonderland, Carroll feels the need to address:
“Enquiries are so frequently directed to me, about whether or not any solutions to the riddle of the Hatter could be imagined so I’ll provide here what I think is an acceptable answer which is: “Because it can produce notes, although they’re very flat and it’s never placed with the wrong side in front but this, however, is just an idea that was added later and the Riddle was originally devised did not have a solution at all.”
The solution to the most famous and infamous fantasy riddle is unanswerable.
The unanswerable mystery is now solved; however, it has been asked for years. Lewis Carroll himself wrote the answer after being questioned by people daily since the book’s first edition publication. He stated that in the first book, there was no solution. To stop the ache of endless fan letters, however, he decided to go ahead and came up with a suitable response, which he then included in the preface of later editions. Carroll’s answer to the question of the reason why a raven can be described as the writing desk? “Because it can produce a couple of notes, even though they’re not very sharp and not put with the incorrect end facing forward!” Your leg muscles are hurting due to the many slaps after reading this sentence. In the beginning, it was intended to be more fun than this. Carroll wrote ‘never”‘ as ‘never which is pronounced backwards as ‘raven’ However, an editor erased the reverse pun before publication.
Carroll’s answer wasn’t as popular as the question he asked. Many have tried to come to their solutions to the much-studied puzzle. Let me take a shot at this. “Why do ravens have a similarity to a desk for writing? Because caws encounter neither one.” Eh? Eh??
Looking forward to 2022
The Preston Manor’s annual Riddle Trail was a hit with families, who responded by expressing how much their kids and adults alike were entertained by the hands-on activities such as dressing up and having a fun and exciting experience within a historic house.
Inspired, we’re making plans for a trial in summer 2022. The trail will have a brand new theme and new activities, with the path operating all day long during regular opening hours for free with admission tickets.
For more information and assistance, visit the following websites.