Okay, so remember the episode where Ali comes back to Rosewood and goes to Ezra’s to confront him about his book? She says that there are things missing from the book that would help save her life. When she asks Ezra where they are he responds in an interesting way:
Ezra: “If there was anything else, the only reason I wouldn’t burn them is if it could help Aria.”
Ali: “Then you better keep it in a safe place.”
When Ezra & Ali were talking they sounded like they both knew what the secret was; there was something scary and unspoken between them.
And then in the mid-season 7 finale, we see A with Aria and Noel’s files from Jessica’s lair. A blows up the lair, burning everyone’s files, and then he burns Noel’s, but he doesn’t burnAria’s. If Ezra is A, then what is in that file that could protect Aria?
Did you see the look on Ali’s face when Emily says “Except for Aria.” She’s thinking back to that conversation with Ezra, and correct me if I’m wrong-but she looks RELIEVED that Aria’s file isn’t there.
So this means that Ezra all along has known a big secret about Ali- one that threatens her life. And it somehow relates to Aria. What does that mean!?
This was never explained. If Ezra had all this extra information, why hasn’t he told anyone about it after all this time?? We never see Ezra and Ali interact…there is definitely something sketchy here.
They both know a secret about Aria, one that Aria may not even know herself…
In 4x3, “Cat’s Cradle,” Aria, and Hanna and Emily go to Hectors mask shop. He tells them that Alison responded to his ad online looking for a beautiful young warrior model to make a Joan of Arc mask.
First of all, this sounds like an outright LIE. I think that Alison told Hector what to say if anyone ever questioned him about the masks. Doesn’t “a young, beautiful warrior like-model to mold after Joan of Arc,” sound EXACTLY LIKE how arrogant Alison would describe herself???
He tells the girls that Alison wanted masks because she wanted all her friends to look like her.
But NONE of the Liars ever received a mask from her. The ONLY people shown wearing the Ali masks were people on the A Team or A him/herself.
Hector also says that Alison told him to break the mold when he was finished, and he did. He makes a mold of Emily’s face in exchange for giving the girls information.
And then we see Emily’s mask show up on A.
It’s interesting to note that the title of this episode is Cat’s Cradle.
cat’s cradle (noun) -a child’s game in which a loop of string is put around and between the fingers and complex patterns are formed.
This sounds like the A’s reign of terror to me! Everything is a game. Has Alison behind everything since the beginning?
This theory compares Pretty Little Liars to “Alice in Wonderland,” the BOOK VERSION by Lewis Carroll (although I use images from the Disney movie).
Alice = Bethany Young = The character we know as Sara Harvey
The real Sara Harvey is the one who was killed that night.
Bethany is Red Coat, is the Liars age, and is working with/for A, who is most likely her older brother (as I believe A is a man, Ezra). Black Veil is most likely her older sister (Charlotte). She grew up in Radley, and escaped that night to join her siblings in revenge. Bethany, although now in her 20′s is a confused child inside, like Alice. Rosewood is her Wonderland, she is experiencing a world she doesn’t understand because she spent her life in Radley.
CHAPTER 1: DOWN THE RABBIT HOLE
A young girl named Alice sits by a riverbank, bored by the book her older sister is reading her. Out of nowhere, a White Rabbit runs past her, fretting that he will be late. The Rabbit pulls a watch out of his waistcoat pocket and runs across the field and down a rabbit hole.
The White Rabbit, is the person who lured Bethany out of Radley “that night.”
Alison DiLaurentis = the White Rabbit
Bethany is most likely the child of Mary Drake or Jessica DiLaurentis. She was obsessed with and jealous of Alison growing up, believing Ali got to live an ideal life with a real family while she was stuck in Radley all alone.
A few instances of rabbit imagery:
Remember when Spencer and Johnny vandalize Hollis with graffiti art of bunny rabbits.
Episode 6x15 is titled “Down The Rabbit Hole,” which is actually the name of the first chapter of the novel Alice in Wonderland. Spencer and Aria go into Sara’s Radley hotel room and find a secret passage to the mental institution. BETHANY LITERALLY WENT DOWN THE RABBIT HOLE.
Alice impulsively follows the Rabbit and tumbles down the deep hole that resembles a well, falling slowly for a long time.
Mona was kept in a deep well in the Dollhouse.
She speaks aloud, daydreaming about her cat Dinah. In the midst of imagining a conversation the two of them might have, she abruptly lands. Unhurt, Alice gets up and catches sight of the White Rabbit as he vanishes around a corner.
Alice approaches a long corridor lined by doors. This made me think of the hall of bedroom doors in the Dollhouse, that the girls were locked into. The doors are all locked, so Alice tests them with a key that she finds on a glass table. After searching around, Alice discovers a small door behind a curtain. She looks through the keyhole to see it opens up to a garden.
The door is too small for Alice to squeeze through, so she finds a bottle marked “DRINK ME.”. Alice drinks the contents of the bottle and shrinks, and though she can now fit through the door, she realizes she has left the key on the tabletop high above her.
Remember this picture Bethany drew in Radley of the bottles:
And the there were all the bottles on the shelves in the blind school:
Alice cries and finds a small cake with the words “EAT ME” underneath the table. Alice eats the cake with the hope that it will change her size, but becomes disappointed when nothing happens.
Remember when A is seen eating cake at Byron & Ella’s wedding reception?
The Rabbit represents Alice’s frustrated desire. His antics inspire Alice to follow him down the hole and into Wonderland, but he constantly stays one step ahead of her. Just like A is always one step ahead of the girls. Led on by curiosity, Alice follows the elusive rabbit even though she does not know what she will do once she catches him. She pursues him out of pure curiosity but believes that catching him will give her some new knowledge or satisfaction. Even when the outcome is unknown, the act of chasing implies that she has a desired goal. What did Bethany hope to gain by finding Alison? She was completely obsessed with finding Ali. She had pictures of her everywhere. Ali is the ideal to Bethany. Maybe she wanted to get Ali and then impersonate her, becoming everything she always wanted to be. Which could relate to the books where Courtney impersonates the real Alison.
Alice cannot enter the garden even though she wants to, and her desire to enter the garden represents nostalgia that accompanies growing up. Carroll dramatizes the frustrations that occur with growing older as Alice finds herself either too small or too large to fit through the passageway into the garden. Bethany longs for a real childhood, the one she feels Alison had. This can be seen in the soul room. There are all childlike items. A crib, a teddy bear, children’s drawings, even a mannequin family. I believe this was a representation of the childhood she wishes she had. Charles, her older brother, EZRA, built the Dollhouse for her.
After drinking the potion, Alice shrinks and cannot reach the key on the table. The helplessness that comes with her exaggeratedly small size represents the feelings of insignificance of childhood. Bethany feels neglected and insignificant to her real family. The growth spurt caused by the cake represents the awkward bodily transformations that come with puberty. Alice’s growth allows her the means to fulfill her destiny but literally reminds her that she is growing away from the pleasures of childhood. The idealized garden is now off limits to Alice, who can no more fit through the passageway than an infant could travel back to the safety and security of the womb. Bethany longs for a true family unit, glamorizes the childhood she believes she never had, and tries to recreate it in anyway possible; The playroom in the dollhouse was VERY childlike. Ex: playing with dolls, blocks, kids games, train set
CHAPTER 2: THE POOL OF TEARS
After finishing the cake that says “EAT ME,” Alice grows to nine feet tall, begins to cry, and her massive tears form a sizable pool at her feet.
The White Rabbit reappears and mutters to himself about keeping a Duchess waiting. Alice attempts to speak to him, but he scuttles away, leaving behind his gloves and fan. She muses on the possibility that she may not be Alice but someone else entirely. To determine if she knows all that Alice is supposed to know, she starts to recite her lessons. She finds that she gets the recitations wrong and considers the idea that she may not be Alice, but possibly a girl she knows named Mabel. Since Mabel knows very little, it makes sense to Alice that her confusion over the lessons must indicate that she has somehow become Mabel. If she is Mabel, there is no reason for her to find her way out of the well to rejoin society. Even though she’s confused about her identity, she knows that she must find a way out of the well and back to the world above ground.
I have always thought it was possible that one of the characters we know is Bethany Young, and they have multiple personality disorder. (Aria as my number one suspect, and Spencer as my second). But let’s continue with the idea that the character we know as Sara Harvey is Bethany Young. It is VERY interesting that when she was shown as a prisoner in the Dollhouse, she becomes confused (intentionally or unintentionally) and says she is Sara Harvey. Similarly to how Alice thought she may be Mabel.
Alice realizes that using the White Rabbit’s fan causes her to shrink, so she fans herself down to a size that will allow her to fit through the door. She tumbles into a pool of salt water. She thinks she has fallen into the sea, but quickly realizes that she is swimming in her own giant tears. As she swims, she comes across a Mouse, whom she asks for help. The Mouse doesn’t understand Alice, so she tries to speak French to him. She recites a line from her French lessons, inquiring after a cat. At the mention of the cat, the Mouse leaps with fright. Alice apologizes but then absentmindedly chatters about her cat Dinah.
The Mouse tells her to follow it to shore. Alice is now accompanied by several other animals that have fallen into the pool, including a Duck, a Dodo, a Lory, and an Eaglet, Alice and the Mouse swim to shore.
Alice becomes confused about her identity as her size changes, mirroring the confusion that occurs during the transition from childhood to adulthood. I believe Bethany is the same age as the liars, and as the show progressed they all dealt with going from child to adult. Bethany is now older, but because she always lived in Radley, she has the maturity of a child out in the real world of Rosewood. The reality that she is too large to fit into the garden produces confusion over who she is, which Alice responds to with bouts of crying and self-reproach. Unable to accept the changes she is experiencing, she questions her own identity. This could be explained by Bethany’s bipolar disorder. Sometimes she is severely depressed, other times in a fit of rage, and then she has shown compassion. It seems like the Liars could have died MANY times, but are always saved at the last moment. Bethany (Sara) pulled the girls out of the Lodge fire. Since she cannot remember her own lessons, she believes that she must not be Alice anymore. At first, Alice assumes that she may in fact be someone she knows. The comparisons she draws between herself and Mabel show her class-consciousness in Victorian times. Similarly in PLL, there are the Liars and Alison who grew up normal lives, while Bethany grew up in horrible conditions in Radley.Though she tries to use chains of reasoning suited to the above ground world, the paradox of Wonderland is that she must accept the logic of nonsense or she will go mad with contradiction.
Alice tries to deal with her predicament reasonably, but the episode in the pool of tears illustrates how easily Wonderland distracts her from reason and causes her to react emotionally. The sea of tears is like a punishment for Alice’s giving in to her own emotions. Alice goes back and forth between emotion and reason. It seems like A, who is her brother Charles (EZRA), deals with the same issues. A tries to make decisions without emotion, but sometimes compassion sneaks in: Like when the bottle landed on Aria and A switched it to Spencer. WHICH MAKES SENSE BECAUSE EZRA IS IN LOVE WITH ARIA.
Alice doesn’t notice that the landscape has transformed around her. The great hall has become an ocean, while the floor has become a dry “shore.” Instead of reacting to her predicament by rationalizing the problem or starting to cry, she distracts herself by trying to figure out how to address the Mouse. Alice has started to react with total detachment to the absurd situations in which she finds herself. I believe this is what has happened to Bethany. The only life she ever knew was in Radley, and now she is living this twisted existence dictated by her brother, which she accepts as the norm because she doesn’t know any better. As she proceeds throughout her journeys, she will continue to encounter problems that cause her to react with extremes of emotion or reason. However, in this scene, she has begun to take the absurdities of Wonderland at face value, allowing herself to become distracted so that she ignores the real problem at hand, which would be that Bethany is helping A hurt the Liars and Alison, in order to avenge the hurt he feels himself, but at the end of the day that’s not going to solve Bethany’s own problems.
CHAPTER 3: A CAUCUS RACE AND A LONG TALE
Alice and the group of animals land on the bank and focus on getting dry. This prompts the Dodo to suggest a race. They run around haphazardly until the Dodo declares that the race is over.
The Caucus race represents the general meaninglessness of life. The animals run randomly in circles, progress nowhere, and arbitrarily adjourn without any clear conclusion.Though the race accomplishes the intended purpose of getting everyone dry, they do not follow a clear path or understand what they are doing as they do it. This can relate to a few things. The A Team: The members are following orders blindly, not fully understanding why they are doing the things they are doing, or even knowing who their leader is. The Liars: They are “running in circles” trying to solve the mystery of A. Rosewood is Bethany’s and the other liars Wonderland. They aren’t sure of her their purpose, but hope to find it along the way. And remember what was written on Mona’s desk in Radley:
The Mouse says he will tell a tale. Alice confuses “tale” and “tail,” and focuses on the Mouse’s appendage as it talks. The Mouse chides Alice for not paying attention, and though Alice apologizes, the two misunderstand each other and the Mouse leaves in a huff.
In Wonderland, language, characters, and scenes change meaning and significance from moment to moment. Each aspect of Wonderland has no lasting impact outside of the scene and the context in which it operates. As a result, there are no consistent patterns of meaning that would create a system of logic in Wonderland that might allow a visitor such as Alice to make sense of her surroundings. Maybe that is why A seems to be so inconsistent throughout the series. Bethany is like a CHILD, is easily confused. Bethany has never lived a life outside of a mental institution, and doesn’t have the social skills to communicate effectively with other people She feels misunderstood. This could be where her rage and mental disorder stem from. Alice’s verbal confusion with the Mouse is one example of her inability to understand patterns of behavior or establish any kind of expectation of what to anticipate in Wonderland. This could be why Bethany (Sara Harvey) is so unbelievably awkward and unlikable in the show. Most of the characters in Wonderland don’t like Alice, just like the Liars and the audience of the show don’t like Bethany (Sara). It’s interesting to note that Sara/Bethany always wants to shower. And this chapter in the book is all about Alice getting dry because she’s WET.
CHAPTER 4: THE RABBIT SENDS IN A LITTLE BILL
The White Rabbit approaches Alice, looking for his gloves and fan; mistakes Alice for his housemaid, Mary Ann, and commands her to go to his house and fetch his things. Alice obeys and thinks about how strange it is to take orders from animals and imagines that her cat Dinah might start ordering her around when she gets back home. Inside of the house, she finds the gloves and fan, as well as another little bottle labeled “DRINK ME.” Curious to find out what the contents of the bottle will do, Alice drinks the liquid. Before she can finish, she begins growing rapidly and can barely fit in the room. Her arm dangles from a window and her foot becomes wedged in the chimney.
This made me think of the expression “curiosity killed the cat.” This can pertain to characters in PLL who have died in search of the truth about A. Wilden, Garrett, Ian, Maya etc. ‘MAYA KNEW’ and she died because of it. It also shows Alice’s impulsive behavior. She see’s the bottle and drinks it without thinking of the consequences of those actions. If the flashback CeCe told of Bethany on the roof of Radley is accurate, it portrays Bethany’s inpulsivity. Marion happens to be on the roof and Bethany pushes her to her death without a second thought.
It also represents Bethany being told what to do by everyone in her life. She was controlled by the staff at Radley, and now she is blindly following the orders of A; Charles (Ezra).
Alice decides that her adventures are like a fairy tale and imagines writing her own stories once she grows up.This can relate to Ezra spying on everyone in order to ‘write a book,’ which I refuse to believe to this day.
A crowd gathered outside says to burn down the house, and they start throwing pebbles through the window at her face. The pebbles transform into cakes, and reasoning that the cakes might cause her to become smaller, Alice eats one and shrinks. She leaves the house and encounters a mob of animals ready to rush her.
This can symbolize Bethany feeling like she is all alone, has no one, that everyone is out to get her. The staff at Radley could represent ‘an angry mob’ to a child with a mental disorder. Also the burning down of the house is comparable to many moments in PLL.
This scene shows that characters were scared of/hated Alice.
That’s something Bethany was worried about too, how people perceived her.
The Lodge fire, Jenna’s house fire, the barn fire, the fire in the Dollhouse, the fire in Lucas’ apartment. And we know one of A’s masks is burned:
Alice flees into the woods and thinks about how she might return to her normal size and find the garden.
Bethany is searching for a ‘garden’ as well. Her garden is some sort of peace. She is obviously a deeply troubled girl with demons in her past and present. She is going along with A’s plan in hopes it will bring her some sort of closure/happiness.
The White Rabbit’s status as an authority figure forces Alice to adjust her perception that humans sit at the top of the animal hierarchy. Alison is someone that Bethany has always looked up to. Wonderland breaks down Alice’s beliefs about her identity and replaces those learned beliefs and understandings of the world with Wonderland’s nonsensical rules. I believe Bethany adapted to the ‘rules’ that A has laid out for revenge. Alice understands this identity displacement in terms of a fairy tale. She states, “When I used to read fairy tales, I fancied that kind of thing never happened, and now here I am in the middle of one!” Fiction has intruded on her own sense of reality, and she finds herself unable to keep the two separate. Alice is no longer the Alice she knew at home and is not altogether sure of who she is anymore. She is no longer the girl in the mental institution, she is out there in Rosewood now, but still feels like she doesn’t belong.
CHAPTER 5: ADVICE FROM A CATERPILLAR
She comes across a giant mushroom and climbs to the top, discovering a blue caterpillar smoking a hookah with an air of indifference. The Caterpillar asks Alice, “Who are you?” Alice has trouble explaining who she is to the antagonistic Caterpillar. Dejected, she turns to leave, but the Caterpillar calls her back.
When the Caterpillar asks Alice “Who are you,” she finds that she doesn’t know who she is anymore. The Caterpillar aggravates Alice’s uncertainty about her constantly changing size. The Caterpillar also may represent the threat of sexuality, as suggested by its phallic shape. Which can relate to the story Charlotte told about being transgender. But I really don’t believe that story is true. To me this shows that Bethany is having trouble with her identity, she doesn’t feel like she knows who she truly is. Which can be reflected in this drawing she did that I believe is a self portrait. The face is skewed and unclear, reflecting insecurity and self doubt.
The Caterpillar begins to recite incoherent poems, and asks her to repeat them. When she does so incorrectly, he is rude to her. He leaves in a huff and then tells Alice that eating one side of the mushroom will make her grow larger and eating the other side will make her grow smaller.
This reminded me of when Mona was talking in riddles that were anagrams.
Alice has trouble reciting the poem and finds that her inability to remember things she knows well shows the effects of Wonderland on her brain. This can relate to Bethany’s mental illness and overall confusion.
Though she seeks guidance and compassion from the Caterpillar, she finds only further self doubt under its brusque scrutiny. Regardless, she defers to the Caterpillar’s authority, just as she did with the White Rabbit. I feel like the caterpillar represents Jessica DiLaurentis. Bethany wanted to trust her, but inevitably felt betrayed by her. Remember the recording we hear of Bethany? She says: “Everything she said, every visit was a lie. I mean is it like mother like daughter? I wonder if I can trust anyone in that family.” Alice followed orders from White Rabbit & Caterpillar but feels like feels like she cannot trust them. Bethany feels like she cant trust Alison (the rabbit) or Jessica (the caterpillar).
Alice tastes the left-hand portion of the mushroom, and her neck grows so long that her head is above the treetops, and a Pigeon attacks her. The Pigeon has mistaken Alice for a serpent who wants to eat its eggs. Alice assures the Pigeon that she is not a serpent, and the Pigeon skulks back to its nest, leaving Alice to nibble at the two pieces of the mushroom until she returns to her original height.
The Pigeon accuses Alice of being a serpent, which causes her to doubt not only who she is but also what she is. Estranged from her old self, Alice has trouble defending herself to the Pigeon. The Pigeon reasons that since Alice exhibits key traits of a serpent, having a long neck and eating eggs, she must in fact be a serpent. Alice becomes trapped in this logic so that she becomes identified by a single action and feature. The Pigeon threatens Alice’s already shaken assumption of a stable identity. I believe that Bethany is torn between her true self (a troubled child in the body of an adult) and being seen as a villain by the town and the girls because she works with A, and is guilty by association.
CHAPTER 6: PIG AND PEPPER
Alice approaches a Frog Footman, outside of a tiny house. Alice opens the door and finds herself in a kitchen. A Duchess nurses a baby, a grinning cat sits on the hearth, and a Cook stands at the stove. Alice asks why the cat grins and the Duchess tells her that it’s a Cheshire Cat. Wondering aloud why a cat would grin at all, the Duchess insults Alice, telling her that she must not know very much.
Meanwhile, the Cook hurls objects randomly at the Duchess and the baby. Alice tells the Cook to leave them alone and attempts to change the subject of conversation by bringing up the earth’s axis. The Duchess mishears Alice, and thinking she is talking about axes, spontaneously shouts, “Chop off her head!” The Duchess starts to sing a nasty lullaby to the baby, roughly tussling it as she sings. She then throws the baby at Alice and hurries out of the room to prepare for croquet with the Queen
The lullaby “Hush Little Baby” has come up many times in the show. We know Jessica used to sing it to Ali as a baby, Mona sang it to herself in the well of the Dollhouse, ‘Dream Spencer’ sings it to Hanna in the cabin, and Mary sings it to Spencer in the finale after she gets shot.
It’s interesting that the Duchess is cruel to her baby. Bethany was almost definitely abandoned as a child and felt like Mrs D didn’t treat her right. This symbolizes a mother not caring for a helpless child.
Alice takes the baby outside, only to discover that it is a pig.
The baby being a PIG is verrrryy symbolic. I wrote another theory about how I think Wilden is Charles, and a cops derogatory nick name is a PIG, so this would fit in beautifully. You can read that theory here
But for this theory the pig made me think of Aria and her favorite puppet pigtunia. Aria definitely has a bigger role in everything, we just don’t know what it is yet. My guess is that because Ezra is A, he struggles with the love he has for Aria while trying to seek his revenge at the same time.
Alice encounters the Cheshire Cat again, grinning broadly as it rests on a branch of a tree. She asks him where she should go next and he tells her that no matter where she goes she will end up somewhere.
He suggests she visits the Mad Hatter. When Alice responds that she does not want to be among mad people, he tells her that all people are mad, and if she is in Wonderland, she must be mad too. The Cheshire Cat vanishes and reappears before fading to nothing but a disembodied grin, leaving Alice to travel onward.. Upon discovering that the house is larger than she is, Alice consumes a portion of the Caterpillar’s mushroom and grows to two feet tall.
Alice constantly changing her size to go into the next scene in Wonderland represents Bethany trying to change herself to fit in with other people, to be accepted. Alice fails to understand that Wonderland’s order is defined by chaos.
The presence of a Duchess with a Footman suggests a rigid social order, complete with codes of conduct. This hierarchy reminds Alice of her own society, but their behavior destroys any traditional notion of social convention.
There is a clear hierarchy in PLL.
When they were in High School, Alison was on top as the most popular girl, the Liars came next because they were Ali’s friends, and then there were all the ‘losers’ that Ali bullied.
There is a hierarchy within the A Team. A is on top, then Red Coat & Black Veil, and then all of their minions: Mona, Lucas, Jenna, Shana, Noel etc.
In Bethany’s eyes, Ali and the girls who grew up with normal lives, are higher than her, because she lived as a ‘prisoner’ in Radley, having to obey the staff, nurses and doctors.
CHAPTER 7: A MAD TEA PARTY
Alice approaches a large table where the March Hare, Mad Hatter, and a Dormouse are having a tea party.
Alice sits down at the table uninvited. The Mad Hatter tells Alice that her hair needs cutting.
Remember when Bethany randomly cut her hair?
Alice scolds his rudeness, but he ignores her and responds with a riddle: “Why is a raven like a writing desk?” Alice attempts to answer the riddle, which begins a big argument about semantics. Alice gives up on the riddle and becomes angry with the Mad Hatter when she discovers that he doesn’t know the answer either. She tells him he should not waste time asking riddles that have no answers.
There has been a lot of bird symmetry associated with Bethany Young. She got the empty bird cage tattoo on her back. I also think that since birds (tippy) have been associated with A, it is interesting that the riddle mentions a bird and a WRITING desk: EZRA!
After their argument, the tea party sits in silence until the Mad Hatter asks the March Hare what time it is. When he discovers that the March Hare’s watch is broken, the Mad Hatter becomes angry. He blames the March Hare for getting crumbs on the watch when the March Hare was spreading butter on it. The March Hare sullenly dips the watch in his tea, dejectedly remarking that “It was the best butter.”
Remember when Spencer got Toby a pocket watch?
The Mad Hatter calmly explains that Time is a “him,” not an “it.” He goes on to recount how Time has been upset ever since the Queen of Hearts said the Mad Hatter was “murdering time” while he performed a song badly. Since then, Time has stayed fixed at six o’clock, which means that they exist in perpetual tea-time.
In the wood, Alice encounters a tree with a door in it. She enters the door and finds herself back in the great hall. Alice goes back to the table with the key and uses the mushroom to grow to a size that she can reach the key, then to shrink back to the size that she can fit through the door. She goes through the door and at last arrives at the passageway to the garden.
CHAPTER 8: THE QUEEN’S CROQUET GROUND
Alice enters the garden and meets three gardeners in the shape of playing cards. The gardeners bicker with each other as they paint the white roses on the rose trees red. Upon noticing Alice, the gardeners explain that accidentally planted white rose trees and must paint them red before the Queen of Hearts finds out.
Just then, the Queen arrives, surrounded by a great entourage of living playing cards. The gardeners scramble to their bellies to bow before the Queen, who asks for Alice’s name with great severity. Alice answers the Queen graciously and realizes she should not be afraid, as they are simply a pack of cards.
But when Alice responds rudely to the Queen, she screams, “Off with her head.” The Queen tells Alice that good girls shouldn’t act like that.
The Queen calls for the gardeners beheading as well. Eventually the King was able to calm her down, and she gave Alice another chance by inviting her to a croquet match.
Throughout the story, the King under-minds everything the Queen does. She condemns everyone to death, and behind her back the King lets them go free.
Alice saves the gardeners by hiding them in a flower pot and going off with the Queen to play croquet. This reminds me of when Bethany pulled the girls out of the lodge fire.
Alice arrives at the croquet game to find the White Rabbit in attendence. She realizes that the White Rabbit is a servent to the Queen of Hearts.
This could possibly mean that Alison is wrapped up in the game somehow or that Bethany believes that Ali is.
Alice has a difficult time adjusting to the curious version of croquet played by the Queen. The croquet ground is ridged, the croquet balls are live hedgehogs, and the mallets are live flamingos. The various playing cards stand on all fours to form the arches that the balls are hit through. She continues calling out for people to be beaheaded throughout the game, but husband, the King, keeps talking her out of it.
The Queen of Hearts is the head villain of the story. She is the most wicked out of everyone in Wonderland. But the King manages to calm her down often, because she is evidently erratic. The Queen of Hearts has come up many times in PLL. If Ezra is uber A, his queen would be Aria. Aria has been shown with the Queen of Hearts many times. She was almost killed by the QoH on the Halloween train, and she was sitting with Mona with a tower of playing cards in Radley.
When Alice reaches the garden, she hopes that it will fulfill her all of her desires, but it proves to be just as bad, if not worse, then the rest of Wonderland. I believe this is how Bethany feels about Rosewood. It is a huge parallel that the name of the PLL town is Rosewood, and the Queen of Hearts kingdom is full of rose trees.
Jessica D has been shown tending her to roses many times in PLL. Bethany drew two pictures of her with roses.
And remember when Charlotte was murdered, she was holding a rose.
Painting the roses red, can be seen as a symbol of turning good people (white) to evil people (red). Red Coat.
Alice has sought out the garden since she first saw it through the keyhole. Bethany has wanted to get out of Radley and envied the Liars lives from afar. The garden is the seat of power for the King and Queen of Hearts. The rules and practices of the garden are just as maddening to Alice as the rest of Wonderland. It’s possible that Bethany has started to realize that life and people outside of Radley, are just as crazy, unhappy and complicated as inside Radley. Alice does not like the Queen. Bethany does not like Aria, because she believes she is truly evil, and doesn’t want Aria to be with her brother, Ezra.
The queen saying “off with their heads!” is relatable to PLL as well.
Mona was sitting in Radley painting a head, singing “The Teddy Bears Picnic.”
If you go out in the woods today/You’re sure of a big surprise/If you go out in the woods today/You’d better go in disguise/Beneath the trees, where nobody sees/They’ll hide and seek as long as they pleaseToday’s the day the teddy bears have their picnic
The lyrics can symbolize Alice in Wonderland, and Bethany in Rosewood; going through confusing and outrageous situations.
And the lyric “walking through the woods” always makes me think of Little Red Riding Hood:
Aria is shown with a bunch of heads in the mask-makers place. If this isnt the biggest clue shes the Queen of Hearts, I dont know what is. OFF WITH THEIR HEADS!
Noel Kahn’s head was literally cut off:
Off with their heads, also may be a subtle hint towards the fact that A makes masks of people’s faces all the time. He literally puts a new head on a body.
Alice realizes that the garden is not an idyllic place of calm and beauty, but an artificially constructed space that becomes a source of anxiety and fear for her. I believe this is exactly what happened to Bethany. Being part of the A game, and out in Rosewood became too much for her, she couldn’t stand witnessing all the evil around her, She always hated the girls because they got to live a life she couldn’t and hurting/bullying others (like her). And now she’s realizing shes partaking in it.
The croquet came continues when the Duchess shows up and takes Alice’s arm. The two start to walk, and Alice becomes uncomfortable that the Duchess holds her so close and takes takes every opportunity to explain various moral lessons to Alice.
The Duchess represents a mother figure. The Duchess’s relentless lecture on morals prevents Alice from thinking for herself. The Duchess seems to be corrupting Alice. This can relate to Bethany’s relationship with Mary Drake and/or Jessica DiLaurentis OR can relate to the corruption of Bethany on the A team.
The story ends with Alice escaping the Queen’s kingdom and trying to find her way home. Alice suddenly wakes up and finds herself back on her sister’s lap at the riverbank. She attempts to tell her sister the tale….
Alice was able to escape Wonderland by waking up, Bethany escaped Rosewood through death. Bethany committed suicide because she couldn’t take the guilt and confusion any longer. In death, she has obtained the ever elusive peace she has always craved.
You rarely got panic attacks. In fact you never had one in your life. That was until A started targeting you and the rest of the girls. Ever since then you got them a lot more.
Today was one of those days. The girls were planning on coming over to yours to study.
You had just received a text from A.
“Tell Aria about you and Mike. Or she finds out from me. - A”
You had secretly been dating Aria’s brother Mike for a few months now. Aria had no idea. You wanted to tell her. But you were scared of how she would react.
And here A was threatening to tell Aria everything.
The girls found you curled up in a ball in your room breathing heavily.
“Oh my God Y/N.” Emily said wrapping her arms around you. Its going to be ok.
Emily noticed your phone next to you and saw the text.
“Aria go get Mike.” Emily said.
“Just go get him. He might be able to get her to calm down you know he’s good friends with Y/N.”
“Ok.” Aria said running to her car to go get her brother.
“Em why did you want Aria to get Mike?” Spencer asked.
“Read the text.” Emily said passing Spencer and Hanna the phone.
“Oh crap.” Hanna said passing the phone back to Emily.
“Mike will be here soon Y/N. Don’t worry.” She said rubbing small circles on your back while you were still wrapped up in her arms.
You were still breathing heavily.
Half an hour later Aria came back with Mike.
“Y/N. What’s wrong?” Mike asked concerned for you.
He took you from Emily’s arms and wrapped you up in his own.
“What happened?” He asked holding you close and stroking your hair.
“When we got here she was having a panic attack.”
“Why was she having a panic attack?”
“She got a text from A.” Emily said holding up your phone.
“Hey Y/N. Its ok. A won’t hurt you if that’s what you’re worried about.”
“Let’s see the text.” Aria said.
“I don’t think that’s a good idea.”
“Why not? You guys read it didn’t you.”
“Give it here.” Mike said holding his hand out to take your phone.
Emily handed him the phone.
“Oh my god.” He said once he read the text.
“Y/N. Its ok don’t worry. We can tell her if you want. She was bound to find out eventually.”
“I’m scared she will hate me.” You said finally speaking.
“She won’t hate you. And even if she does. It won’t change anything.”
“What are you talking about?” Aria asked.
“Can I tell her?” Mike asked you.
You just nodded.
“Aria. Me and Y/N are dating.”
“What? Oh thank god.” Aria said.
“You aren’t mad?” You asked.
“Why would I be mad? I’ve been wanting you two to get together for ages.
“I thought you would be mad. And A knew I thought that so the bitch whoever they are was using that to their advantage. They threatened to tell you if I didn’t. We would have told you sooner I was just scared how you would react.”
“Don’t keep something like this from me again. Ok.” Aria said hugging you.
“Out of every girl he’s ever dated you are definitely my favourite.”
“Thank you Aria.”
“You’re welcome. Oh and Mike if you hurt her I will kill you.”
“Hey shouldn’t it be the other way around. I’m your brother after all.” Mike said.
“Yeah but she’s one of my best friends.”
“Hey why don’t we leave Y/N and Mike alone. Studying can wait.” Spencer suggested.
Each of the girls said goodbye and hugged you before leaving.
“I love you Mike.” You said as he wrapped you up in his arms again.