Why does Alice hesitate before drinking the liquid?

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Alice hesitates before drinking the liquid to check whether the bottle is marked "poison." She remembers several stories she has read about children who were burned or eaten by wild beasts, or suffered other gruesome fates, because they failed to remember the simple rules they had been taught. One of...

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Alice hesitates before drinking the liquid to check whether the bottle is marked "poison." She remembers several stories she has read about children who were burned or eaten by wild beasts, or suffered other gruesome fates, because they failed to remember the simple rules they had been taught. One of these rules is that if you drink from a bottle marked "poison," it is certain to disagree with you sooner or later.

These observations parody the moralizing children's stories, popular in Victorian nurseries, in which young people suffered horrific consequences for failing to obey their parents or other adults. Perhaps the best-known of these is the German Struwwelpeter by Heinrich Hoffmann (first published in 1845, twenty years before Alice's Adventures in Wonderland), which features such cases as a boy who sucks his thumbs and has them cut off by a tailor with giant scissors.

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