Unlike many of the bizarre creatures of Wonderland, the White Rabbit’s behavior is generally sane and orderly. Perhaps this is partly because he is the only one in Wonderland – besides Alice – who can move between Wonderland and the “normal” world, which is where Alice first spots him.

The White Rabbit is marked by his attentiveness to time and duty. He’s a busy creature, rushing to provide service to multiple royals, including the Duchess, the King of Hearts, and the Queen of Hearts. Due to the extreme tempers of these royals, the White Rabbit is constantly under threat of execution and takes his responsibilities quite seriously. As a result, he often appears harried and stressed, to the point that he even mistakes Alice for his own maid.

The White Rabbit serves several different duties in Wonderland, including fetching things for the Duchess, accompanying the King and Queen as a sort of butler, companion, and clerk, and overseeing the courtroom trial of the knave. The White Rabbit seems to be one of the few Wonderland creatures, aside from Alice, who is aware of the nonsensical, ridiculous nature of Wonderland’s monarchy and inhabitants. He repeatedly needs to keep the King from forcing a verdict from the jury before the trial has finished. Perhaps his stressed demeanor comes from being one of the few logical beings in an illogical world.

Additionally, the White Rabbit is an important and iconic symbol of Wonderland. The fact that he is dressed in clothes – which include a waistcoat and a pocket watch – is the first sign of whimsical adventures to come, and his worried remark about being late is not only humorous but also piques Alice’s curiosity enough to make her follow the rabbit into Wonderland. Unknowingly, the White Rabbit leads Alice down the rabbit hole and through the strange rooms and halls and paths of Wonderland, appearing for brief moments here and there to keep Alice focused on her chase.