We have already seen Powell’s propensity to compare his characters to those from Lewis Carroll, as envisioned by Sir JohnTenniel (The Mad Hatter, The Frog Footman, The Red Queen.) He does this again as Jenkins describes his fellow officers:
“Almost all the officers looked alike to me at that early stage; Maelgwyn-Jones, the Adjutant, and Parry his assistant sitting beside him at the table as indistinguishable as Tweedledum and Tweedledee, …” [VB 13/8] Although these twins were introduced in nursery rhyme at least as early as 1805, their best known image is Tenniel’s illustration for Through the Looking Glass.
“Bithel was wearing the khaki side-cap that had been set on the sponge-bag the night before. … The cap was cut higher than normal (like Saint-Loup’s I thought), which gave Bithel a look like a sprite in pantomime; perhaps rather — taking into account his age, bulk, moustache — some comic puppet halfway between the Walrus and the Carpenter ” [ VB 36-7 /32] (Robert Saint-Loup is a friend of Marcel’s from In Search of Lost Time. We have not yet found an illustration of his cap.)