Gray (in old age)
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|“|| I deserve consideration, don't I? Who found her her new clothes? Who got her a place at Bumby's? Where'd she be without me? On the street, selling her backside!
Nurse Priscilla "Pris" Witless was one of Alice Liddell's caretakers in Rutledge Asylum. She is an alcoholic and often used Alice's false confession of the Fire as blackmail to get Alice to pay her small amounts of money or bottles of alcoholic beverages.
Alice's stay at Rutledge Asylum
She was one of several caretakers of Alice and may have worked alongside Heironymous Q. Wilson, Nurse Cratchet, and Nurse D-. During one of Alice's rambling, she overheard Alice blame herself for the fire, which she later used to blackmail Alice by threatening to inform the police unless she "paid" her with alcohol or money.
Shortly after Alice's release from the asylum, she had no place to live. Alice's previous residence was destroyed in the fire, which also consumed most of her relations.
The only relation Alice had other than who she knew in the asylum was Nan Sharpe, her former Nanny who looked after Alice when she was young – teaching her both how to play the piano and speak French. However, Nan Sharpe had turned to prostitution by then, meaning if Alice were to come under her arm, Alice would possibly have to be forced into prostitution.
Pris gave Alice clothing instead, and found her a job, along with a small room, at the Houndsditch Home for Wayward Youth under the care of Doctor Angus Bumby, who would later become her therapist.
Alice: Madness Returns
During Alice's walk in the streets of London, several human figures with the Jabberwock's head approached her in a slum. They disappeared when Pris Witless found her, indicating that they were merely hallucinations. Pris invited her to come to her pigeon coop. Alice initially declined, although after being enticed with information about the whereabouts of her rabbit doll, eventually agreed to accompany Pris.
Alice went to the pigeon coop and confronted Pris about causing her harm to send her back to the asylum. Pris denied disagreeing with her and in Alice's confused and scared state of Pris' confessed motives that she possibly wanted to harm Alice, she hallucinated Pris becoming the Jabberwock. As Jabberwock Pris came closer, the flooring beneath Alice started crumbling and caused her to fall into Wonderland.
Pris later can be heard speaking in several of collectable memories, and briefly appears during Alice's hallucination of Rutledge. In one hallucination, Pris says Alice never gave her much kindness or a "reward" for the services Pris gave her, and almost implies that Alice deserves to be back at Rutledge.
Pris believes herself to be kind and helpful to Alice. According to her, Alice would have ended up on the streets as a prostitute if she had not found Alice a place to stay. She even acts kind towards Alice, seen calling her "dearie" and asking Alice if she's doing well.
However, it is ambiguous if Pris truly cares about Alice to a degree, or if it is a front in order to manipulate Alice. In reality, Pris is a greedy, manipulative and selfish woman who seems to think that just because she did a few nice things for Alice, she deserves ongoing rewards from her. Pris also seems to have a bit of a martyr complex, as she is shown in a memory complaining about how she never gets what she has owed for all she does for Alice.
She is also shown to be bloodthirsty, saying she was born in the wrong century and wishes she could have been born in an earlier century where executions such as beheading by guillotine were still legal, saying those were "good days." She implies the beheaded "deserve" their deaths.
During Alice's stay in Rutledge, she was a very cruel caretaker, having a short fuse with Alice's catatonia which may have resulted in beatings. If Alice was beaten by Pris, she would likely not remember it in her catatonia. Pris seemed to be in denial of Alice's catatonia, saying she knew Alice could hear her, and tried to take her rabbit doll away despite its sentimental importance to Alice.
Pris does not seem to have a favorable opinion of the other adults in Alice's life. She despises Radcliffe and seems to also hold a grudge against Nan Sharpe, whom she refers to as an "uppity whore." The dislike is mutual, as Nan refers to Pris as a "drunkard."
She also loves pigeons, and has a large coop of them on her roof. She appears to regularly feed them, suggesting that Pris is complex instead of being completely evil or malevolent. However, caging birds can also be seen as an example of her cruelty, especially if Pris never takes them out.
She has a penchant for drinking and seems to be an alcoholic, and is regarded as being able to empty any bottle in a few minutes. Pris's favorite drink is "Blue ruin," a Victorian slang for gin. Pris's addiction to gin is not surprising, since in that time period, gin was popular: The poor drank it as it was one of the cheapest forms of alcohol.
She seems to like Charles Dickens, as two of her Memories contain Dickens references.
- The meaning of the name Pris means "old" and "wise because of age," however, "witless" also means foolish and stupid.
- Pris indirectly quotes the Queen of Hearts when she says "She yells and goes off her head!" as opposed to the Queen's "Off with her head!."
- As seen in a Memory, Pris believes in spontaneous human combustion and makes a reference to Mr. Krook from Bleak House. She is seen suggesting to Alice in a memory that the fire may have started this way.
- She has a similar appearance to the Mad Hatter, with her abnormally large nose, and hunchback like posture.
- Pris Witless may have known of Bumby's intention to erase Alice's memories of the arson attack that killed her family, and been complicit in the execution of his plan. Pris was known to Bumby at the time of Alice's internment and catatonia in Rutledge Asylum, and it was Pris who found Alice employment at the Houndsditch Home for Wayward Youth when Bumby was the orphanage's sole director, making the two acquaintances at the time of Alice's release. Pris had placed Alice under duress and threatened to leak her false admission of responsibility for the fire to the public, but did provide Alice respite – a vow of silence subject to a daily fee. Bumby's hypnotherapy sessions, performed from the orphanage, would potentially render Alice permanently ignorant to her own innocence in the events of the fire, and allow Pris to continuously extort Alice for money. The fallout of Bumby's sessions would be beneficial to both conspirators, providing a motive for the two to collaborate. Pris and Bumby in cohoots is also hinted at in design documents:
|“|| A slatternly, alcoholic of middle years (but drinking has taken its toll, so it’s hard to say more accurately) cadaverously thin, and now morally bankrupt, a captive shackled to her addiction and on call for any degraded task on behalf of anyone who can supply her next vat of gin. Before being unceremoniously sacked from Rutledge, she had attended Alice as a night “nurse”, and having endorsed Alice’s release, delivered her to Angus Bumby. Pris was no ministering angle. Like most contemporary nurses, she was qualified for little more than emptying bed-pans. Her wages barely support her need to be constantly inebriated. To supplement her income, she procured “troubled” young people for organizations and individuals in the East End which were variously saving the souls and sanity of the unfortunate, or recruiting prostitutes to meet the rising need. She was not overly curious, when Bumby—a star in the philanthropic community--asked her (for remunerative consideration) to bring Alice round. “She’ll make an ideal assistant,” he’d said, “an orphan herself, who’s endured trauma. And I can help her while she helps others.” Pris, though pissed to the gills, wondered if he thought she had just fallen off a turnip cart. She stole Alice’s meager possessions from Rutledge, and took the time to figure out why Bumby was so interested in this young woman. We can conclude that Pris is in cohoots with Bumby.
- In the beta version of Alice: Madness Returns, Alice would meet Pris on the roof of her apartment to find out what she knew about the night of the fire. Having heard Alice wrongly blame herself for the death of her family, Pris tells her that she did, which is why Alice hallucinates her as the Jabberwock. Alice would then push Pris off the roof in fear, killing her and impaling Pris on a steel-pointed fence and there would be much blood. Alice, now wanted for the murder of Pris would have ran away from the police in a chase sequence on the rooftops of London. Then, shortly after, entering Wonderland after falling off one of the buildings.
- However, another design document mentions that Alice did not actually kill Pris in this scenario, just injured her greatly, and Alice's guilt and hallucinations have made her think she did.
- It can be theorized that when Alice encountered the skeleton of the Jabberwock in the Vale of Tears, this event corresponded to Alice finding Pris' corpse in London, since in both the beta files and retail version of the game, Alice hallucinates Pris with the Jabberwock's visage.
- Pris' home was originally planned to be the starting point of Alice: Madness Returns. It can be seen in the beta trailer for the game, with overturned furniture and large amounts of blood splattered around. According to American McGee, the blood was meant to be Pris'.
- ↑ Alice: Madness Returns. Retrieved on July 22, 2014.
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 Spicy Horse (2011-06-17). Alice: Madness Returns. (Electronic Arts). Scene: Houndsditch Home. Level: Chapter 1: Hatter's Domain.
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 3.2 Spicy Horse (2011-06-17). Alice: Madness Returns. (Electronic Arts). Scene: Memories.
- ↑ Alice: Madness Returns Vertical Slice Design Document script. Retrieved on June 19, 2019.
- ↑ ARTICLE - Beta/Deleted Content (With Deleted Speech Download). Retrieved on February 9, 2014. Forum removed.