ADD (physically and mentally) and the loss of


ADD MORE INDIRECT QUOTATIONS!!!!Alice in Wonderland written by Lewis Carroll is a story on many young and old children’s book shelves. It was the most popular book in the world in the year 1932. It seems like a very simple fairy tale but it goes much deeper than what it seems to be.  The events in the story create the steps through childhood and adolescence. Curiosity, loss of identity, growing up (physically and mentally) and the loss of innocence create a quest leading out of childhood for Alice. At the beginning of the novel, Alice can’t seem to keep her mind focused on the book that her sister is reading to her. An advanced novel is too much for Alice to process, so she gets distracted very easily and lets her mind/ imagination run wild while trying to piece together a perfect world for herself. Just like a child she gets distracted very easily and sees a white rabbit with a pocket watch run by. Alice started to run for the rabbit as she has never seen a rabbit with either a waistcoat pocket or a watch to take out of it, and, burning with curiosity, she ran across the field after it just in time to see it pop down a rabbit hole. (Carroll 3) Later in the novel, Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum tell her about the tale of the Curious Oysters. This story states that having curiosity can create terrible consequences.Alice is often finding herself getting in trouble due to her growing curiosity. As she drops to the bottom of the rabbit hole and scurrys around a little bit she finds this bottle with the label “drink me” on it, almost without hesitating she drinks the potion. (Carroll 10)  The same thing again happens when she finds a cookie jar and pulls out a cookie labeled “eat me” written on it. Without thinking twice she eats the cookie. (Carroll 13) Alice eating the cookie and drinking the “potion” is representing that idea of curiosity creating terrible consequences because she either grew to a large length or she shrunk so small she could not do anything.  (TALK MORE ABOUT INNOCENCE HERE AND THAT THE INNOCENCE AND TRUST HAVE NO CONSEQUENCES)As this dream through Wonderland progresses Alice finds herself losing her sense of identity, as many people do on their quest leading out of childhood. The Caterpillar character in the story asks Alice “Who are you”, and Alice can barely stammer out a reply, ” Alice replied, rather shyly, “I–I hardly know, sir, just at present – at least I know who I was when I got up this morning, but I think I must have changed several times since then.” (Carroll?)  When the book started off Alice was a young girl who knew pretty much everything she needed to know about herself, but as the book progressed and she faced challenges,which made her think she was not so sure anymore. The characters she meets in each stage of the book help to shape her to who she turns out to be in the end of her dream. Many characters that Alice met, emphasized the fact that Alice was acting and being like a child. The Queen of Hearts almost had Alice beheaded because she responded back to the Queen with much courage that she did not know she had. (Carroll 116) The Queen turned crimson with fury…began screaming, “Off with her head!” (Carroll 117) The king then piped in and said ” Consider my dear: she is only a child!” (Carroll 118). If Alice would have been an adult, she would have been responsible for her actions and treated to a beheading immediately. Throughout the whole story Alice goes through changes to her mental state and physical being. She is too big to fit through the door leading into the beautiful garden. Then she drinks from the mysterious bottle, which leads her to become to small and not be able to reach the key at the top of the table to unlock the door. Then she eats the cake and becomes enormous again. The white rabbits fan, makes her small again. Once she enters Wonderland she goes to the white rabbit’s house and drinks another bottle of mystery liquid, this again makes her swell up and become to large even for the house. She then meets with a caterpillar. (Carroll 68) The caterpillar gives her advice as to how she could and should control her size while in wonderland. A mushroom was the answer for Alice’s size problems. “One side will make you grow taller and the otherside will make you grow shorter” (Carroll 68) The connection the author was making was between size, age and maturity. In the real world Alice was changing size because she was a growing girl. As Alice changes sizes, Carroll wants the reader to understand that growing up is unpredictable and that sometimes it makes you feel awkward and can sometimes pose a problem to others around you. Alice enters Wonderland as an innocent child with a growing imagination. Once she leaves at the end of the novel she feels as though she has somewhat grown up and changed into a young adult. At the beginning of the novel she can not come to stop herself from crying, the typical child thing to do. Towards the end she can hold her tears back and keep herself from crying. She is able now to handle more adult type of scenarios. For example, she stands up to the Queen of Hearts who has power above all people. Little by little as the story goes on she sees things for what they really are and realizes that the creatures are really just playing cards. At the end she matures to the point where Wonderland no longer welcomes her. Lewis Carroll has written a tremendous children’s novel that has been around for many years. Alice the protagonist in the story had much more of an underlying meaning to her character then many people ever thought about. Through her curiosity, loss of identity, growing up(physically and mentally) and her loss of innocence Alice was on a journey from childhood to adolescence.

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