College Prep. English
“Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland”. Lewis Carroll. Fiction. Original Publication date: 1865. Massachusetts: Candlewick Press, 1999. (207 p) ISBN 0-7636-0804-1.
Title: “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland”
General Subject Matter: Dream-World Adventures of a Young Girl
Themes: Dreams, Curiosity, Logic/Illogic, Literary Nonsense, Loneliness, Identity, Fantasy, and Death
Thesis: A timeless, poetic, nonsense, fairytale, fantasy dream enjoyed by both children and adults.
A succession of images, thoughts, or emotions passing through the mind during sleep, an involuntary or voluntary vision occurring to a person when awake, a wild or vain fantasy; dreams (dictionary.com). Everyone has experienced a dream: dreams of past memories, events, or even fantasies. Dreams allow us to escape our reality and experience things that we would not experience in the real world. Lewis Carroll, author of “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland”, writes a story about a little girl’s adventures and experiences through her own dreams. Like people’s dreams, the fairytale “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland”, doesn’t have to make sense. Lewis Carroll wrote “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland” to entertain a little girl, also named Alice, and her two sisters (Team, 2008). Carroll writes of Wonderland as place where everything is backwards; right is wrong and wrong is right. It’s a place of the imagination where the mind can escape reality. This nonsensical chaotic underground world is where Alice meets strange creatures, faces unusual situations, and tries to make sense of the unexplainable actions of the characters she meets. Alice struggles to survive in Wonderland with feelings of being lost, confused, alone, and troubled with her identity, but she moves forward because she is curious. At the end of the book, Alice realizes that ‘Wonderland” is just a dream, a nonsense mixed-up fantasy. I feel that this book is much more than just a story to entertain. It is a literary works that will never go out of style. It is poetic, senseless, unpredictable, illogical, and without rules. All these things are what make “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland” a fun book to read by both children and adults. The story starts out with a little girl named Alice who is sitting on the riverbank with her older sister. Along comes a white rabbit holding a pocket watch and talking to himself about being late. Curious, Alice follows the rabbit, falls down a rabbit hole, and lands in a magical place called Wonderland. Alice is very upset and feels alone as she cries a pool of tears. Alice is the only real character in the book. She is naïve and whiny, but it is fun to listen to her logic as she gets into predicaments in a place that makes no sense. Each predicament is like its own separate story, like random chaotic scenes from different movies put all together. “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland” is more like a series of short stories and there seems to be no real plot. I enjoyed the many imaginative scenes/settings that Alice encountered in Wonderland. My favorite settings included the tea party, the garden, and the caterpillar that smoked a hookah. One aspect of the story that I did not care for was Alice’s constant back and forth with making herself bigger or smaller by eating something. This part of the story got “old” for me early on in the book. The most fun and entertaining parts of the piece of literature were Alice’s encounters with strange talking creatures and animals with contradicting natures. Examples include the sleepy dormouse, a blue caterpillar that smoked a hookah, the Cheshire-cat that never stops smiling, and the Wonderland Queen of Hearts. The author uses these crazy characters along with odd rhymes and literary nonsense to captivate the reader. It’s okay if the readers do not understand the parade of strange silly happenings because Wonderland is not supposed to make sense – it’s all a dream.
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