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Alice In Wonderland Essay

1080 words - 4 pages

The Role of Rational Thinking in Alice’s Identity Crisis

Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland follows the story of young Alice trapped in the world of Wonderland after falling down through a rabbit-hole. The rabbit-hole which is filled with bookshelves, maps, and other objects foreshadows the set of rules, the ones Alice is normally accustomed to, will be defied in Wonderland. This conflict between her world and Wonderland becomes evident shortly after her arrival as evinced by chaos in “Pool of Tears” and Alice brings up the main theme of the book “was I the same when I got up this morning? I almost think I can remember feeling a little different. But if I am not the same, the next question is who am I?” (Carroll 18). After Alice fails to resolve her identity crisis using her friends, Alice says “Who am I, then? Tell me that first, and then, if I like being that person, I’ll come up: if not, I’ll stay down here til I’m somebody else” (Carroll 19). Hence in the beginning, Alice is showing her dependency on others to define her identity. Nevertheless when her name is called as a witness in chapter 12, Alice replies “HERE!” without any signs of hesitation (Carroll 103). Close examination of the plot in Alice in Wonderland reveals that experiential learning involving sizes leads Alice to think logically and rationally. Alice then attempts to explore Wonderland analytically and becomes more independent as the outcome. With these qualities, Alice resolves her identity crisis by recognizing Wonderland is nothing but a dream created by her mind.
Alice’s experiential learning with sizes is critical for developing her method of systemic thinking. Beginning with drinking a bottle with the words “DRINK ME” and shrinking to ten inches tall, she then eats a cake with the words “EAT ME” and grows larger. This experience does not sit well with Alice and she cries, creating a pool of tears. This encounter can be seen as an exposure to the unknown. When she encounters another bottle with the words “DRINK ME” in the white rabbit’s house, Alice says to herself “I know something interesting is sure to happen whenever I eat or drink anything: so I’ll just see what this bottle does.” Alice is demonstrating an early stage of hypothesis generation, which is an integral part of logic based thinking. At the end of the same chapter, when Alice eats little cakes, she thinks to herself “it’s sure to make some change in my size” (Carroll 37). Alice is drawing a conclusion based on her experiment with food in Wonderland. These statements prove that Alice is following the principles of scientific method and is becoming familiar with this concept. Alice demonstrates mastery of evidence-based rational thinking shortly after her encounter with a caterpillar and receiving a tip about changing her size. “She set to work very carefully, nibbling first at one then at the other… until she had succeeded in bringing herself down to her usual height” (Carroll 49). Almost immediately,...

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