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Alice In Wonderland Critical Analysis

2271 words - 9 pages

Alice in Wonderland belongs to the nonsense genre, and even if most of what happens to Alice is quite illogical, the main character is not. “The Alice books are, above all, about growing up” (Kincaid, page 93); indeed, Alice starts her journey as a scared little girl, however, at the end of what we discover to be just a dream, she has entered the adolescence phase with a new way to approach the mentally exhausting and queer Wonderland. It is important to consider the whole story when analyzing the growth of the character, because the meaning of an event or a sentence is more likely to mean what it truly looks like rather than an explanation regarding subconscious and Freudian interpretations. Morton states “that the books should possess any unity of purpose seems on the surface unlikely” (Morton, page 509), but it’s better to consider the disconnected narrative and the main character separately, since the girl doesn’t belong to Wonderland, which is, as Morton says, with no intrinsic unity. Whereas, there are a few key turning points where it is possible to see how Alice is changing, something that is visible throughout her journey. Carroll wants to tell the story of a girl who has to become braver in order to contend with challenges like the pool made by her own tears, or assertive characters, like the Queen.

At the beginning of the story Alice is a little girl who is very curious, but also quite scared of being alone. First of all, she has an inquiring mind that brings her down the rabbit hole and, even if her way of thinking could remind the adult kind of thoughts, she still acts like a child. A clear example of this kind of behavior is when she finds a bottle with the words “DRINK ME” labeled on. Before drinking from it, she carefully reflects about the possibility of the content of the bottle being poison, which shows she uses her reasoning skill, and although this may be true, her adult attitude fails as soon as her curiosity eclipses it. From this scene it is possible to see how Alice is influenced by the children stories she has read, stories with rules, and morals at the end. As a result, she applies this logic to the illogical Wonderland and, since her knowledge is not that vast, she gives as much logic as possible to the situation, without actually understanding the why of things. Carroll wants to put a space between this type of stories and his own, beginning with the fact that Alice in Wonderland has no morals and everything is allowed. Equally important, this scene confirms that Alice has always morals and rules on her mind and she approaches new situations with logic, paying attention to the possible consequences, but eventually, she proves with her actions that she is still a child full of curiosity.

Under those circumstances, the girl discovers some unpleasant effects of her childish act, thus she cries so much that in the second chapter Alice almost drowns in her own tears, which indicates that...

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