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Water As An Archetypal Image In Alice’s Adventures In Wonderland And Through The Looking Glass

864 words - 3 pages

Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking-Glass, by Lewis Carroll, are filled with archetypal images that enhance the underlying meaning of the story. From the Cheshire cat to the caterpillar to the garden, Carroll uses abstract ideas to symbolize archetypal images. Lewis Carroll makes images represent the archetypal trickster, mentor, temptress, and more. One of the less prevalent, but most meaningful images in these books is water. In the “Alice” stories, Lewis Carroll uses the archetypal image of water to represent the situations and events that Alice encounters through her journey.
The most obvious use of water by Lewis Carroll comes in Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, in which Alice cries so much that it creates a pool of tears. Carroll writes, “But she went on all the same, shedding gallons of tears, until there was a large pool all round her, about four inches deep and reaching half down the hall” (27). However, the significance of this is not that Alice is crying; it is the pool of tears that she creates while doing it. Alice eventually falls into this water. Water in this instance, as an archetypal image, symbolizes a few different things. One thing it symbolizes is a baptism for Alice. This baptism can be equated to her being cleansed. While being in the water Alice is also reborn; she almost becomes a new person. Her eyes open up to the world while she is in this pool. In the pool Alice starts to talk to different animals and offends them. Alice insults them because she is a young girl and does not really know how to communicate well with others. So, Alice grows and is reborn even though the full extent of her growth is not seen until Through the Looking-Glass. After being in the water Alice is completely ready to start her adventure and journey. This tough experience for Alice prepares her for what is to come in Wonderland. Alice is now ready to learn throughout the rest of her journey because she
Foley 2 was baptized and reborn. The pool of tears is also used by Lewis Carroll as an archetypal image representing fertility. Water is a universal representation of fertility. It is often associated with fertile, well- watered land able to produce crops. However, Carroll uses it in a different way. He writes, “It was high time to go for the pool was getting quite crowded with the birds and animals that had fallen into it: there was a Duck and a Dodo, a Lory and an Eaglet, and several other curious creatures”...

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