First thought? Of course I ought! (Ch. 1 Part 2)

Summary: What quirky images/ thoughts pop up in my head as I dive into each chapter of The Annotated Alice? Let’s pick up on Alice’s adventure after she falls down the Rabbit Hole.

(Note:  If you’re interested in these ideas, feel free to check out the earlier post I’ve already written about Chapter 1, too, if you want.)

***

My first thoughts?

It is not until the moment where Alice realizes all of the surrounding doors around her are locked, that reality sets in and she wonders how she will get out. I understand that in the heat of the moment, when she is following this Rabbit, she hand not considered where she was going or how she would get out. Carroll refers to too many of the events happening as “again” as if Alice has journeyed on this adventure before. Carroll especially emphasizes this when Alice ponders how in the world she would ever get out “again”.

Perhaps this déjà vu feeling will appear throughout the story and she will use her previous experiences to help her find a way out of Wonderland.

A coincidence? I think not!

One of my favorite and most fascinating scenes, yes I know it is only the first chapter yet this is my favorite thus far, is the trial and error Alice goes through to open a door. The mere fact that a bottle appears on a table, when she consciously knew it was not there before, sugests that this world has a mind of its own. Let’s count the numerous signs the world gives Alice to discover her way out of the room of doors.

  1. tiny golden key
  2. low curtain covering the 15 in. door
  3. little bottle “DRINK ME”
  4. little glass box “EAT ME”

These numerous signs could possibly demonstrate the many opportunities one has to solve a dilemma. Of course, the room could also be playing tricks with Alice since Carroll contrasts the “dark” room with the “bright” flower beds on the other side of the door.

This leads me to my observation of Alice’s thought process. For such a young girl, Alice’s knowledge is highly advanced compared to the average little girl. Carroll even refers to her as the “wise” Alice!  The depth of which she thinks through the consequences of drinking the bottle conveys a part of Alice’s complex personality. The way Alice copes with the realization of not having the key also expresses another part of her personality. In the end of the chapter she comes to the conclusion that she does not care what happens. The ever so quick transitions between consciously thinking through her actions to not even caring, reflects her impatience and her desire to go home.

I will end the fact that Alice could not remember what a candle looks like when it is blown out. This shows that the connection between her and reality is diminishing. Her forgetfulness follows when she leaves the golden key on the table while drinking the bottle.

My prediction: Her connection to reality will continue to reduce as her adventure carries on, until either she wakes up or perhaps even dies.

Stay tuned for “First thought? Of course I ought!” (Chapter 2)!

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“Lay it where Childhood’s dreams are twined, In Memory’s mystic band, Like pilgrim’s wither’d wreath of flowers, Pluck’d in a far-off land.” -Lewis Carroll

This image can be found here.

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1 Comment

  1. You wrote:

    “This leads me to my observation of Alice’s thought process. For such a young girl, Alice’s knowledge is highly advanced compared to the average little girl. Carroll even refers to her as the “wise” Alice! The depth of which she thinks through the consequences of drinking the bottle conveys a part of Alice’s complex personality. The way Alice copes with the realization of not having the key also expresses another part of her personality. In the end of the chapter she comes to the conclusion that she does not care what happens. The ever so quick transitions between consciously thinking through her actions to not even caring, reflects her impatience and her desire to go home.”

    Perhaps — thinking out loud here — this is also indication of the author’s voice, like Golding in Lord of the Flies using the boys to speak of higher truths and more complex questions than a normal child could carry in the real world. Perhaps.


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