The “Hero’s Journey” of Alice

After studying Joseph Campbell’s “hero journey”, a concept we were introduced to by Mr. Long and later discussed with Matt Langdon,  a visiting expert on the “hero” model who has been commenting on the blogs lately, I am very quickly realizing many, if not all, stories are based off of these steps. Of course there are different ways of approaching this concept like my partner Adam realized in his blog The-Not-So-Heroic-Journey. It all depends on your perspective.

(Note: If you’re interested in these ideas, feel free to check out the earlier posts my classmates and I blogged about Joseph Campbell’s “hero journey”, too, if you want.)

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It is hard to pinpoint the exact moment of Alice’s call to adventure, so it is argued in diverse ways. One could believe it is in the very first sentence of Carroll’s story; “Alice was beginning to get very tired”. Another point someone could say is when the White Rabbit suddenly shows up. Nevertheless Alice is called to Wonderland.

I believe there was a refusal of the call. Whether it was the slight second Alice could not believe what the White Rabbit was doing or when she cries each time she is either scared or oblivious how she should handle the situation.

As for the supernatural aid? I assume the White Rabbit aides Alice throughout her adventure and even if the Rabbit has no “powers”, so to speak, the Rabbit is the character who begins Alice’s curiosity that could literally “kill the cat”.

Alice’s drop in the Rabbit-hole coveys the crossing of the first threshold. She is leaving the “real world” and traveling through dimensions until she reaches the hallway to Wonderland.

At the belly of the whale, Alice at this point is at her lowest point in the scene when she grows more than 9 ft. high, although I have not read the entire story to know for sure. Alice does have the “Who am I?” talk to herself where she uses the thought process of René Descartes’ idea of Cartesian Dualism, which leads her 3rd outburst in tears.

(Note: If you are interested in the Scientific Revolution concept that is embedded in the story, I recommend reading Brendon O-L. blog on the Scientific Revolution.)

The road of trials I believe have been occurring sense she arrived into the hallway of doors. There are numerous tasks or signs that Alice sees and undergoes in the first three chapters. I wouldn’t say she “failed” the tasks but merely explored the outcomes of each which provide knowledge for her to use to her advantage in the future. These are in fact critical tasks for her to undergo her transformation.

(Note: To learn more about these tasks and signs take a peek at my “Firsts Thoughts? Of Course I Ought! (Ch.1 part 2)”, if you want)

As I read further into Alice’s journey I will reply in “The “Hero’s Journey” of Alice (part 2)”: Stay Tune!

This image can be found here.

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3 Comments

  1. Well written. And I’m glad to see you link to Brendon’s post. Nice collaboration/synergy.

  2. When reading the story, I thought Alice’s call to adventure was when White Rabbit showed up. To me, it’s when White Rabbit showed up because if he had never showed up, Alice would have either fallen asleep or went about her normal day.

    And before I read this, I thought that Lewis Carroll had skipped right over the refusal of the call. When you brought up Alice’s momentary disbelief I thought about it for a bit and came to the conclusion that the refusal of the call, like the call to adventure, itself, is debatable.

    Also, like you said, White Rabbit does seem to symbolize Alice’s supernatural aid, but I wouldn’t know for sure because I haven’t read the entire book nor have I seen the entire movie.

    As for the crossing of the first threshold, we seem to fully agree that falling in the hole is her point of no return.

    Another great idea I found out while reading this was Alice’s rebirth.

    I didn’t really realize that she went through several stages of mental transformations in the end of chapter one and the beginning of chapter two.

    Can’t wait for part 2.

    • I believe you are right that many of these can be debatable. One the reasons I wrote this blog was to explore the overall possibilities of whether or not Carroll followed Joseph Campbell’s “equation” so to speak. So far each one of the points are done, and if one doesn’t believe Alice’s momentary disbelief was the refusal of the call, Alice does have frequent “I wish I didn’t do this” moments. Even though the refusal was further down the hole, the act was still embedded into the story.

      I am with you that I could be mistaken in who Alice’s supernatural aid is, yet from the information I know now, the White Rabbit seems to be a likely candidate. As for Alice’s rebirth, I believe through the course of her journey she will meet creatures and have many experiences that will give her a new outlook on life and herself.

      I am so glad you discovered new ideas and concepts from my blog. As long as one takes something from my blogs, I am a happy camper.


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