The Beginning of an End?

Chapter 11 seemed to go around in circles, with the trial not progressing very much, and ending up where it had started. Following this thought, maybe Wonderland was meant as a experience Alice “never had” and when she wakes up, that is where the beginning of the end starts for her. An end because the line where ordinary and strange intercept are clearly defined. A beginning because now it’s Alice’s turn to integrate the abstract conceptions into her own world’s reality. In a sense, Alice now needs to take charge of what will happen.

Alice also seems to be more accustomed to the ways in wonderland, and is even told, “You’ve no right to grow here,” by the Dormouse when she suddenly started to get bigger.

Is this implying that Alice’s purpose, or lessons to learn in wonderland is coming to a close? The Dormouse then proceeds to say, “Yes, but I grow at a reasonable place.” Maybe implying that Alice is growing up too fast, and wonderland is a place of imaginative innocence with no more room for the boundaries created by mature reasoning.

I also found it quite interesting that the last witness called to be examined was Alice herself. What evidence could Alice possibly have? In fact it is curious how easily Alice is accepted by the characters dwelling in wonderland. This brings me back to wonder about the possibility of each character being presented as a manifestation of her inner personalities. After all, the Cheshire Cat, Mad Hatter, and Caterpillar all seem like a sort of guide for Alice to discover many alternative paths to travel down.

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4 Comments

  1. The growing up I was referring to was a mental maturing, not as much physical. Alice does seem to become more confident towards the end and more assured of herself. So in that way I would say Alice was growing up too fast (and too far from adolescence). Thank you for pointing that out, I hope this clarifies some things?

  2. These are great ideas, but if she was growing up too fast here then what about the instances? She grew at an even faster pace the previous times. As far as the characters being different parts of her personality, I completely agree. At the beginning of the story, she had no idea who she was, but as she meets the characters she becomes more confident. At the time of the trial, she has probably met everyone in Wonderland (at least in this story). This means that she would know completely who she was by that time. The personality theory makes complete sense, but why would they call of her as a witness? Why did they call everyone else? There was no reason, but she was the last witness so that Carroll could end the story appropriately.

  3. Maybe Alice IS growing too fast for Wonderland. A person could look at Wonderland and see it as a sort of Neverland. No one grows up, and nothing changes. It’s like They’re stuck in a loop, or a skipping record. I REALLY like what you said about it “Maybe implying that Alice is growing up too fast, and wonderland is a place of imaginative innocence with no more room for the boundaries created by mature reasoning.” It’s brilliant, really. I never even began to think about what that statement might mean. But it’s true. Alice is nearing the end of her time in Wonderland, and she’s maturing in a place that doesn’t mature. It’s like putting a square in a circle, it just doesn’t work!

  4. I loved your comment about Alice is growing too fast. This could be the key to Carroll’s genius. Maybe he wrote this book to keep Alice from maturing too fast. This whole book is a textbook of knowledge. It’s as if Carroll wrote out a lecture in a children’s book. The alternative paths could be paths that Alice could take in real life. Carroll is educating Alice from this very book. Although it seems impossible for a child to decipher any of this.


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