The Not-So-Heroic Journey

Many people have blogged about Alice’s supposed Hero Journey, I would argue the opposite, not because I agree with the opposite point of view, but because no one has blogged about it.

First of all what is a hero?

By definition a hero or heroine is a man or woman of distinguished courage or ability, admired for his or her brave deeds and noble qualities. By definition Alice is not a heroine.  She may go on the journey of that of hero or heroine, but she is not the definition of a hero. In my opinion she shows no courage or ability and is not admired, many people have blogged about her supposed Hero’s Journey and how they follow the steps of Joseph Campbell’s outline for a hero or heroine, but if she follows some of the steps of the journey doesn’t mean she’s a hero does it? Her answering the call of adventure doesn’t mean she’s a hero; she’s just answering the call to adventure. Maybe people consider Alice a hero because she’s the protagonist, but the protagonist is not always the hero.

In the book Alice is not a hero.  She does follow some of the steps of Joseph Campbell’s “Hero’s Journey”, such as the call of adventure, but she is not a hero by definition. Also if there were a hero it would be Alice, but what she would be the Hero of her dream? Can people be the heroes of their own dream? Of course, they can be a super hero that saves people or a normal person that saves the world, but in her dream she saves nothing and does not show distinguished courage or ability and is not admired for her brave deeds or noble qualities.

Is Alice Becoming Smarter?

One thing that caught my attention in chapter 10 was when The Mock Turtle asks Alice if she’s seen the whiting, and she responds by saying “yes, I’ve often seen them at dinn-.” Notice how she doesn’t finish her sentence and say dinner, most likely to not offend the mock turtle. This reminds of when she’s swimming with the mouse in her pool of tears and talks about cats to the mouse, which offends him.

Alice’s talk with the mouse and the mock turtle are similar because she says things that could offend them, she offends the mouse when she talks about cats and about how her cat was good at catching mice, she discovers her mistake after she talks a bit it for a little while, the difference is with the mock turtle she catches herself before she says something that could offend the mock turtle. So naturally the question “Why does she offend the mouse and the mock turtles even though the situation is similar?” comes up.

The answer I came up with is that she must have become smarter, I may be wrong, but some how her journeys may have made her smarter, not in math or school subjects, but socially. In chapter 2 she said her mind and offended the mouse and in chapter 10 she held back a little, to not offend the mock turtle. Maybe I’m completely wrong and she gets along better with mock turtles more than she does mice, but most likely not. So basically Alice’s journeys from chapter 2 to chapter 10 must have affected her in a way that made her more socially smart.

  • Welcome to the “Alice Project”

    What happens when a group of insightful 10th grade students explore Alice's journey into Wonderland?