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Essay about Alice in Wonderland

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The Role of Rational Thinking in Alice’s Identity Crisis

Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland follows the story of young Alice trapped in the world of Wonderland after falling down through a rabbit-hole. The rabbit-hole which is filled with bookshelves, maps, and other objects foreshadows the set of rules, the ones Alice is normally accustomed to, will be defied in Wonderland. This conflict between her world and Wonderland becomes evident shortly after her arrival as evinced by chaos in “Pool of Tears” and Alice brings up the main theme of the book “was I the same when I got up this morning? I almost think I can remember feeling a little different. But if I am not the same, the next question is who am I?” (Carroll 18). After Alice fails to resolve her identity crisis using her friends, Alice says “Who am I, then? Tell me that first, and then, if I like being that person, I’ll come up: if not, I’ll stay down here til I’m somebody else” (Carroll 19). Hence in the beginning, Alice is showing her dependency on others to define her identity. Nevertheless when her name is called as a witness in chapter 12, Alice replies “HERE!” without any signs of hesitation (Carroll 103). Close examination of the plot in Alice in Wonderland reveals that experiential learning involving sizes leads Alice to think logically and rationally. Alice then attempts to explore Wonderland analytically and becomes more independent as the outcome. With these qualities, Alice resolves her identity crisis by recognizing Wonderland is nothing but a dream created by her mind.
Alice’s experiential learning with sizes is critical for developing her method of systemic thinking. Beginning with drinking a bottle with the words “DRINK ME” and shrinking to ten inches tall,...


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...n though she struggled to cope with Wonderland at the beginning due to the lack of appropriate methods, the experiential learning with the sizes taught her to solve the problems at hand rationally, logically and with evidence. Armed with this powerful tool, Alice then sets out to resolve her identity crisis by learning about Wonderland independently. She may not have intentionally chosen which topics (i.e. Time) to pursue but the conclusion she reaches is the same in her interactions: Wonderland is governed by irrationality and her rational self cannot come to terms with it. One may argue ‘how is a seven and a half year old capable of such thinking?’ One must note that Wonderland is a dream and because Alice is dreaming, she is capable of it.



Works Cited

Lewis, Carroll. Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking-Glass. New York: Oxford, 2009. Print.


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