Alice in Wonderland Critical Analysis

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Alice in Wonderland belongs to the nonsense genre, and even if most of what happens to Alice is quite illogical, the main character is not. “The Alice books are, above all, about growing up” (Kincaid, page 93); indeed, Alice starts her journey as a scared little girl, however, at the end of what we discover to be just a dream, she has entered the adolescence phase with a new way to approach the mentally exhausting and queer Wonderland. It is important to consider the whole story when analyzing the growth of the character, because the meaning of an event or a sentence is more likely to mean what it truly looks like rather than an explanation regarding subconscious and Freudian interpretations. Morton states “that the books should possess any unity of purpose seems on the surface unlikely” (Morton, page 509), but it’s better to consider the disconnected narrative and the main character separately, since the girl doesn’t belong to Wonderland, which is, as Morton says, with no intrinsic unity. Whereas, there are a few key turning points where it is possible to see how Alice is changing, something that is visible throughout her journey. Carroll wants to tell the story of a girl who has to become braver in order to contend with challenges like the pool made by her own tears, or assertive characters, like the Queen.

At the beginning of the story Alice is a little girl who is very curious, but also quite scared of being alone. First of all, she has an inquiring mind that brings her down the rabbit hole and, even if her way of thinking could remind the adult kind of thoughts, she still acts like a child. A clear example of this kind of behavior is when she finds a bottle with the words “DRINK ME” labeled on. Before drinking f...

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...inal realization that she is growing up and that is normal, therefore, she accepts it. In brief, Alice in Wonderland is a book about growing up, and Alice definitely has grown up since the beginning of her journey and she has entered the adolescence phase when she rebels against everyone. Although she is not able to control herself when she gets angry, in other words she is behaving like a normal adolescent, she has gained a new “power” from this confusing experience: being a person with a voice to say something that matters.

Works Cited

Lewis Carroll, (1865). Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. United Kingdom: MacMillan

Richard Morton, (December, 1960). "Alice's Adventures in Wonderland" and "Through the Looking-Glass". Elementary English. 37 (8), pp.509-513

James R. Kincaid, (January, 1973). “Alice's Invasion of Wonderland”. PMLA. 88 (1), pp.92-99
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