The White Rabbit

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A societal courtesy is to not speak openly about mental illnesses that currently plague “approximately 26.2% of the adult population in the United States” (UW). With people refusing to acknowledge these issues, having any mental illness or disorder comes with a pre-associated stigma; which makes it hard for neuro-typical people to get to know those who have these issues. In Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, many of the characters have signs of one or more of these disorders. Of his characters, the White Rabbit, is the only character who has a seemingly clear defined disorder. The White Rabbit exhibits signs of having general anxiety disorder (GAD) throughout the book and is treated as such by other characters in the book. By …show more content…

One of the first things readers acknowledge when it comes to the White Rabbit is his opening dialogue, “Oh Dear! Oh Dear! I shall be too late” (Carroll). Throughout Carroll’s work, the White Rabbit often mentions that he is running late. On my occasions, those who have GAD have a hard time with time management. During one of the first encounters with the White Rabbit, it is clear that he is on edge and worried about something. Being written as a rabbit, the White Rabbit is already a personification of GAD. Rabbits are twitchy, have rapid heartbeats, and are easily startled. These are all symptoms of having generalized anxiety disorder. Upon their first face to face encounter, the White Rabbit angrily mistakes Alice for his housemaid, “Why, Mary Ann, what are you doing out here? Run home this moment…” (Carroll). Mistaking Alice for another person shows the White Rabbit’s confusion and lack of concentration. Once Alice gets to the White Rabbit’s house, however, she foolishly takes the cakes and grows much too large to fit comfortably inside. The White Rabbit’s reaction to giant Alice in his house also resonates with symptoms of generalized anxiety disorder. He violently tries to remove her from his home by any means necessary. “We must burn the house down,” (Carroll) is an excellent example of the White Rabbit jumping to unnecessary conclusions of how to get giant Alice out of his house. He is uncertain of what to do in order to return things to normal. Once Alice finds the garden she has been searching for, the White Rabbit is seen fulfilling his duties as the royal’s right hand man. While he is in this setting, he seems calmer because he is used to this

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