Hello everyone. I am sharing discussions that I have written a while ago now, but I have not been publishing discussions regularly in a while. Things have been extremely busy, and I am attempting to find a new schedule that works for me, as for a while now the things that I love have been put on the back burner.
February’s Book Of The Month was Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland, and I have had this discussion written in part for a while, but I am finally publishing it now. This discussion will be followed by a discussion about Carroll’s Through the Looking-Glass as that was March’s Book Of The Month.
I will be back on track for April, and my next book discussion will be published at the end of the month as usual.
Let’s dive into Wonderland.
In this novel, readers go on a journey with Alice down the rabbit hole to a strange world where logic and wonder seems quite absurd, and all of the characters we meet seem quite peculiar. Alice must navigate her way through this strange place, in order to find her way home again.
I think that it goes without saying that one of the most obvious themes in this book is the theme of growing up. Alice experiences many changes in Wonderland, she shrinks, she grows, she must identify herself, and at times she struggles to identify herself for she has changed so much. I think this idea of identifying oneself is very universal, because everyone must grow up and leave childhood behind, and discovering who we are, and what we want to do, and the kind of person we want to be is very challenging.
This novel was written in a time when there was a new importance placed upon the significance and innocence of childhood. Childhood was starting to be viewed as unique and important, because once you lose that childhood innocence, it is almost impossible to recapture it, and in fact many children’s texts focus on this idea of trying to recapture the unadulterated magic of childhood.
Carroll celebrates curiosity and wonder. Alice is a very open and innocent child. She follows the White Rabbit down the rabbit hole simply because she wants to know about him, he has grasped her attention. Alice questions everything in Wonderland, because the rules and logic confuse her, and at times, things seem unjust. I think that Alice in Wonderland can be talked about in many different ways. I think that Alice’s curiosity can be said to represent the natural curiosity that most, if not all, children possess. Alice’s questioning can reflect how children will question the rules that adults live by, as when you are a child, the rules of adults can be confusing, sometimes they don’t make sense at all, and in fact, sometimes the rules that adults live by can be arbitrary and even pointless. It is important to have rules, but it also important that the rules in place make sense and that they serve a purpose, rather than having rules just to have rules.
Alice’s journey down the rabbit hole could also be interpreted as a metaphor for the quest for knowledge. Alice goes on a physical journey and she learns so much, but sometimes one must go on a mental journey, and undertake a lot of research, and metaphorically take a trip down the rabbit hole in order to expand one’s knowledge.
Sometimes I think the only way to learn is to question, and if you are passionate about something then you will naturally ask more questions. More questions lead to more answers, which then lead to more questions. The more you understand, the more you want to know, which is why I will always strive to be a curious person.
Carroll’s writing style is whimsical and engaging. Carroll’s work showcases the importance of literary nonsense and his work can be very funny. His work is also very interesting to read as it is full of riddles. Carroll has written Alice in Wonderland in the third-person, and I find that most of his sentences are direct and straight to the point. The opening line brings readers directly into the story. The novel opens and Alice is fed up of sitting beside her reading sister, and as she is deciding how to cure her boredom, the White Rabbit runs by her and grabs her attention. The book takes us to Wonderland, a place full of twists and turns, but the writing itself is direct and easy to follow.
I love Alice in Wonderland. I always have. I think I love it because to this day I still love to ask why? I love the fantasy nonsense. I love books that take readers somewhere else. I love the richness and curiousness of Wonderland. I love each strange and eccentric character we meet. I love that Alice’s curious mind is celebrated and I love the sense of wonder that this story inspires.
This is a classic for a reason and I would highly recommend it.