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When Alice Went Wondering

Everybody knows that I often keep **complaining** about all the reading adventures Cleo gets me dragged into! But heart of heart, I know that life would be one mundane boring reading if it was not for friends like Cleo, who make you read everything from Beowulf to The Histories to The Metamorphosis. Naturally, this year is no different, and after swearing off on doing any read along on account of being crazy busy at work, I was soon signing up to read with her several works!! What do they say about, road to hell being paved with good intentions??

Anyhow, Thanks to Cleo, I got to know that Amanda at Simpler Pastimes, is hosting the Classics Children’s Literature Event 5 and not only that, the suggested book was Alice Adventure in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll! Now I have always wondered about Alice in Wonderland; as a child when my Dad got me that huge pop up book with some lovely illustrations, I remember loving the colors and pictures but not putting in too much tuck with the story! As I grew up, I read a lot of Carroll’s limericks and puzzles and I was moderately impressed but hardly blown away, As a student of English Literature, I read a lot of “analysis” on Alice in Wonderland and when this event came along, it was as good a time as any to revisit the book and decide once and for all, do I like Lewis Carroll or not??!!

alice-300

The story is too well known to everyone; nevertheless, here goes a brief summary. One summer afternoon, Alice finds herself bored and drowsy, sitting by her elder sister who was reading, near the riverbank, when she noticed a rabbit in a waistcoat and a pocket watch hurrying off. She follows the rabbit and falls a long way, until she reaches a hall with many doors. She spies a beautiful garden beyond the doors, which she wants to visit, but is to big to get through the door. She finds a drink which shrinks her to enable her to get through the door but then she realizes that the key was still on table and now she was too tiny to get it. Thus begins her adventures of growing big and small and of meeting rabbits and the Duchess and the Cheshire cat and the King and Queen of hearts. She drinks tea with Mad Hatter and his friends and plays croquet with flamingos, until she ends up in a most strange court room case!

I have read a lot of essays attempting to de-code this tale. Its been called a sarcastic commentary on  the education system of 19th century to the author’s word play with French. I am sure there are other many interesting interpretations – but to me it is still a very good yarn for the children. Imagination and fun flows through the tale. It’s like an adventure where you let go of reality and let the author take you places for he would. I loved the quirky crazy sense of humor. I loved how from one tale to another, we jumped characters and situations without any need to justify the previous occurrences. I loved the characters – Mad Hatter and Cheshire Cat were my most favorite, but I quite loved the King of Cards trying to run the court! I thoroughly enjoyed Carroll’s mockery of “moral tales”. But it was Alice herself that left be in her language “Curiouser and curiouser”. I am not sure what to make of her – true, she is only a 10 year old but I found her quite annoying 10 year old and while she does display a lot of spunk, but she seems to come across as someone completely oblivious of others. I get it 10 years old is very young, but 10 year olds can be as sensitive and kind as any adult, in fact more so. While Alice seems to be just a bratty kid!

Overall I am so very glad I re-read this book! I am still not too fond of Carroll, but that still did not diminish my complete and thorough enjoyment of the book!

9 Comments Post a comment
  1. I found Alice bratty at times too–had she never been told not to interrupt!? But I suppose she found everything so unusual she just couldn’t help herself. I’m so glad you enjoyed this reread. I know plenty of analysis has been written on the Alice books, but I too find myself content to enjoy the tale.

    April 24, 2017
    • Amanda…I so agree with you. I think at the end of the day, it is just a good adventure tale and should be enjoyed or that alone! Alice is bratty and I will allow for the curiosity of young girl, but really at times, she really tests one’s patience!

      April 24, 2017
  2. I haven’t read your review yet because I’m still only about half way through the book. Then I’ll have read 4 books for the event, which makes me happy; now if I can only get to reviewing all of them!

    April 28, 2017
    • 4 books is very impressive!! I await your review! 😀

      April 28, 2017
  3. J.E. Fountain #

    I’ve NEVER read Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland or Through the Looking Glass. Nice review…reminds me that I need to get to these. Alas…someday.

    May 1, 2017
    • I know the feeling…so many books and practically no time!!

      May 1, 2017
  4. Isn’t it one of the most delightfully strange books ever? I grew up on the Disney version and didn’t read the real one until I was an adult and was completely blown away by it’s marvelousness!

    May 5, 2017
    • Its awesome!! Totally and bizarrely strange but a barrel of fun!

      May 5, 2017

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  1. A Farewell to the Classic Children’s Literature Event – Simpler Pastimes

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