by: Andy Möller
©Andy Möller (2012)
Title: Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland
Author: Lewis Carroll
Publisher: Vintage (in 2007), but was first published in 1865
‘I could tell you my adventures- beginning from this morning,’ said Alice a little timidly: ‘but it’s no use going back to yesterday, because I was a different person then.’ (Carroll, 2007; 124)
A topsy-turvy world where every word is a door that opens to new and strange adventures. This is the world that Alice enters in Lewis Carroll’s, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. This 150-page novel embraces imagination, confusing grammar, learning lessons, and most of all, a bizarre adventure.
Alice finds herself in a strange corridor, lined with doors, after following a peculiar white rabbit wearing a waistcoat and pocket-watch. The strangeness increases as she sets a goal to enter the beautiful garden beyond a tiny door. She meets many curious creatures; from the formal white rabbit, and the cleverly creepy Cheshire cat, to the weird and wailing Mock Turtle (that looks like a mix between a cow and a turtle). Alice attends the most mind-boggling conversations, grows and shrinks continuously; all in aim to enter the marvellous garden.
As a novel first published in 1865, it is not the easiest read for those used to more modern jargon and sentence-flow. Carroll tends to disregard the settings he creates merely after a few lines, returning to them near the end of each chapter. This characteristic is useful, however, as it is Carroll’s tool to confuse the reader in the same manner that remembering a dream would. Reading the novel as one would read a dream makes the story captivating and relatable (if one can apply enough imagination).
For those lacking a good vocabulary, mostly in older and higher English, this novel might prove challenging to read and follow. Carroll makes use of words that have become out dated and tend to have double meanings, for example; “That will be a queer thing, to be sure! However, everything is queer to-day.” (Carroll, 2007; 27)
Though a challenging read, I would recommend this tale to anyone whom wishes to grow their imagination and vocabulary, and to those whom wish to shrink self-doubt and boredom. Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland will keep you going, “Huh?” But a sense of confusion is not always a bad thing; otherwise we will never question, and thus, never learn.