By: Lewis Carroll
I’m sure by now that me giving a description of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland is pointless as many people have already read it or seen some iteration of the story. But on the off chance you haven’t read it, enjoy!
Young Alice is a child no different then most children. She has school lessons, a pet cat named Dinah that she absolutely adores, and an inquisitive mind. While feeling drowsy on a hot summers day, Alice spots something rather peculiar: a white rabbit wearing a coat and checking a pocket-watch.
As the rabbit escapes from her sight down a very deep rabbit hole, Alice decides to jump down after him. In doing so, the girl is whisked into a land of odd rules, shrinking potions, growing cakes, talking animals, and other nonsense. As a stranger in a foreign land, Alice must face unsavory characters and learn all new laws. She also must come to realize that “everyone is mad here.”
This book is weird. There. I said it. But so what? Pretty much every fantasy story has weird creatures and strange tales. That doesn’t bother me in the least. What bothered me about the story is that it felt real disjointed. It wasn’t really coherent in transitioning from point A to point B or resolving any form of problem. There seem to be very few times in the book when Carroll allows the characters to just state what they mean. All the dialogues between Alice and the residents of Wonderland are roundabout and occasionally hard to follow. This is particularly strange given I’m fairly certain this is a tale for children. How is a child supposed to comprehend all of the puns and questions of morals? Then again, the story is from a different time and people spoke different English. I’m also fairly certain Alice is from somewhere in England.
In Carroll’s defense, it’s a rather short book so it’s impressive how much he was able to pack into it. This also explains why he had to move from one scene to the other so quickly. Everything flowed like a story would when we dream.
One of the great things about Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland is the fact that it states that every story has a moral if you only look for it. You may not agree, but I find this typically to be true. I also enjoy how it then makes you think about the moral of the book itself. Is there a hidden message or is it somewhere in plain sight? I think it’s a bit of both. I think Carroll wanted to discuss the beauty of being a child and having a young heart. That having an imagination that thinks up absurd things is wonderful, and that we all should have place like Wonderland to escape to in our heads even when we are grown.
I appreciate that Carroll wrote a story that was meant to be fun, yet in it’s own really odd way still makes you think. At one point, I even laughed out loud. It speaks to the child in all of us and in a short and simple way, reminds us that adulthood can still be fun if we only dream.
Overall rating: 3.5
(A short review for a short book)