We always have liked to believe that Alice’s Adevntures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll is a book for children and while it is, one cannot ignore the fact that is a book for adults as well. I have just finished reading it and to be very honest, when I first read it as a child, I found it very boring. I mean at that age I did not want to read of a seven-year old girl tumbling down a hole into nothingness, and here I was re-reading it almost after 18 years and loved it this time.
We all know what Alice in Wonderland (as most popularly known) is all about. Alice is bored on a hot afternoon and follows the elusive White Rabbit down a rabbit-hole without thinking of how she will get out. She needs adventure and sure does get it. She tumbles into Wonderland, where animals speak, a baby turns into a pig, The Queen of Hearts wants to chop everyone’s heads off, time stands still at a party, Alice grows and shrinks by the minute, and it is here that Alice is lost, or so it seems.
Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland was inspired by Lewis Carroll (Reverend Charles Lutwidge Dodgson – I am so not surprised as to why he wrote under the pen name of Lewis Carroll) while he was making up a story for his young friend, Alice Lidell on a boat trip. It is from this girl he drew inspiration to write this gem of a book.
I loved some of the quotes of this book:
…and this time it vanished quite slowly, beginning with the end of the tail, and ending with the grin, which remained some time after the rest of it had gone.
‘Well! I’ve often seen a cat without a grin,’ thought Alice; ‘but a grin without a cat! It’s the most curious thing I ever saw in all my life!’
‘Take some more tea,’ the March Hare said to Alice, very earnestly.
‘I’ve had nothing yet,’ Alice replied in an offended tone: ‘so I ca’n’t take more.’
‘You mean you ca’n’t take less,’ said the Hatter: ‘it’s very easy to take more than nothing.’
Everything’s got a moral, if only you can find it.
“But I don’t want to go among mad people,” Alice remarked.
“Oh, you can’t help that,” said the Cat: “we’re all mad here. I’m mad. You’re mad.”
“How do you know I’m mad?” said Alice.
“You must be,” said the Cat, “or you wouldn’t have come here.”
The White Rabbit put on his spectacles. `Where shall I begin, please your Majesty?’ he asked.
`Begin at the beginning,’ the King said gravely, `and go on till you come to the end: then stop.’
The version that I was reading contained pictures from the original edition which were drawn by John Tenniel and they are brilliant. Here is my favourite one of the Tea Party. My one and only problem with the book is that Alice does not seem happy, she is sulking most of the time and I wonder why. Is it because her innocence was lost a little too soon? Keeps me thinking.