Thursday, January 19, 2012

Alice in Wonderland

I've just finished this book, and liked it a lot better the second time around.  The first encounter I had with Lewis Carroll was very frustrating (it was during high school).  I was convinced that it must have a meaning, a buried symbolism that I couldn't decipher.  So the whole time I was reading Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass I was in despair at not being able to solve the riddle.

However, this time was much more enjoyable since I decided to let the story just speak to me and let the professor enlighten me afterwords.  It is still not my favorite children's book, but it is a great example of how an author can portray childhood and whimsy even to the adult who has, perhaps, forgotten what it is like to explore and dream.

I quite liked many of the bits in Through the Looking Glass and I thought I'd share them with you, reader.

One comes when Alice is winding a skein of yarn with a kitten of Dina's:
Kitty sat very demurely on her knee, pretending to watch the progress of the winding, and now and then putting out one paw and gently touching the ball, as if it would be glad to help, if it might. 
Another when describing the play of Alice:
I wish I could tell you half the things Alice used to say, beginning with her favourite phrase 'Let's pretend.' . . . once she had really frightened her old nurse by shouting suddenly in her ear, 'Nurse! Do let's pretend that I'm a hungry hyaena, and you're a bone.'
A dialogue on being scared:

The King was saying, 'I assure, you my dear, I turned cold to the very ends of my whiskers!'
 To which the Queen replied, 'You haven't got any whiskers.'
 'The horror of that moment,' the King went on, 'I shall never, NEVER forget!'
 'You will, though,' the Queen said, 'if you don't make a memorandum of it.'
On belief:
'I can't believe THAT!' said Alice. 'Can't you?' the Queen said in a pitying tone. 'Try again: draw a long breath, and shut your eyes.' Alice laughed. 'There's no use trying,' she said: 'one CAN'T believe impossible things.' 'I daresay you haven't had much practice,' said the Queen. 'When I was your age, I always did it for half-an-hour a day. Why, sometimes I've believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast. 
Carroll, Lewis (2009-10-04). Through the Looking-Glass. Public Domain Books. Kindle Edition. 

Download the book for FREE, buy an annotated version, or watch a film (online rental/download or order).

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