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Alice's Nemeses in Wonderland

  • Date Submitted: 10/20/2011 08:21 PM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 63.6 
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Manda Cole
Nemesis Paper
EH 105-101
7 October 2011
Alice's Nemeses in Wonderland
Alice, during her journey through Wonderland in Lewis Carroll's coming of age story Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, encounters many characters and situations that she is not accustomed to. Alice struggles to find her way throughout this mysterious land, and the people she encounters, with the exception of her supernatural aid, challenge her. Alice follows along on Joseph Campbell's Hero's Journey until she has matured enough to return to her home. As she grows throughout her journey, Alice learns to stand up to her challengers and overcomes her two primary nemeses: herself and the Queen of Hearts.
Alice's Call to Adventure by the White Rabbit sparks her journey that will eventually lead to her maturity. She enters the hole blindly as she is unaware of what could possibly lie ahead. Campbell says, "Once having traversed the threshold, the hero moves in a dream landscape of curiously fluid, ambiguous forms, where he must survive a succession of trials" (81). As Campbell describes the First Threshold, Alice falls down into the "darkness, the unknown, and danger" (64) - an unfamiliar world with strange circumstances and "mad" characters (Carroll 57). These characters tend to think narcissistically and consistently argue with Alice that they are better than she. They attack Alice about her own insecurities, such as who exactly she is and her height changes, while she, according to Campbell, struggles with the "dangerous task of self-discovery and self-development be portered across the ocean of life" (17). The first to do this in the story is the Lory, who tells Alice, "I'm older than you, and must know better", but refuses to support its argument by stating its age (Carroll 24). The Lory is challenging Alice's identity and person as it points out her immaturity at the beginning of the story. After continuing on through Wonderland, Alice encounters the White Rabbit, who confuses...


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