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Twisted Alice in Dark Wonderland

  • Date Submitted: 01/28/2010 02:12 AM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 60.7 
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Identity Crisis

Loss of innocence is often a theme in stories that center on a single, isolated child who is struggling to grow up.   However, a theme authors often overlook is the loss of identity that accompanies such a lonely journey.   In Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland, the author portrays the transition from childhood to adulthood as a lonely, traumatic experience.   Exaggerated growth and shrinking represent the changes Alice endures but cannot come to terms with.   Carroll intends to show that Alice’s suffering and isolation leads to the loss of her understanding of her own identity.

Growing up for many children is a physically and emotionally taxing experience.   Alice’s size changes while in Wonderland are representative of the transformations that are taking place within her.   Alice feels lost, both figuratively and literally.   In Wonderland, she “longed to get out of that dark hall, and wander about among those beds of bright flowers and those cool fountains, but she could not even get her head through the door”   (Carroll 16).   Carroll makes it impossible for Alice to reach the garden by fault of her size.   After drinking from the bottle, she is too small to reach the key, and growing taller makes it so that she cannot fit through the door.   Eddie Borey further explains, “children on the verge of adulthood find themselves too small for adult privileges while being forced to [take] on the no-fun world of adult responsibilities.”   Alice’s feeling of helplessness at determining the right dimensions is an analogy to her feelings of failure to discover an age that is conducive to her happiness.   She resigns herself to a physical limbo- one that children, especially young girls, feel when experiencing the changes during puberty (“Emotional Changes”).   The situation becomes “more hopeless than ever, [so] she sat down and began to cry” (Carroll 21).   Growing up at this point is so overwhelming that Alice can do nothing to cope.   She is content...


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