Fiction: “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass” by Lewis Carroll

I love Alice. I grew up on Disney’s Alice in Wonderland, and that and Sleeping Beauty are my two favorite Disney movies ever. When I went to Disneyland with my parents back in October, the two things I had to do were the Indiana Jones ride and the Alice in Wonderland ride (trivia fact: there is no Alice in Wonderland ride at Walt Disney World in Florida).

I picked this book up because I needed something I could read in its entirety on the trip down to Providence for New Year’s Eve. I’ve read this probably about four times before, and sure enough, by the time I got to Boston I was nearly done with “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.” I finished “Through the Looking Glass” a couple of days later (as you can see, I’m again running behind).

I don’t know if it’s a residual childhood thing or what, but I continue to identify with Alice. She’s a dreamer, yet her dreams have a plot. It may be episodic, but Alice learns things as she goes through her travels – and, she ends up being smarter than kings and queens. As Lewis Carroll was, in real life, a maths professor at Oxford, there’s a weird sense of logic that runs through Wonderland and the Looking Glass World. The language he uses and the words he creates is full of the senses.

I’ll tell you something: back as a freshman in high school, we had to choose a poem to recite for my English class. My first choice was “The Walrus and the Carpenter,” but because I had watched Alice in Wonderland so often, I kept disintegrating into the song. My second choice – and the choice I am still known for today – is “I Am the Walrus” by the Beatles.

Alice will always have a special place in my heart. I’m not sure I can explain why. Maybe it’s because I give myself very good advice, and yet I very seldom follow it. She’s a girl trying so hard to be a grown-up, but after all that, she’s still seven (seven-and-a-half in “Through the Looking Glass”). *shrugs* I dunno. I guess I like the idea that you can be a grown-up and a wide-eyed innocent at the same time.


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