The sense in nonsense of Alice’s Wonderland
It took a boat ride on a hot summer day to convince Revd. Charles Lutwidge Dodgson to conjure up the nonsensical adventures of Alice. Penned under the name of Lewis Carroll, the Wonderland is surely a trippy place. Believe us when we say that you’ll have the time of your life while reading this. According to scholarly critics and the journals maintained by Carroll, his book is drawn on the portrait of a real-life little girl by the name of Alice Liddell. Dodgson entered the lives of the Liddell children when their father Henry Liddell became the Dean of Christ Church. From there on, Dodgson became the shadow the three Liddell children, one of whom, Miss Alice, became his very close child-friend. The Liddell children were once the constant, applauding audience of Carroll’s exciting and made-up stories on the boat rides they took on summer days.
Alice’s Wonderland thrives on peculiar and strange characters, sudden and abrupt changes of scenery, poems, and the constant word plays that makes you give out a throaty kind of laugh or giggle every time you read it. One of the most relatable theme in the book is the frustratingly, welcoming blend of one scene into another like most of our dreams. You know when you dream you’re falling from a great height and midway you’re transported into another part of the dream where you’re dancing with your friends or getting married. It’s just like that. It’s frustrating that one half of our dreams do not get to the end before another part comes up with an equally interesting scene. Nevertheless, we subconsciously welcome it with curiosity and excitement.
The Wonderland not only makes us fall in love with the chaos, the unoriginal, the timeless, and the mannerless realm of the world, but at the same time it ignites a sense of nostalgia. Adult readers grieve the loss of their innocence, the loss of the universal permission to dream weird; the dream-like world they lived in when they were kids. The Wonderland is beyond the dreams of any child. Yet, it is the dream of a child that falls into a deep slumber every night imagining a quaint little world where there are no boundaries to their imagination.
Time and again Carroll’s heroine finds herself in a mess of a situation. The seven-year old Victorian girl fails to revive her practical teachings from her surroundings to make sense of where she is present now, in Wonderland. The backdrop of the Wonderland is as beautiful as it is ominous. Alice lands in a world which today you’d most probably want to include in your bucket list of vacation places to go. But for Alice, as much as she yearns to see the beautiful garden, she is sidetracked by her own ‘pool of tears’, the child that turns into a pig, the sagely caterpillar with the hookah, the Cheshire Cat with the largest grin she has ever seen, and so on. The book underlines one of the most important teaching of life: Don’t miss out on the present while chasing the seemingly glorious picture of a remote future. You know, like we’ll cross the bridge when we come to it.
And of course, Alice understands this when we see her butting in the situations of the Wonderland dwellers. She is quick to judge them but always ends up in understanding and sympthasing with their problems. She seems to mature in a very different, yet an endearing way.
All of the arguments Alice observes, the reader can connect with an almost passionate level. The of the knave’s crime is a lesson that sometimes we ignore things that are infront us and make a mayhem about it. The book is filled with stories that the creatures of Wonderland narrate to Alice. These are often in the form of poems or songs that they sing. At times, you may run out of patience while reading a poem in a gap of 15-20 minutes. But it is worth it. They rhyme so much that before you know it, you’ll be rhyming as you read and creating a tune of your own. Trust us, because we literally did that. So we’re speaking from experience.
Carroll’s book reflects his own yearning to have a childhood that he writes about. As much as wrote for his bosom friend Alice, the book finds a substantially different place in today’s world. It creates a culture of its own. Since time immemorial, readers are jubilant and energetic in picking up this book and end up getting a copy to stack their book world.