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Portals and Doorways

November 27, 2009

This post was inspired by Ryan S.’s Alice’s Tumble.

After Alice falls down the rabbit-hole, she finds herself in a “metaphorical waiting room” as Ryan called it. While reading Alice, I had hurried through the first pages waiting for Alice to actually get to Wonderland, but after several of my classmates wrote posts about this passage I decided to go back and carefully read it again.

Upon a second reading, combined with Ryan’s post, I realized that the scene greatly reminded me of C. S. Lewis’ The Magician’s Nephew. In that book, Digory and Polly, the main characters, find themselves in a forest filled with pools that lead to other worlds. Digory calls it “a sort of in-between place” saying that it “isn’t in any of the worlds, but once you’ve found that place you can get into them all.” Alice also found herself in an in-between place, or a waiting room, or whatever you may call it. Like in Alice, the normal laws of physics do not seem to apply to the in-between place of The Magician’s Nephew. Digory, after leaving the pool of water he entered into the in-between place through, finds himself completely dry, despite the fact that he had been submerged in a pool of water. Also, he was not out of breath, as you might expect some one to be when they have been underwater for a while.

I am curious if this scene and similar ones, such as Jack’s grove from The Nightmare Before Christmas mentioned in Ryan’s post, are inspired by Lewis Carroll’s hallway in Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.

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One comment

  1. Thank you! I read Ryan’s blog too and it reminded me of this book but I couldn’t remember what book it was. All I could picture was pools of water in a forest. I also was reminded of Harry Potter and the Order of Phoenix. When they entered the Department of Mysteries and there’s the circular room lined with doors that spins around so you don’t know which doors you’ve entered. I also pictured Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. With that hallway that slowly shrinks. I definitely don’t think it’s coincidence that all these stories are so similar to Alice in Wonderland. When a great story is created its bound to be used as a basis in similar stories.



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