Growing up

November 30, 2009

As I began the book my mind was flooded with questions. The more pages I read the more questions I came up with.  Out of all the questions there was one that attracted my attention the most:

What was the meaning for the size change?

My first theory about the size change was whenever Alice ate or drank something her size would change. But my theory was proven wrong because in chapter 12 she did not eat or drink anything yet she grew to her regular size and in chapter 2 she grew smaller from being really tall by fanning herself with the rabbit’s fan. After a period of not being able to understand the meaning of the size changes I decided to slow down and analyze each size change. After doing this I believe each size change represents a different stage of life.

In chapter one Alice is at her normal height and opens the door to the garden but she is too big to fit through the door. When she becomes small enough to fit through the door, by drink the liquid in the bottle, she can’t get in because she left the key on the table and can’t reach it. . In Chapter 2 Alice becomes very tall by eating the cake, which therefore stops her from entering the garden once again. She then goes back down in size by fanning herself with the rabbit’s fan. But when she is small again she falls into her own pool of tears. In both chapters’ situation Alice’s size change failed to achieve her happiness, which was to enter the garden through the small door.

In this situation I believe Carroll is using Alice to represent the process of growing up. Like many children Alice wants to grow up but they don’t like certain parts of growing up such as responsibilities and chores. Alice hoped that the size change would bring her the ability to enter the garden which she believed would ultimately bring her happiness, she later realizes it does not in chapter 9, but the size change does not bring her what she wants. This situation is just like a child who is hoping to grow up therefore being treated like a grown up but then later regretting his or her own wish. In Chapter 4 she once again changes size by drinking a bottle in the rabbit’s house. The result of her action makes her grow huge again. She grows so big that she takes up most of the space in the room and cant move. When almost being killed by the rabbit’s rash ideas to get Alice out of the house she eats cupcakes which help her reduce in size. After long reasoning of this scene I came to the conclusion that Carroll is still using Alice to represent the growing up of children.

I believe Carroll is doing the same thing in chapter 5 when Alice’s choice in either increasing or decreasing size puts her in a dangerous position with the pigeon. In chapter 4 the room is physically keeping Alice from the feeling of relief because she is so constricted. I believe the room represents adulthood and Alice becoming uncomfortable in the room represents her discomfort in adjusting to adulthood. Finally in chapter 12 Alice grew back to her full height. I believe Carroll uses this scene to represent her full maturity. Her courage of standing up to the queen helps support my theory.

If there are any comments of my analysis to the changing of size throughout the story please add.

One comment

  1. Edward presents yet another view of Alice’s size changes. He makes a great point on how Carroll could be using the size changes to represent how a small child desires to grow up yet doesn’t want to deal with all of the tasks associated with that. I really like the example of Alice standing up to the Queen as an example of how her maturity and confidence has grown throughout her journey through Wonderland. Although her size change after that is not immediate after her first encounter, I still see a very strong connection. Furthermore, your analysis of the scene with the White Rabbit, Bill, and the Guinea Pigs is very good. You made a very interesting connection between Alice being uncomfortable in the room to children being uncomfortable with growing up. Great post Edward and keep up the good work!

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