Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carrol book review

alice's adventures in wonderland by lewis carroll review - michalah francis

So I’m not too sure what I just read.

I really wanted to love this book, I wanted to have that ah-ha moment once I reached “the end”, sit back and think about the journey that I was just taken on in the paperback.

That didn’t happen.

It took me nearly a week to finish a book that was only 129 pages long, pages that included both text and pictures. New reading low. Then, I was only able to read about 10 pages at a time because I either found my mind wondering while I was reading, I started dreaming about the other books on my book haul shelf or I was just plain bored by what was happening in the book.

I expected to love Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland because I loved Alice as a kid (not nearly as much as Peter Pan though) and I still love her as a young adult. I loved the movies that I saw and based on other book talks I gathered that the movies were pretty close to the original book.

The events and sequence of events in the book was really close to how the film adapted it but there was something off about the book.

Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland follows the story of a young girl named Alice. While sitting outside, Alice sees a white rabbit and follows it. She then falls down a rabbit hole, she literally falls down a literal rabbit hole and finds herself in an alternative world where animals talk, white rabbits wear waistcoats and pocket watches and the King and Queen are cards. Alice’s journey through this alternative world is directed by random events, she reminds me of ping pong ball freefalling and then being knocked from point to point by factors outside of her own control.

I might not have liked the book as a whole but did like the themes it conveyed, which all seem to be rather progressive for a 19th Century book. The book draws attention to societal conventions as throughout the book the animals that Alice runs into is constantly questioning her logic about things, logic that she has learnt in ‘the real world’. I think the book looks at aspects of absurdity and arbitrariness and raises questions about how we process things as seemingly ‘normal’ and ‘abnormal’. The book seems to be a challenge to its reader to take a less serious and formal approach to everything and see the apparent absurdity in things that we consider normal, and the normality in things we consider absurd.

Or maybe the books just was a random collection of events and my English major instincts are going overboard.

Favourite quotes:

    • “Who in the world am I? ah, that’s the great puzzle”
    • “at least I know who I was when I got up this morning, but I think I must have changed several times since then”
    • “oh, you can’t help that”, said the Cat: “we’re all mad here. I’m mad. You’re mad”

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