Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland & Through the Looking Glass
By: Lewis Carroll
Content Warnings: Violence, death, captivity, child abuse
Nothing quite compares to Lewis Carroll’s story depicting young Alice’s fantastical moments in a realm of confusion and whimsy. Although Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and its sequel, Through the Looking Glass, continue to heavily inspire creative art forms. And that’s not likely to end anytime soon.
The story reminds me of one of those bizarre dreams I’d have if I were to eat a combination of pizza, ice cream, and fish tacos shortly before bedtime. Disclaimer: I don’t actually recommend doing this, even if it helps cure your writer’s block! The events and characters are surreal yet grounded, maddening yet profound. Perhaps there’s something of meaning for everyone to take from their travels in Wonderland, and perhaps there is no correct way to interpret anything that happens in this tale.
Did Carroll hide important information beneath the quirkiness? Or is the whole thing a mockery of the need to find a lesson or relatable aspect from our stories? Or then again, did the author simply keep its plot unassuming enough so everyone can find something valuable from Alice’s adventures without judgment? These two stories may not be for everyone and may even cause some headaches for those seeking logic, but I think it’s great that they’re subject to different interpretations. Perhaps even from the same reader during multiple reads! You might find something you didn’t see before or look at the characters and their interactions in a whole new way.
This book is highly atmospheric. Carroll’s words transport you to vivid and dizzying settings. Sometimes I had to shake my head to get out of the dream, just long enough so I could stare at the ceiling and say, “Huh?” Then fall right back in. I also liked his play on words and sentence structures. They contribute to the otherworldly aspect of this fantasy world Alice explores.
This has been marketed as a children’s book, but some parts can be disturbing. For instance, there’s a scene where a duchess violently shakes a baby while singing a lullaby. Meanwhile the cook next them to them throws kitchenware at both the duchess and the baby.
I wouldn’t consider this a comfort read in the sense that most of the characters can be quite insufferable towards each other, but it’s certainly a unique experience. If you’re looking for the imaginative and the bizarre, then look no further than this classic duo of stories.
More Musings & Magic
Is there a character from Alice in Wonderland that you consider especially iconic? For me that would be the Cheshire Cat. That grin is implanted in my brain! And I’ve always been fascinated by the various depictions in pop culture.
Please keep the magic alive and share your comments below!