Alice Making Us Young Again

Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland is a story that customarily reminds people of their youth. This remainder is not just the physical aspect of being young but the simple thought process and imagination that goes along with it. Since we have all been children at one point or another, we can all enjoy the story of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. I believe this story is pleasurable for all all ages.

However, there are two different ways people can look at Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. One is from an adult’s view and one is from a child’s view. A child sees the story merely as a tale of a small girl which goes on an adventure meeting unusual people. Upon waking up, she realizes it was nothing but a dream. Children love this story because in Alice’s alternate world anything can happen. Within a child’s imagination the impossible comes to life, thus making this story entertaining to them. Adults, however, view this story from a whole different perspective. They certainly know the story of Alice, but they also see the bigger picture. They understand the private jokes and small messages that Lewis Carroll intertwines into his writing. This is not to say that adults cannot have fun in their reading of Alice’s journey.

In the opening poem “Alice, Where Are Thou?” , it talks about how the little girl in the story, Alice, is like a “glass of youth”. By reading Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland you can relate back to your ‘inner child’. Reading this story will bring back the imagination that is often lost when we grow older. That is exactly what it is being said in this poem. Vincent Starrett is proclaiming that when he reads Alice’s story it makes him feel young again. Youth is valuable, so we must all hold on to it. So let everyone read the story of Alice, both the young and the old.

Published in: on October 30, 2009 at 14:23  Comments (9)  

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  1. I really like how Erin posed this point bluntly. Adults and children can both without a doubt relate to this story. Children do enjoy the quirkyness of the story, while it may influence them to want nonsense to occur in their own lives. Adults understand the humor finesse throughout the story due to experience. It seems that much in life has to do with degree of childishness and/or experiences.

  2. Well said: “By reading Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland you can relate back to your ‘inner child’. Reading this story will bring back the imagination that is often lost when we grow older.” In fact, the entire premise you outline makes a good deal of sense; good job!

  3. Erin makes a very valid point. Alice does remind us of our childhood, and what it meant to freely imagine the world around us. Alice resembles the strong curiosity we carried, the urge to question anything we see. Through Alice we can connect back to life before its complications, where magic still ran its course.

    Perhaps Carroll felt this way also, that Alice was his one way of viewing the world through different eyes. This may be why he held Alice so high in regards as the “glass of youth” like Erin said. Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland exist as a link for the adults back to their childhood, and for children to exercise imagination without the limits of spoken reality.

  4. I agree completely that Alice makes us remember our youth. Although I think beyond that it is that she releases our childhood. It’s not just memories that arise; but our childhood which is still alive and thriving but hidden away is allowed to show itself again. It’s like we carry our child-self in ourselves and when we read Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland that child is allowed to ‘jump out’ and play in the story with Alice.

  5. I think that this is a very good way to view the story. Carroll is very good in allowing both people to view the story and like it. It allows the adults and children to enjoy the story. If the adults were not interested than they would not want to sit there and read it to the kids. This is why Carroll puts in the side jokes and comments that are underneath the texts that the kids cannot understand. Also it is very kid centered so it is very enjoyable for the kids. Carroll is a very good author whose writings can appeal to both kids and adults.

  6. Interesting analysis, Erin. I’m old, but I still enjoy suspending unbelief and leaping into a story. It may be a matter not as much related to age as an approach to life. Some people have old minds even when they are young. Some continue to have young minds even when they are old. An unfettered imagination is a gift. I hope I’m always willing to take embrace new possibilities. As a Narnia lover, a talking rabbit just doesn’t seem bizarre to me.

  7. I really like the way Erin dissected the two meanings of a story. Isn’t a good story seen by different point of views? Carroll often depicts this as a children’s book, but the discrepency continues on what he was really saying about society and people in general with some of the more prominent themes in the story. There is also a difference between the story of the logical (adults) and the story of the undeveloped, imaginative thinkers of the world (children).

    I want to give Erin props on her analysis of the divergence between adults and children. The dichotomy of thought processes is great and as they develop they become even more varied than they were before. I also enjoy the reference to the poem in the introduction. It was very intuitive and thought provoking.

  8. I really like this blog post. I can relate to this as when I was a child. We use to think anything was possible and didn’t care about anything else in the world, because there were no worries. Now as we grow up and become older we realize we can’t do whatever we want whenever. We know our limits and don’t look at the story like we did when we were younger. I think when I’m an adult it would be interesting to read it again. Then I could look at it from 3 different perspectives; as a child, a teenager, and an adult. This was I can see the different ways things have changed in my mind about this story.This was very well written, good job Erin!

  9. Nobody doubts that this story can be enjoyed by young children. But would you say that this story is simply a reminder to adults of their childhood years or would you say that it acts almost as a door to a world of innocence where adults can escape to?

    I would say the latter. This story does a great job in reminding adults of the times when all one was worried about was finding the way out of a rabbit hole. But this story can do so much more than simply remind adults of these times, it can almost transport them back to those days. That is, unless they decide not to embrace the innocence of the story and instead choose to analyze it.


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