The Mouse in the Water

Chapter two again confuses me as a reader and a student. Alice changes size again and now is larger than her normal height and size that she was in the beginning. She begins to cry because of her size, and her tears begin to fill up the hallway to about four inches height.

The tears is another confusing portion of this story thrown into this book. My only description of this ‘phenomena’ is that later she shrinks down again and then has to swim in her tears, and escape to dryer, safer land. This may mean that ‘wallowing’ in your self-pity, or in this case ‘swimming’ in your sadness is something that one should not do for it only causes problems. These problems may not only pertain to you, but others as Alice discovers. Just as in Alice’s case when she is ‘swimming in her sadness’ and the little mouse falls in as well and her sad mood causes him trouble, in addition to the other animals that fall victim to her tears. Alice’s self-pity causes trouble not only for herself, but for the other animals that are now struggling in the water. The mouse, and other animals have trouble with the water and it is all because of Alice’s self-pity.

The mouse and Alice then have a conversation about dogs and cats and whether or not Alice likes them. The mouse of course does not like these animals, but Alice says that she does. Alice shows her ‘little child’ when she should know that mice dislike cats , but she begins to talk about them, and say how great they are. It seems that she does not realize that mice dislike cats because cats chase mice, and seldom does the cat not run after the mouse. The mouse’s dislike of the dog was a little odd, but it is easy to understand since dogs are so much larger than mice, and could be quite threatening to a little mouse.

It just seems that Alice should know that mice dislike cats because she owns a cat, Dinah, that is apparently very good at catching mice. Yet, here is Alice talking about how greatly Dinah is at capturing mice, while she talks to a mouse, a mouse! Alice may most likely lose other friends because of her inability to understand her audience that she speaks to. The mice becomes troubled with her and swims away because of her ignorance, but luckily for Alice, he comes back to talk to her and figure out how to get out of the water.

Published in: on November 4, 2009 at 04:00  Comments (1)  

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  1. Hagen I like the symbolism you found here with Alice “swimming in her sadness” comment. The tears she cried were once insignificant when she was nine feet tall but as she shrinks her perspective is drastically changed and the 4 inches of tears become a sea of salt water that she is trapped in, which in turn lead to yet another trial for Alice.

    This is an exampling of times when we analyze, where we don’t always find intricate philosophical principles that this supposed child’s story conveys for the mature adult to find. “Wallowing in your self-pity…only causes problems”; this is a perfect lesson to teach children, even though it was hidden underneath a silly misadventure of Alice. In a nutshell it’s saying don’t cry about a problem, try and fix it or else the situation will just get worse. I think this is a great message for children to get from this story, if they get one at all.

    I also like your last paragraph when you comment on Alice’s ability to understand her audience. She is a silly little girl that is having fun playing make believe. She is not thinking ahead to ‘how will the mouse react if I bring up this subject?’. She is merely being a child with innocent abandon in her comments and impulsive responses, to where she does not think of the consequences. I think the idea of overlooked consequences works well with the ‘swimming in the tears you just cried’ scenario.


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