Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland

‘I could tell you my adventures — beginning from this morning, but it’s no use going back to yesterday, because I was a different person then.’– Alice

Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland is a novel by Lewis Carroll (Charles Lutwidge Dodgson), published on 4 July 1865, three years after the first telling of the tale to the three Liddell sisters, Ina, Alice and Edith, and promising to write it down at the request of Alice.

 

“So many out-of-the-way things had happened lately, that Alice had begun to think that very few things indeed were really impossible.”

It tells of a girl named Alice who falls down a rabbit hole into a fantasy world (Wonderland) populated by peculiar, anthropomorphic creatures. The tale plays with logic, giving the story lasting popularity with adults as well as children. It is considered to be one of the best examples of the literary nonsense genre, and its narrative course and structure, characters and imagery have been enormously influential in both popular culture and literature, especially in the fantasy genre.

The manuscript was illustrated by Dodgson himself who added 37 illustrations—printed in a facsimile edition in 1887. John Tenniel provided 42 wood engraved illustrations for the published version of the book. The first print run was destroyed (or sold to America) at Carroll’s request because he was dissatisfied with the quality. The book was reprinted and published in 1866.

“Alice thought the whole thing very absurd, but they all looked so grave that she did not dare to laugh; and, as she could not think of anything to say, she simply bowed, and took the thimble, looking as solemn as she could.”

 

Characters: Alice, The White Rabbit, The Mouse, The Dodo, The Lory, The Eaglet, The Duck, Pat, Bill the Lizard, The Caterpillar, The Duchess, The Cheshire Cat, The March Hare, The Hatter, The Dormouse,The Queen of Hearts, The Knave of Hearts, The King of Hearts, The Gryphon, The Mock Turtle

Caterpillar: ‘Explain yourself!’
Alice: ‘I can’t explain myself, I’m afraid, sir’, ‘because I’m not myself, you see.’

Alice: I don’t want to go among mad people,’
The Cat: ‘Oh, you can’t help that, we’re all mad here. I’m mad. You’re mad.’
Alice: ‘How do you know I’m mad?’
The Cat: ‘You must be, or you wouldn’t have come here.’

“Twinkle twinkle little bat!
How I wonder what you’re at!…
Up above the world you fly
like a tea tray in the sky”
The Mad Hatter

The Queen turned crimson with fury, and, after glaring at her for a moment like a wild beast, screamed ‘Off with her head! Off—’
‘Nonsense!’ said Alice, very loudly and decidedly, and the Queen was silent.

“Sentence first, verdict afterwards”.- The Queen of Hearts

‘Who cares for you?’ said Alice, (she had grown to her full size by this time.) ‘You’re nothing but a pack of cards!’ Alice

“I can guarantee that the books have no religious teaching whatever in them – in fact they do not teach anything at all.” (Lewis Carroll, Letter to “The Lowrie Children”)

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