I realized a few months ago that though I am familiar with a handful of references to Lewis Carroll’s books, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking-Glass, I had never actually read the stories myself. And with the new movie out I decided it was time for me to read the originals myself.
I have to admit, I’m a bit confused by them. There must be more there that I’m not seeing because I didn’t exactly love them. I did enjoy the constant play on words in the conversations, but there was no plot to speak of in either story and it seems like Lewis (who’s real name was Charles Lutwidge Dodgson) might have been under the influence of something when he wrote them. There were two quotes in Through the Looking-Glass that I felt summed up the stories. The first is where Alice explains that “It’s exactly like a riddle with no answer!” The second is the poem that ends the book. “In a Wonderland they lie, Dreaming as the days go by, Dreaming as the summer die. Ever drifting down the stream–Lingering in the golden gleam–Life, what is it but a dream?”
Please let me know if there is something I’m missing here as obviously this story has become a staple in culture. Part of the explanation might be that the official genre for the story is called “literary nonsense.” Nonetheless, here are a few lines that I enjoyed:
“For you see, so many out-of-the-way things had happened lately, that Alice had begun to think that very few things indeed were really impossible.”
“She generally gave herself very good advice (though she very seldom followed it).”
“‘Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?’ ‘That depends a good deal on where you want to get to,’ said the Cat. ‘I don’t much care where–‘ said Alice. ‘Then it doesn’t matter which way you go,’ said the Cat. ‘–so long as I get somewhere,’ Alice added as an explanation. ‘Oh, you’re sure to do that,’ said the Cat, ‘if you only walk long enough.'”
“”Take some more tea,’ the March Hare said to Alice, very earnestly. ‘I’ve had nothing yet,’ Alice replied in an offended tone: ‘so I ca’n’ take more.’ ‘You mean you ca’n’t take less,’ said the Hatter: ‘it’s very easy to take more than nothing.'”
“Why sometimes I’ve believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.”