This is the third time that I am studying ‘Alice in Wonderland’ as part of an English class at Georgetown. When I thought about what I want to blog about, I realized that I recalled most of this novel in pictures. I remember the mock turtle, and the crazy queen of hearts, and the rabbit in a waistcoat, singing flowers, and hedgehogs twirled into balls…. I started considering what it is about ‘Alice in Wonderland’ that engrains itself primarily in pictures; so I chose to start at the beginning and return to the first sentence of the book.
“Alice was beginning to get very tired of sitting by her sister on the bank, and of having nothing to do: once or twice she had peeped into the book her sister was reading, but it had no pictures or conversations in it, ‘and what is the use of a book,’ thought Alice ‘without pictures or conversation?’”
There it was! Poking at me from the very first few lines. Could it be that Lewis Carroll aspired to create a book for us, which Alice wished for? Unlike the book that Alice’s sister read to her, which ‘had no pictures or conversation in it,’ our novel is filled to the brim with these features. Just like Alice, we, the average readers and students of literature, get ‘tired of sitting…on the back, and of having nothing to do,’ so we long for novelty and absurdity; only the strangest and most far-fetched ideas and images and literary tricks will catch our attention by this point. We are all a version of the curious Alice. We are easily distracted, bored and long for originality.
Does the first sentence of ‘Alice in Wonderland’ give away the entire premise of the book? Just a thought that I shall entertain, as I dive into the rabbit hole for the third time.