Sunday, December 05, 2010

Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll

I thought it would be interesting to read Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland because I have no memory of ever reading it, although I imagine someone read it to me, and I know I’ve seen the Disney movie many years ago. Additionally, cultural references abound about the White Rabbit and the Queen and the Mad Hatter (which, amusingly, makes me think of Batman).
To be honest, I was disappointed. So much so, that I began to wonder exactly why Alice in Wonderland became one of the most popular stories of the past 150 years. Perhaps it was more radical and original at the time? Maybe plays and the movie were key aspects of its success? Anyway, while it was a fantastical world, it wasn’t as peculiar as I anticipated. There was some decent wordplay, but not that much, and it could have been more sophisticated and witty. There were some morals, but I expected a larger parable (or many smaller ones) and some endearing life lessons.
Yes, I know it is a children's book but it seems I expected a bit more, especially given its length, like what one gets from some of Dr. Seuss’s works or The Little Prince. That said, it was a worthwhile read if only to be aware of the actual text that was the source of so many cultural references. (I think I'll check out the animated movie in the next little while to see how it was presented there)


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