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It’s Just a talking Rabbit: Analysis of Chapter One (Part 1 of 3)

October 29, 2009
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The book starts out with Alice sitting on a bank with her sister and she has become quite bored. As she sat there, the heat in the air made her drowsy and unwilling to get up. Once or twice Alice takes a look at the book her sister is reading, but she looses interest in it because it has no pictures or conversations(“what is the use of a book without pictures or conversations”).

I find this little thought of Alice’s interesting because it is typical of how young child would think. Why would I enjoy a book that does not have pictures to look at or conversations to read? Carroll would be hypocritical not to put pictures in his book, and I thought it was clever that he did. Then Alice considers making a chain of flowers, but is hesitant to get up.  Then things get a little offset, when this talking rabbit comes up and breaks her daze. Up until this point I hadn’t realized that this was going to imaginary fiction book.
When I read this next part, I was very confused about Alice’s reactions to this rabbit.

First off, Carroll describes the rabbit to have “ran” close to Alice. I thought it odd, the use of the verb “ran” when referring to a rabbit. Why didn’t he use a word more linked to rabbits, such as “hopped” or “scampered” along?

Then once I turn the page there is a picture of the rabbit standing on its two hind legs in a human-like manner! If that wasn’t enough, the rabbit then begins to talk about his concerns on not being somewhere on time.

What confuses me is that Alice did not think it strange, the rabbit talking in front of her. I know that she is young, but how can a talking animal seem “quite natural.”

Then I began to wonder why Carroll had put very in italics twice in one sentence. Was it because he was being sarcastic that this talking rabbit was no big deal to Alice? Also, in the picture, the rabbit is wearing clothes and carrying an umbrella. Why didn’t this strike Alice as something out of the ordinary? Alice is not impressed until the rabbit pulls a watch out of his waistcoat-pocket.

This also is confusing because at this point, the rabbit could do almost anything without surprising me. Carroll says that she wanted to follow the rabbit because she had never seen a “rabbit with a waistcoat-pocket, or a watch to take out of it.” Well, has she seen a rabbit that runs around talking before? Then she decides to follow the rabbit down a hole she saw it dive into.

I don’t know much about rabbit-holes, but I would think that they are only big enough for rabbits and other animals of that size, to keep predators out. But not this rabbit-hole. Alice easily dives into the hole without any forethought of what she could do if she wanted to get out.

I am guessing that the rest of the book is going to be like this, full of of unrealistic, fantastic surprises. Perhaps I will get used to it and be able to better understand the later chapters.

5 Comments leave one →
  1. Brittany M permalink
    November 4, 2009 8:39 pm

    I find it odd how you pick apart the whole story and it’s creativity. It is a child’s fictional story where anything is possible. Why can’t a talking rabbit run by a young girl talking of how he is late? Part of the joy from children’s stories is the fact that the impossible can be made possible and be accepted. It is an odd transition going from Lord of the Flies where it is full of surprising realistic circumstances, but you have to be open to all forms of stories, realistic or not. I think if you just accept the story for what it is, you will find it’s charming impossibilities to be enjoyable and a nice escape from reality.

    • Keith C. permalink
      November 5, 2009 3:11 am

      Well Brittany, It is not the fact that this rabbit is talking and wearing clothes. It’s that Alice is not completely surprised by this talking rabbit. On the first page, line 15, it says that, ” nor did Alice think it so very much out of the way to hear the rabbit say to itself…” Later on in that paragraph, she also said that it all seemed quite natural. Last time I checked, rabbits do not talk or run around in the latest fashion. So for Alice not to be completley flabbergasted by the site of a speaking rabbit that is wearing clothes seems odd. If the book had started out where Alice lived in a land where she frequently had conversations with animals, I would not have found it surprising.

      Just to remind you, it is our job to pick apart and analyze this story based upon our interpretations of it.

  2. Melissa H. permalink
    October 31, 2009 4:47 pm

    Haha. Very nice, Keith. This blog entry made me laugh. I love how you pointed out how he “ran” and how Alice didn’t find anythign weird about a talking rabbit. Yes it is a story and the author obviously has an imagination, but really? Like you said, why wouldn’t Alice realize any on this. But then she only noticed the waist coat pocket, but not the talking? My favorite part of this blog entry was definately when you pointed out the size of the rabbit hole. I never thought of it until now.

  3. Mike N. permalink
    October 30, 2009 3:09 pm

    This is very interesting. I also thought that it was pretty weird how Alice seemed completely un-phased by all these odd occurrences. Her attitude toward the situation and her actions could be attributed to childhood innocence, but I think this goes beyond that. Maybe her curiosity is getting the best of her?

  4. Hersh T. permalink
    October 30, 2009 2:56 pm

    When you said that you don’t really know much about rabbit holes I laughed. That is true, the common person that is not a rabbit expert would not know all the mechanics of a rabbit hole, but you are right in thinking about the size of the hole versus alice’s size. But do you think that the hole shows how easy it is to leave behind normality? The idea that the hole being so big can draw you in, same as the idea of being abnormal or dodging the “real” world. The rabbit hole after all leads to a “wonderland” so it is like a conduit to a whole new weird world. Rabbit holes, what to do?

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