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Will This Fall Ever Be Over?: Analysis of Chapter One (Part 2 of 3)

October 30, 2009

During Chapter 1 of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, Alice falls down the rabbit hole following the white rabbit. During this time she talks to herself, but it seems like she is talking to someone she doesn’t know. She tries to use large words that would make her sound smart, but she misuses the words. On page 13 of the annotated version of Lewis Carroll’s classic work, she uses the words Latitude and Longitude, but she doesn’t even have any idea what they mean. Earlier she passed cupboards and book-shelves, which somehow she doesn’t knock over any thing while she picks up a jar that was labeled Orange Marmalade, and she doesn’t drop the jar of Orange Marmalade. In “real life” this could not be possible.

In one of the Carroll annotations in The Annotated Alice, it talks about how in a normal state of free fall, Alice would not be able to replace the jar on the shelf or take a jar off without dropping it. This shows that something is happening to her world and she is reacting to the change by talking to herself and doing things that are not possible in the “real world”. Later she talks about falling through the center of the earth. During Carroll’s day they were fascinated about falling through the center of the earth. Also Alice starts talking to herself again and also starts using big words like antipathies, which wasn’t the right word. The author also hints that Alice would be glad that there was no one listening so it didn’t sound like she was not smart. Alice wonders where she might come out of the hole. She wonders will she be in New Zealand or Australia and she tries to curtsy while she is falling, which you would think was not very possible.

On page 14 she talks about Dinah, her cat, and how she wishes she was falling down with her. Wondering “will they remember a saucer of milk at tea-time?” and “Do cats eat bats?”. Finally she becomes sleepy while she is talking about her precious cat and starts mixing up her words. All of a sudden she falls into a heap of sticks and dry leaves. Finally the fall was over.

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