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Serpent!: Analysis of Chapter Five (2 of 2)

November 8, 2009

Alice follows the caterpillars instructions on eating the mushroom, and experiments with process of elimination. Her first bite shrinks her even smaller to where her head slams against her foot. For me this is very hard to picture. I have always wondered why Alice never grows in proportion. Her body parts never seem to grow at the same rate. Then Alice takes a bite out of the other piece of mushroom and grows extremely tall. However, the text describes the growing to mainly occur in her neck region. This also seems to be the case when she grows the first time in the hall with the door leading to the garden. In Sylvia’s Blog, A Picture Says a Thousands Words, she associates the majority of growth in Alice’s neck with the fact that she is losing her mind. Could this be the same scenario when she is peering over all the treetops? It also talks about the snake-like features of her new neck.

Her neck would bend about easily in any direction, like a serpent.

Serpents are usually connected with evil or a dark virtue. Could Alice be evil or a wicked thing in the eyes of wonderland? Although, serpents are also connected with temptation. These are just thoughts that are running through my head. Then out of nowhere, a pigeon runs into her face, beating her with it’s wings. The bird condemned Alice to be a serpent and that she was out for the birds eggs.

This isn’t the first time that the creatures of Wonderland have become angry with Alice after her change in size. Back in chapter four, the rabbit becomes quite angry with Alice when she is stuck in the cottage. He mentions burning down the house with her still in it. Could Alice be a threat to the inhabitants of Wonderland?

Alice tries to explain that she is not a serpent after all, but for a second she can’t remember who she really is. Then she doubtfully says that she is in fact a little girl. Are all these size alterations causing Alice to forget who she is? Then later on in that paragraph, the bird says that girls are a type of serpent. Alice accepts this idea in a sort of way and ponders the thought for a minute. How could little girls be a type of serpent? I don’t think there is a way to answer that question without coming off sexist.

After Alice has eaten each mushroom until she is back the her normal height she continues on her way. She begins to talk to herself about all the changes she has been through lately. Also she remembers her priorities and thinks about how she will get back to that garden. As she walks she comes up to a small house about four feet high. To avoid frightening whoever lives in this house, she shrinks herself back down to nine inches. So much for being normal height. I hope that she kept the mushrooms with her as she went on. I know I would.

One Comment leave one →
  1. Gabriella B. permalink
    December 1, 2009 7:21 pm

    I liked your comment that Alice might be evil in the eyes of wonderland. Even though children are considered pure and innocent in our world can a different thing be true in wonderland. Is wonderland so childish and whimsical that even a child from our world seems worldly and jaded? It’s an interesting thought that wonderland runs on a different set of principles thon ours. That even a child can be evil in some contexts is truly mind boggling.

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