One of the most rewarding aspects of reading Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland for the first time was the fact that it was the original story, not illustrations or new connotations I have been exposed to for most of my life. I thought it was very refreshing to see a story portraying characters in different ways. It is also interesting that the one picture Lewis Carroll provided the illustrator with now dictates why Disney’s version held onto her classic skirt and apron outfit and long hair tucked behind a headband.
I opened the book thinking it would be a splendid tea party, but actually realized it was kind of scary. With each chapter, Alice seemed to approach a new hardship, instead of live a fairytale. This was not all fun and games. I was chronically nervous and slightly frightened when each new character was introduced. When Alice found the bottle labeled, “DRINK ME,” and was totally into consuming it, I was semi-paniced. Hopefully there would still be a happy ending?
This got me thinking: What do these connotations say about the original story? Society in general? Why isn’t it more popular for Alice’s story to be darker? Why wasn’t that sterotype preserved more? Perhaps that’s why Tim Burton made his new film – justice.
Before I read Alice, this is how I pictured her:
Or possibly this:
My dreams are not completely shattered, but it was interesting comparing what many children imagine Alice to be to Lewis Carroll’s original Alice.