Alice, from Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland, has issues with obediently following strange directions. Whether it is in regards to follow odd directions from a crazy queen or if it is consuming an unknown substance, Alice tends to end up in unhappy situations…until she learns the concept of moderation. As seen by Alice’s little rant to herself as she falls down the rabbit hole, she is actually a relatively smart child. Yes,she is trying to sound incredibly intelligent, but she is a little over her head; however, it would not be unreasonable for the reader to assume that she is too smart to eat and drink things that she has no reason to trust.
After she is still alive and well despite her questionable actions regarding stranger danger and unidentified food, Alice learns to alter the amount of things she does. She learns when to talk and when to be quiet, how much to eat and drink, and most importantly when she has had enough of Wonderland.
This moderation is so applicable to the amount of childhood girls were allowed to have in the Victorian period, as well as to the amount of everything else that women were allowed. For instance, when discussing the domestic sphere, girls, such as Ellen Terry, were eligible for marriage and motherhood at an extremely young age. They were allowed approximately ten-fifteen years of childhood and then that’s it. They are only allowed a minimal amount of sexual encounters, as long as it is within the parameters of an appropriate marriage. They are allowed a few children, as long as there is an heir. These issues of too much regulation could be seen as a reason why Wonderland is a world of madness. This issue of moderation, however, has now become self imposed.
Children today have gone to the other extreme. Dating and acting in a rather scandalous way at younger and younger ages, drinking and using illicit substances at those same ages, and not taking the time to enjoy the innocence of childhood. Social media aggravates this new trend.
So it seems that the little and confined Alice has become large and uncontrollable. Where is the middle ground between the socially approved, strictly refined homemakers of the Victorian era and the wild, but popular, party animals of the 21st century? There needs to be a lesson in moderation.
Carroll, Lewis, and Martin Gardner. The Annotated Alice: Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland & Through the Looking Glass. New York: Norton, 1999. Print.