Adulthood in Wonderland
A journey begins with a single step. It may be an African safari, a rocket to the moon, or even a voyage around the world. Whatever the adventure, it must start somewhere. It could begin with a leap of faith, a glint of hope, or just a flicker of curiosity. In Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, by Lewis Carroll, curiosity is what brings Alice, a young British girl, to the start of her incredible, yet puzzling expedition. Her journey through Wonderland is strange, but through her experiences, Alice grows up along the way. Through his use of symbolism, Lewis Carroll displays that it is a struggle for a child to make the transition into adult life.
The character of the White Rabbit is the first symbol used to present the difficulty of becoming an adult. The rabbit is very official and is a symbol of an adult itself. For example, he is exceptionally busy and always running late, just like an average adult. He gives the King of Hearts, the ruler of Wonderland, advice although he is beneath him, which demonstrates that he is also wise like an adult. When Alice first sees the rabbit she is filled with curiosity as she “had never before seen a rabbit with a waistcoat- pocket, or a watch to take out of it” (2). Without thinking, Alice follows the rabbit into the rabbit- hole and falls “down, down, down” into Wonderland (4). Since the White Rabbit symbolizes an adult, it is as if Alice is following him into adulthood. The rabbit travels throughout Wonderland, and wherever he goes, so does Alice. For example, the White Rabbit travels to the Queen of Hearts’s garden, and eventually Alice arrives also. The White Rabbit acts as a guide for Alice as she goes on her journey. As the White Rabbit symbolizes adulthood, he leads Alice through the process of maturing. Even though Alice does not confront any struggle with the White Rabbit, her following of him brings her to the challenges she endures later on. The White Rabbit’s symbolism carries Alice...
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