Nonsense as a Consolation for Loss
Alice in Wonderland is a tale that ends with death, and violence lurks within all of its nonsense. Throughout the book, Alice grows and matures, just like we do; however, all journeys must come to a close and death is always at the end of the road. Carroll neither forestalls, nor denies the realities of death and loss in his book. If anything, he manifests the prevalence of its threat in everything. Instead Carroll soothes his readers for the pain and loss with nonsense-answers in excess of sense. He asks his readers to trust in another logic beyond the rational and believe in precisely what we cannot know.
In wonderland, death is a present and probable outcome everywhere, and Alice is promptly introduced to the possibility of it when she enters wonderland. After becoming enlarged after eating a piece of cake, Alice became scared of her sudden, large state. In the midst of her despair, she sees the White Rabbit and calls for his help. He was startled by Alice, and dropped his fan before scurrying away in fright. Alice became hot and irritated and began fanning herself; however, she realized that her fanning was causing her to shrink. She immediately, “dropped it hastily, just in time to avoid shrinking away altogether. 'That WAS a narrow escape!' said Alice, a good deal frightened at the sudden change, but very glad to find herself still in existence.” This “narrow escape(Carroll)” accentuates Alice’s childlike naivety upon entering Wonderland. She has never had to worry about dying, but now she is faced with it head on. Shortly after this near death experience, Alice is confronted with an identity crisis prompted by an interrogation from a caterpillar. “Who ARE you?” asks the Caterpillar, to which Alice replied, “I—I hardly know, sir, just at present—at least I know who I WAS when I got up this morning, but I think I must have been changed several times since then (Carroll).” Alice has only been in wonderland a short period...
Bibliography: Carroll, Lewis. Alice in Wonderland. Project Gutenbeg, 2008. Web. <http://www.gutenberg.org/files/11/11-h/11-h.htm>. (Carroll)
Carroll, Lewis. Alice Through the Looking Glass. Project Gutenbeg, 1991. Web. <http://www.gutenberg.org/files/12/12-h/12-h.htm>. (Carroll 2)
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