|Portrait of Alice Liddell,|
by Charles Dodgson
- Wonderland is not a large place. Nearly all of its characters are present in the trial, or appeared, also recently, at the croquet game.
- Alice imagines the the animals out of the juror box will not survive, as surely as goldfish out of their bowl will not survive. This is very much like the creatures of Wonderland and the "bowl" of Alice's dream.
- Alice's growth through the second half of chapter 11 and through the end of the trial in chapter 12 is unmotivated by any contrivances of the dream. She is growing on her own. As Carroll controls the elements of the dream and Alice is growing independently of it and him, might this not symbolize the very maturing of Alice that Carroll dreads? The Dream--his dreams of her, his wish for a different reality--will inevitably conclude.
- In Carroll's eye, is Alice perhaps the guilty one--the one who committed, and as unwittingly as any Wonderland creature, the crime? tarts and hearts, and whoever stole them?
- (42 is a bit of a magic number for Carroll and other writers, including Douglas Adams.)
- The verses read by W. Rabbit (or maybe Herald/Harold?) is the second layer of parody of a near-thoroughly buried original song (below), the first of which was published by Carroll as "She's All My Fancy Painted Him."
- Notice that in Tenniel's final illustration (of which there are 42, by the way) W. Rabbit has lost his costume, and the cards, with the exception of a few noses, have lost their personifications.
- What is the determining factor (for it's not the trial) that wake's Alice?
- Alice's older sister, I think, is channeling Carroll here at the end. She re-dreams (remembers fondly, really) Alice's experiences and adventures, and is generally idealized by her. Remember, this book was written as a gift for Alice. The dream seems to me to be a dramatization of time spent together by Alice and Carroll. Unfortunately, and no matter how beautiful, wonderful, confusing, or terrible, dreams end; and dreams like this tend to end most commonly when their subject grows up. The beauty of a pleasant dream is that it is forever idealized (like Carroll's own idealization of it through the here-unnamed older sister) by she who had it. Alice will remember it fondly forever, regardless of what may or may not happen through her future within reality. (Interestingly, the way its all put together, and appropriately so, the dream is more Carroll's than Alice's, yet it is Alice who ends it.)
from John Shaw's booklet
(I don't know more about it than this)
She's all my fancy painted her,
She's lovely, she's divine,
But her heart it is another's,
She never can be mine.
Yet loved I as man never loved,
A love without decay,
O, my heart, my heart is breaking
For the love of Alice Gray.
|Drawing by Carroll in his hand-penned|
copy of Alice's Adventures Underground
|This portrait of Alice|
was pasted into the
original book over
the drawing above.