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Not So Wonderful Wonderland Essay

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Not So Wonderful Wonderland.
Mad·ness/ˈmadnəs/ noun:1.The state of being mentally ill. 2.Extremely foolish behavior, this is the theme of many classic novels. The theme of madness can be found everywhere you look, at work, school but most importantly in yourself. Although everyone thinks they have made foolish decisions at one point in their life, nothing is comparable to the madness in Lewis Carrolls most well known series. Alices Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass have a strong undeniable theme of madness amongst them. At first glance the novels seem easy enough to understand, they follow the structure of a basic children's story and the writing is simple. Yet when studied more in depth the reader will find that the theme of madness is very dark and scary. These novels are not intended for Children, the reader recognizes this through locations, characters and time. This unique intent for adults puts a different slant on the novels. The first time the core theme of madness is evident is through locations.

The first glimpse of Wonderland that the reader sees is the rabbit hole. One of the first rules a person is taught as a child is to never go anywhere without parents. Within the first page of the novel Alice disobeys this rule and follows the White Rabbit down the rabbit hole. The hole in the ground is supposed to be very deep: “She though she would fall through the middle of the earth” (Fensh 421). Alice explains in the novel that as she falls it feels as though she is falling for days. She describes the objects she sees on her way down and how things nearly hit her in the head. As a child reader the thought of possibly falling down into the middle of the earth would be a scary thought, and not only falling for so long, but the initial fall would be frightening. The madness in these first few pages of the book are the least dark and scary.

Throughout the entire first novel Alice’s Wonder-World is mad and dark, however, the most elaborate description of the location is on the caterpillars mushroom. This is where the mood turns from mad, to creepy. The mushroom is described as being “a large mushroom growing near her, about the same hight as herself,”(Carroll 52) Carroll goes on to explain what the caterpillar looks like, he explains that he is blowing large puffs of smoke, this makes it hard for Alice to see. When reading this children might imagine the caterpillar on his mushroom, growing big and small and blowing smoke puffs in Alice’s face. For a small child’s imaginati...

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