A few years ago Alice in Wonderland was everywhere. There seems to be an ongoing trend of re-telling old classics, which I first noticed with all the Alice spin-offs. You had the new Disney movie starring Johnny Depp, a horrorgame about Alice, lots of jewelery of the characters and elements from the story and cosplay interpetations. Something charmed me about all of these. While Alice in Wonderland wasn’t Depp’s best film, it was still an entertaining and visually breathtaking adventure to watch. And I’m a sucker for Alice in Wonderland jewelry because it usually has tiny teacups – let’s just say I adore tea.
While I loved the re-tellings I wasn’t familiar with Lewis Caroll’s classic. Of course, I knew about most scenes. Whether it was because of the (orginal) movie or/and their iconic status. I was curious how it would be written. About how I would interpetate the original. Would their be all kinds of underlying messages I could decipher? Was there some kind of element of the storyline that I had missed?
I probably missed all the underlying messages and most parts of the story I already knew. I do know understand why Alice in Wonderland & Alice Through the Looking Glass have become classics. There’s a quality in this story that only a good storywriter can create. It’s not so much about the storyline and the silly world Caroll created, but for me it’s about a child’s vision. While reading I transported back to my own youth and thought about all the hours where I would make the simplest things into a story. It’s about the thin line between reality and a child’s imagination. I had forgotten what it had been like as a child, but this book made me remember. Sometimes Alice can hardly concentrate. When something happens her thoughts are already at the next thing. When she feels a certain emotion, she can forget it soon enough to feel something else again. Never stopping to look and wonder, but just going on and playing with the world around you. I think that is a grasp of the essence of a child.
Lewis Caroll has captured that essence so skillfully that it triggers your own imagination and curiousity. He makes you think about odd constructions in the English language and the origination of it all. With his words he transplants Wonderland into your own brain and makes you think about all the things in that world.
Alice in Wonderland/Through the Looking Glass doesn’t make sense. It doesn’t contain the qualties that a story should have, like an inner conflict or one central happening. It’s just Alice dreaming about several meetings with ‘mad’ characters, who might or might not return. When she leaves her dreams it’s hard to say where there has been character development. And this is all jumbled between poetry she (forcefully) has to read out to the citizens of Wonderland. Yet, Alice in Wonderland/Through the Looking Glass is a indeed a masterpiece in my eyes. Because it triggers our childlike imagination and will continue to do so for many generations to come.
It’s silly to rate or write a review about such a classic as this. I rated this 3/5 stars on Goodreads, because I think all the unnecessary poetry takes away a bit of the power of the tale. But taking into consideration that you have to be a master of a writer to take adults back to their childhood I might even give it 4/5 stars. Please take this rating with a grain of salt, because I merely wanted to post my thoughts on Alice in Wonderland. Who am I to rate Alice in Wonderland? It may not be the best story I ever read and even contains some highly irritating factors, but it’s still rightfully a classic.