Circular Adventures Of Alice

Essay by PaperNerd ContributorHigh School, 10th grade January 2002

download word file, 2 pages 0.0

Downloaded 368 times

The Circular Adventures of Alice in Circular Wonderland The most surrealist of all novels throughout literature history, Alice's Adventures In Wonderland, is constructed in a scheme very well planned and present in every chapter: circles. As the quote by the Duchess "˜Oh, 'tis love, 'tis love that makes the world go round!' many references to circles never cease to appear in Lewis Carroll's book and they reveal to our eyes its structure. Circles show how Wonderland operates and they characterize Alice's adventures which expand into increasingly larger ones, until she returns where she started.

Her adventures start with the first reference to circles in the book: the daisy chain. Alice sits lazily in a field, trying to decide whether or not to make a daisy chain when she notices the White Rabbit and follows him underground. Once she reaches underground, she finds herself in a hall, which she circles several times before leaving.

As she does not know what to do, which direction to follow, she circles in the hall to find a door for the key. When it comes to passing through the door, she can not do it either because she's too big, she returns and finds a drink which will make her shrink. Between the hall and the garden, Alice makes many attempts to get to the other side following a rounded destination.

Circles are also likely to be related to the general disorder that rule Wonderland. The Caucus Race is an example. The race begins in the shape of a circle and the group is placed along the course in no particular order. The competitors start and stop running whenever they like. After an arbitrary amount of time Dodo declares that the race is over and everyone wins. The race is complete chaos but the characters go along with it like it's normal. The circle also relates with the geographic unusualness of Wonderland which we learn by the Cheshire Cat's explanations to Alice. No matter which way Alice chooses, she arrives at the same place, just like a circular path.

A final aspect of circles to mention in Wonderland is that, the characters are confused about the ends and beginnings and live within a circle. There is no notion of regular destinations for them. The best examples of this are The Tea Party and the Mock Turtle's lessons. The Tea Party is stuck in time; therefore there is no time to wash the dishes. When dishes get used up, the Hatter, Hare and Mouse rotate around the table. Alice asks what happens when they get to the end. The Hatter avoids her question by saying, "Suppose we change the subject". The Hatter doesn't know what will happen when he reaches the end of the table. A similar situation occurs in Alice's encounter with the Mock Turtle. It explains to Alice how its old school lessons worked. It had ten hours the first day, and the lessons decreased by one hour everyday, with the eleventh day being a holiday. Alice asks what happens at the end of the cycle on the twelfth day. "That's enough about lessons" responds the Turtle. Like the Hatter, The Turtle also has some reservations about answering Alice's question.

I find that it is not coincidental that Lewis Carroll included references to circles in his book. I think the author planned his novel in this shape and used the circle motif to describe most of the events occurring in the story. The circles as well add an impression of getting inside, in the circle of the book, being surrounded by the book, which drastically increases its efficiency.