Alice in the Wonderland


Alice in the Wonderland is a story about a naïve girl who is driven by curiosity and
mystery. She notices a hare dressed in a court passing and decides to follow it into the rabbit
hole. Alice wanted to live in a perfect world. Before seeing the rabbit, he was fantasizing how a
perfect world would be. The white rabbit is a manifestation of her imagination and Alice follows
the rabbit into the rabbit hole. Lewis Carroll argues that children are the most curious to learn
new things and often at times this curiosity is met with terrible consequences. Alice follows the
rabbit out of the curiosity and when she goes down the rabbit hole, she finds things that spark her
curiosity (Carroll). She forgets that she is supposed to return to the world above. Lewis Carroll
paints a picture of as being vulnerable and susceptible to manipulation. Alice in the Wonderland
often show how adults use stories to control children. Adults destroy children’s imagination and
sense of curiosity by insisting that they should stop asking questions. In the story Tweedle Dee
and Tweedle Dum symbolize the parents in every child’s life who attempt to keep the child’s
imagination in check.
Alice follows the rabbit because the rabbit looked older and more knowledgeable. It is a
characteristic that Alice exhibits throughout the book. She admires older characters and she
wants to emulate them. This is based on her recognition of the limitations she faces because of
her tender age. In the rabbit hole Alice goes through multiple transformations. She begins to
question herself whether she is still the same person who entered the rabbit hole. The question of

identity is a recurring one as the child goes through growth and development (Burnett). Body
change is not often welcome because it challenges the image of personal identity. For a child,
personal identity is closely associated with the image the child has of himself or herself. When
Alice meets the Caterpillar and the caterpillar asks her who she is her response is that she hardly
knows. In the rabbit hole, Alice experiences a crisis of identity that often take more than a
decade in ordinary life. The constant change in the environment around her becomes is alluring
and as such she makes no effort to go back.
In the Little Princess, Frances Burnett theorizes children as innocent and oblivious of the
reason why they are suffering in the world. The story revolves around Sarah Crew a seven-year-
old daughter of Captain Crew who was stationed in India. Captain Crew send his daughter to a
boarding school in London because he thought that the environment and the climate in India was
too harsh for a British child. Captain Ralph Crew adores his daughter and makes arrangements
for her to get special treatment at the school such as getting a private room (Burnett). Sarah Crew
is treated well by the principal Miss Machin but this comes to an abrupt end when Sara receives
the news that her father had died in India and the investment that he had made for diamond
mines in India had failed. Miss Minchin began mistreating Sara the moment she realized that
she was not as wealthy as she initially thought. This was not the case because Captain Crew’s
investment had succeeded despite the earlier reports.
Frances Brunnet depicts children as inherently kind and oblivious of the social and
economic structure around them. Although Sarah came from a wealthy background, she was not
arrogant and she did not behave as though she was entitled. From this point of view, one can
understand that hate and arrogance in children is usually taught either consciously or
unconsciously. The actions of the adults in the life of children determine whether the child will

grow up as entitled as they are. The mind of a child is in a blank state and it is shaped by her
experiences with the environment she lives in. Captain Crew had taught her daughter to be kind
to other people. When Sara realizes of the inheritance her father had left behind, she shows
kindness to Becky who was desolate by buying her clothes.
Both Carroll Lewis and Frances Brunnet show how important it is for children to get the right
type of education. The harsh vicissitudes of life often leave a defining mark on the character of
children. The struggles that Sara went through after the death of her father helped define her
character. She became stronger and able to discern situations with an analytical mind. It also
taught her that the people around her are capable of inflicting harm to her and they are not to be
trusted. Alice in Alice in the Wonderland begins her journey as a naïve but at the end of the
dream she has grown mentally. In the story she tackles challenges after challenges. The
challenges that Alice encounters in the rabbit hole are similar to the challenges that a person
would experience in real life (Carroll). Alice is appalled by the logic of the proceedings during
the trial of the Knight of Knaves. This occurrence at the court of the Queen of Hearts is a
common occurrence in the criminal justice system where persons who are not guilty and have
not committed crimes are punished.
For Sara in the Little Princess and Alice in the Alice in the Wonderland, both characters
go through immense transformation which change their view of the world. Alice is attempting to
escape her physical reality while Sara wishes that she could change her physical reality. The
rabbit in the Alice in the wonderland is a representation of the knowledgeable adult who allow
children to be misguided. Miss Minchin in the Little Princess is the adult who torments to Sara
because of the circumstances surrounding his father’s death. In both circumstances’ children are
powerless at the hands of the adults and are subject to manipulation (Burnett). Adults use stories

to intimidate children into submission. What makes children vulnerable is their inability to
discern when they are being manipulated by the adults. Miss Minchin threatens Sara that she
would be barred from seeing Becky and she would suffer dire consequences if she does not stay
in the school. This intimidation would have worked except for the intervention of his father’s
attorney. The vulnerability of children is exacerbated by curiosity and the need to learn. Children
have an innate understanding that they are not knowledgeable and should make effort to master
survival skills and learn their environment. Despite their innate understanding and constant effort
to learn and grow, they are always subject to control and manipulation by adults.


Works Cited

Carroll, Lewis. Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. Oxford UP. London, 2015.

Burnett, Frances Hodgson. A Little Princess. Penguin. New York, 2014.