Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass & What Alice Found There


I can't remember the last time I read Alice in Wonderland.  It is a strange book because basically Alice wanders around Wonderland just running into these odd characters.  Mostly she is looking for the beautiful garden she sees through the keyhole, but has trouble finding it.  She meets the White Rabbit, the Caterpillar, the Duchess, the Mad Hatter and the March Hare, the Queen of Hearts, the Mock Turtle and the Gryphon, and attends the trial of the Knave of Hearts.  Alice is a very curious and proper sort of girl and there's a lot of manners commentary and poetry recitation.  It's still a fun book and one of my favorites.
Favorite quote: the whole book is one giant favorite quote, but I especially liked this time:
"Begin at the beginning," the King [of Hearts] said gravely, "and go on till you come to the end; then stop."

The second half of the book isn't really a sequel.  It's more a companion books since Alice doesn't go back to Wonderland, but rather Looking Glass World.  This story has a little more direction since Alice is playing the part of a White Pawn in a great chess game.  When she arrives in Looking Glass World, she meets the Red Queen and is made apart of the game.  When she reaches the eighth square, then Alice will be made into a Queen.  Carroll even sets out the moves at the beginning of the book so they can be played out by the reader. 

Favorite quotes:

"I don't know what you mean your way, " said the [Red] Queeen, "all the ways about here belong to me-" p.175

"And if he left off dreaming about you, where do you suppose you'd be?" p.207

"Always speak the truth - think before you speak - and write it down afterward." p.283

Of the two books, Through the Looking Glass is my favorite.  I always liked the idea of the chess game and most of the characters are familiar as they are either in the Disney movie or are nursery rhyme characters. In this story, Alice meets the talking flowers, the Red and White Queens and Kings, Tweedledum and Tweedledee, Humpty Dumpty, the Lion and the Unicorn, and the White Knight.  Although my two favorite characters are in Wonderland, the Caterpillar and the Cheshire Cat, I have always like the White Queen.  She is amusing and nice and I like how she lives backwards.  Everyone is odd, of course, and wants to recite poetry to Alice, so much so that she gets tired of it.  At the end at Alice's party, there is a joke about meeting the mutton that reminds me of The Restaurant at the End of the Universe "Let's meet the meat."  I wonder if Douglas Adams was influenced by this book.  Anyway,  it was nice to revisit one of my old favorites and if you never read either, I recommend that you start reading right now.  After all, all ways here are my ways. ;)

7 comments:

  1. It's official - this book (or rather, set of books) is on my book club list for January's read. I have to read this before the movie comes out. I've never read it before, and really need to rectify that.

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  2. I'm really excited to read this soon! I was aiming to have it read by the end of this month (esp. since I want to read it before any other related books and I'm doing a blog tour for a related one in late October, haha) but we'll see. Great review, though! I think it will be interesting to see what parts are actually from the first book and what is from Through the Looking Glass since I sort of remember them being all together!


    Amanda -- I'm doing an alice challenge over at my blog. I don't remember if I mentioned it already or not so if I did, just ignore me! =)

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  3. Amanda - Tim Burton's movie looks to be tripper than the movie, but it will be good to have read it first. I'm curious to see what elements he includes.

    Jenny - The Disney movie mashes them together which is why you remember it that way, at least for me anyway.

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  4. The second quote is about The Red King.

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  5. There are a lot of children's lit classics that I've never cracked, much less read. These would count. Need to rectify that...

    Now if only I had 28 hours in a day or didn't need to sleep! Nice review!

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  6. I haven't read these in such a long time! I enjoyed them, although I'll admit that I love watching all the different movie versions, too.

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  7. What a wonderful review.Dosen't it take you back in time when you read these books again. My review is up too at:
    http://sumanam.wordpress.com/, or you can get the exact links at Jenny's.

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