Sunday, October 10, 2004

Adventures of Alice In Wonderland

Finally I finished the book... Not only I took too long to read the book... I feel I read it 15 years too late. Anyway, It is said about this book that it is for people at all ages... Each one gets his own interpretations. The book requires a fair bit of knowledge about rhymes of Vicorian era to understand that they are being mocked.

Some stories in this book are really thought provoking. Things like, Alice trying to answer "Who am I?" provoke deepest philosophical discussions. It also points out that no matter what you are inside, people only care for what you do. When Alice has a long long neck, it does not matter to the little bird whether she was a serpent or not. If "Alice/Serpent" was long and ate eggs, it was a threat to its family.

It is very well pointed out that it is very diffcult to think like another person. When Alice tells that it was very difficult for her to have changed so many sizes that morning, it comes as a surprise to the caterpillar for whom changing size and shape is just a part of life. But for little Alice it was so diffcult to comprehend the changes.

The whole episode of the Hatter and his realtion with Time is intriguing. What if Time was our friend?? What if we could really control Time? Obviously even though all of know that time has a constant pace, we often refer to terms like "time flies" or "it seemed like ages"... The Hatter puts the very same logic with little bit of exageration to make the point that individual mood has lot to do with how time passes.

The Mock Turtle's description of life under sea, is a good mockery of the British education system. So is the Court room scene a mockery of the British judicial system. The converation of Alice with the Dutchess mocks the intent of so many fairy tales searching for a moral in each one of them. A fair knowledge of the social setup would help to enjoy the book more.

My take : A must read, at any age. Preferable every 10 years.

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