As a new exhibition opens in New York, we look at what we can study on the legendary tale, alongs >archive materials
Over 150 years as a result of its release, Alice in Wonderland remains a classic that is cult both pop culture and literature alike along with its creative cast of characters, fanciful poems and scenes loved and appreciated by all generations. The tale defies logic when you look at the most fantastical way: babies turn into pigs, caterpillars dole out advice, flowers insult Alice, lobsters dance and croquet is played with flamingos. Quintessentially British, its narrative is of legendary proportions and embedded within culture, even though the story itself makes references that are countless tea parties and Oxford.
The exhibition Alice today:
150 Years in Wonderland opens in the Morgan Library and Museum in New York. The show includes the book’s manuscript that is original correspondences from author Lewis Carroll, vintage photographs of Alice Liddell (whom the book was inspired by), drawings and rare editions. Here, in celebration associated with the new exhibition we go through the lessons we can learn from the initial books, from indulging in whimsy to believing into the impossible.
1. Do go along the rabbit holeAlice’s Adventure in Wonderland begins on a riverbank, with Alice’s older sister reading to her. Clearly bored by the whole story, Alice wonders “what may be the utilization of a book without pictures or conversation?” She spots a rabbit that is white by, eventually diving into a hole. Alice follows her impulses and dives to the hole together with the rabbit, falling down into another realm. While she falls, she philosophizes in regards to the opposite side of this earth, imagines a conversation with her cat Dinah and grabs a jar of marmalade from 1 regarding the shelves surrounding her. She lands unharmed and embarks regarding the rest of her adventure. Alice does not play because of the conventional rules of a little girl during the 1800s; she’s up for whatever comes her way and it is prepared to take a chance in the unexpected with brilliant results.
2. Know yourselfAfter Alice falls along the rabbit hole, she grows to a large size and frightens the rabbit that is white. Uncertain of her identity, she asks herself, “Who in the global world am I?” As quirky as the rest of the tale’s characters are, they’re all sure of themselves and know who they really are. “We’re all mad here. I’m mad. You’re mad,” says the Cheshire Cat. As the narrative associated with story proves, you’re better off knowing who you are and having your own opinions. Into the woods, Alice frequently depends on other characters to direct her during her early adventures, and it is consistently challenged. Within the final chapter, she criticizes and fights using the Queen. Only once she recognises who this woman is, and comes into her very own, is she set free.
3. Advice may come from the most unexpected placesWho would have believed that a caterpillar with an attitude, smoking a hookah, would know all of the answers? At one point throughout the story, the caterpillar challenges Alice’s identity, briskly asking, “Who are you?” Alice, upset with her temporary small size laments her woes towards the creature who only says, “You’ll become accustomed to it in time,” while continuing to smoke his hookah. He’s adamant that he will not help Alice or aid her in her own distress, but nearby the end of their conversation he utters, “One side will likely make you grow taller, while the other side will likely make you grow shorter,” suggesting that Alice eat the mushroom near her. It’s this bit of advice that gets Alice onto the next stage of her adventure.
4. Rely on the impossibleThere were often times that Alice may have given up on her adventures due to all or any the challenges she faces: growing larger and getting stuck in a house, becoming too small, getting dazed and confused into the woods that are deep. In Carroll’s sequel, Through the Looking Glass, the older Alice gets a lesson in believing in the impossible. The Queen tells her, “Why, sometimes I’ve believed up to six things that are impossible breakfast.” As Alice continues on her way, she adopts the Queen’s point of view. What exactly is life without impossible hopes and dreams, anyway?
5. Always have pleasure in the whimsicalThe talking flowers, the Mad Hatter, dancing lobsters and Humpty Dumpty didn’t scare Alice away – in fact, rather the alternative; the rabbit that is white who she spotted wearing a waistcoat, checking his watch and speaking English enchanted her significantly more than the book her sister was reading to her. Alice is not opposed to the whimsical and decides times that are many indulge in drinks, cakes and tea parties with complete (sometimes mad) strangers. Who wouldn’t desire to party with this magical cast of characters?
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