Facing Adolescence in Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland Essays

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Lewis Carroll exemplifies the inevitable changes all children face when they enter the adult world in his novel, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, by taking readers on a compelling journey through the adolescence of a young girl who struggles to find her identity in a realm she cannot comprehend. Carroll personifies this trying journey through the protagonist, Alice. Alice is a seven year old girl, growing up in the Victorian Age, a time of rapid change and development. “Alice is engaged in a romance quest for her own identity and growth, for some understanding of logic, rules, the games people play, authority, time, and death” (Frey). Throughout the novel, Alice faces the challenge of not only adolescency, but also finding her identity …show more content…
Alice comments on these strange incidences: “How puzzling all these changes are! I’m never sure what I’m going to be, from one minute to another” (55). Even though she feels confusion, discomfort, and frustration with regard to these many changes, she continues to adapt and learns to control her fluctuations in size until she eventually gets it right. These constant fluctuations clearly represent the way a child feels as his/her body grows and changes during adolescence.
Not only do her frequent changes in size force her to adapt to her new physique, but they also force her to experience new outlooks, as she is seeing the world from many different views. She realizes that her experiences in Wonderland change her perspective: “…it’s no use going back to yesterday, because I was a different person then” (115). Alice demonstrates the “wistful recognition of the imperious nature of [a] child who demands growth and accepted entry into that very adulthood which [eclipses her] childish innocence” (Frey). Wonderland forces Alice to recognize herself as a mature young lady as she is thrown into new situations, where she is no longer a young, naïve child, but a person responsible for her actions. At first, Alice sees all of the strange occurrences and situations she encounters as a need to decipher Wonderland, but nevertheless, she soon realizes that she is not only trying to comprehend the mysteries of Wonderland, but also attempting to determine who she is
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