On the Topic of Falling

31 10 2009

When Alice is falling down the hole that the rabbit had gone down, she didn’t show any of the fear or worry that you would expect from a person falling down a strange hole with things that are not as they should be. There are shelves on tunnel walls, orange marmalade floating by and above all, she’s falling down a dark hole! One would think that there would be at least a little fear, but she’s more concerned with the fact that the jar of orange marmalade is empty.

There are a few logical reasons for the strange behavior, and a couple fantastical ones. One reason would be that this is how Alice deals with strange and scary situations. Different people react to situations differently; some panic and freak out, some become very calm and logical as they asses the situation. Alice’s tactic is focusing on the little things that are happening right at that very moment, and her train of thought gets derailed with the slightest push. You’ll notice that she thinks very little of where she’s headed, and more on what others would think of what is happening in a very frank and distracted manner. On page 13, she says “After such a fall as this I shall think nothing of tumbling down-stairs! How brave they’ll all think me at home!” She has no concern whatsoever about the immediate future; she’s already thinking of what’s going to happen much later on. For some, this would seem like very normal behavior for a young child. They have short attention spans, they don’t plan ahead well, they’re impulsive. But children are also easily frightened, which makes her reaction to this sudden and strange situation seem more of a natural instinct to guard against the odd and unusual.

Of course it could be that this is simply how Alice is. It’s entirely possible that she doesn’t frighten easily at all and confronts everything with a very contrite manner. This could be just another ordinary day for her, but we can’t know that until reading farther on and seeing how she handles the coming situations.

One of the more abstract and fantastical reasons for this behavior is that this has happened to her before. On page 11 it says “There was nothing so very remarkable in that; nor did Alice think it so very much out of the way to hear the Rabbit say to itself ‘Oh dear! Oh dear!….'” The script says plain as day that there was nothing remarke cable about a rabbit running by muttering about being late! If we were to look at the text as a person with no prior knowledge about the story or how the book goes, one could easily make the assumption that this is a perfectly natural thing to happen to Alice. And not to mention that, on pages 11-12, the text says “When she thought it over after-wards, it occurred to her that she ought to have wondered at this, but at the time it all seemed quite natural.” It was natural to her! Perfectly normal for a rabbit to run across her path and speaking. You’ll also notice that as she is falling down the hole, she starts to wonder about her cat and drift off, mumbling about bats and cats and one eating the other. Now, drifting off to sleep in a place completely unknown to you and in a brand-new situation is not something that most people would do. And yet here’s Alice, perfectly content with how things are proceeding. That doesn’t sound like someone who knew the going-on’s.

Either way a person chooses to take it, it’s clear that Alice is not just an average little girl, and when things start to unfold for her, there’s no saying what she’ll do with them.


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2 responses

5 11 2009
Erin M.

It is interesting how Alice shows no fear in the fact that she is falling down a very long, dark hole. It is almost like it doesn’t even occur to her that she is falling. She is not worrying about the immediate future, so it must mean that she knows the bottom of the hole is safe. I mean no ordinary little girl would be that calm, right?

Maybe Alice isn’t easily frightened, but she was’nt even thinling about what would happen when she landed. I really like when you said, “Alice is not just an average little girl, and when things start to unfold for her, there’s no saying what she’ll do with them.” It is almost like Alice attracts the unoridanry. This makes her an unusaul character herself. The fact that she reacts so differently from little girls, must mean that stuff like this happens a lot.

3 11 2009
Christian Long

Clever point: “Alice’s tactic is focusing on the little things that are happening right at that very moment, and her train of thought gets derailed with the slightest push.”

And nice follow-up: “Of course it could be that this is simply how Alice is. It’s entirely possible that she doesn’t frighten easily at all and confronts everything with a very contrite manner. This could be just another ordinary day for her, but we can’t know that until reading farther on and seeing how she handles the coming situations.”

Best of all, I simply appreciate how the interplay of language and analysis works when you begin typing. Nice work.

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