Who Am I?

2 11 2009

During Alice’s time in the tunnel, she could not remember who she was. She thought because she did not feel like herself, than she was somebody else. She thought to herself about all of the girls her age that she could have changed to. For some reason this is not unusual to Alice. Throughout most of the book, Alice has had a wild imagination. Almost nothing seems weird or unusual to her. And just because she did not feel the same, she immediately thought that she was somebody else.

First Alice thought that she was her friend Ada, then Mabel. She then quickly realized that she was not them because of their physical appearance. She then starts to go through the table of multiplication.

This is very weird on two levels.

First there is no reason for a girl who just fell through a hole to be thinking about multiplication and second she is so wrong. I do not know what Carroll is trying to tell us by Alice forgetting all that she used to know.

Is it because she has to forget everything she knows to be able to understand this new world she is going into?


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7 responses

3 12 2009
Shannon L.

I never really thought much of Alice forgetting who she was, until now. I don’t think that she needs to forget who she was to be able to understand Wonderland. I think it is more Wonderland is making her forget who she was. I agree with Miles that this scene definatley shows how naive she was. I also think that most kids go through a point in life when they wonder who they are. So maybe Carroll is trying to show that through this scene. Miles has a good point, maybe Carroll is making her not remember who she was, so she will not be biased. This helps Alice a lot through her adventures, because she is never tempted to judge anyone, even the really strange characters.

3 12 2009
Connor S.

I think Alice’s thought process is a bit too high for a kid her age (though it IS wrong, regarding the math). I doubt a kid her age would be thinking about such questions as “Who am I?”

Anyways, Alice is essentially being ‘reborn’ in Wonderland. By not knowing who she is, she is becoming a new person, prepared for Wonderland. This new person’s incorrect knowledge of the real world symbolizes that she really is starting over anew, with no previous knowledge of it. Alice has a fresh start, and must learn all about Wonderland to get back to the real world.

15 11 2009
Angela W.

Alice is only a young girl and it would be normal for a young child to think she is someone else because she doesn’t feel like herself. I like the question you asked, although I don’t think that he is trying to tell us that she needs to forget everything just to understand this new world she has entered. I believe Carroll is just trying to show us how naive Alice is, thinking that she is someone else and having her test herself to find out who she is. Alice is a person with a personality but she is not old enough to know exactly who she really is. Alice’s journey is her trying to find out who she really is through the many transformations she goes through along with all the people she meets. The reason I don’t think she needs to forget everything is because she is so young that she could imagine all the events that happen even if she did not fall through a rabbit hole. A child as young as Alice should be capable to imagine anything they please.

10 11 2009
Alex C.

It is very weird that Alice is starting to forget everything. Also it was weird that she started saying the multiplication table, and the multiplication only went to 20. A for your last statement I agree with you. I believe someone else said the same thing. In order to enjoy Wonderland everything that she knew needed to be forgotten. We will only learn more as the story progresses.

10 11 2009
Miles W III

I believe this scene was used to truly show how ‘innocent’ and naive Alice is. Because she does not know who she is, this show the reader that her experiences throughout the novel will be true, and how she will take them for all that they are worth. Carroll did this to convey that Alice would not have any biased opinions during her journey. If you do not know who you are, you can not know anything else spiritually or worldly. This helps to make Alice’s journey not only a discovery of a new world, but a rediscovery of herself.

8 11 2009
Hersh T.

I don’t think it is so much that she needs to forget everything to be able to understand this new world, it is more that she never was a person. We are all part of a greater entity. This idea is most understandable and obvious here. If it takes falling down a deep hole into wonderland for a ten year old girl to realize that the idea of “her” as a person does not really matter then what will it take for society as a whole to realize it? It is truly scary.

I realize that I started out a little strong, the basis for this argument is that the ego dictates the world. So, Alice can’t get the image of “Alice” out of her head. Once she does she is above the material world and all the hardships and passion and problems that come with it. As soon as we realize that what we look like today truly does not matter we will be free. I believe that this is what Carroll was trying to say.

8 11 2009
EdwardC.

Like you I also questioned this scene in the book. This whole situation is weird to me. As I read through this book I ask myself what I would do if I was in her situation. I find that very few of my responses are similar to her. This scene in particular strikes me because I believe it’s trying to define ourselves. This is neither a simple or easy task. So many factors come in play in this situation. Alice is dumbfounded therefore she asked herself who is she not. By the process of elimination she discovers that she is not anyone she knows therefore she has to be herself.

As for the multiplication scene in the novel I can’t put my finger on what it means. This part makes no sense to me. I agree with you on the fact that it is very weird that she decides to go through the multiplication table after falling through a very long and mysterious hole. Though I do believe there is a connection between this scene and the fact that Charles was a mathematician.

This new world is completely weird to Alice therefore I believe she is trying to use what she knows of the world to connect with this new environment. Everything she was taught about reason, animals not being able to taught, and even math is very little value in this new world. If I was in her shoes I would be pretty freaked out right now because everything that I was taught was close to useless in the weird environment.

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