Alice's Adventures in Wonderland
Alice's Adventures in Wonderland (1865) is a novel written by English author Charles Lutwidge Dodgson, better known under the pseudonym Lewis Carroll. It tells the story of a girl named Alice who falls down a rabbit-hole into a fantasy world populated by peculiar and anthropomorphic creatures. The tale is filled with allusions to Dodgson's friends (and enemies), and to the lessons that British schoolchildren were expected to memorize. The tale plays with logic in ways that have made the story of lasting popularity with adults as well as children. It is considered to be one of the most characteristic examples of the genre of literary nonsense, and its narrative course and structure has been enormously influential, mainly in the fantasy genre. (From feedbooks.com)
The curriculet is being added to your library
The author's real name was Charles Lutwidge Dodgson; Lewis Carroll is a pen name. Dodgson lectured in logic and mathematics. He always enjoyed children and Alice, the main character in the story, is based on a real girl named Alice Liddell. The short video below discusses Carroll's background. (This annotation contains a video)
A reader can see already how Alice is interested in more than words on a page. This could symbolize her child-like, imaginative desire. Think about what her comment may also suggest about her personality.
After the talking Rabbit runs by Alice, the reader can infer which of the following?
Carroll uses what literary device to describe the rabbit-hole?
Did you know that you can look up any word in the text of the book or the text of the questions and answers? Just click (or press on mobile devices) the word you want to define and hold until the blue text selector pops up. When you release, a define option will appear. Since it's so easy to look up words, make sure you use this feature frequently. Is there a word on this page you need to look up?
Pay attention to when Alice comments about death or dying. This will become an important theme in the story.
Carroll will use a lot of puns in his writing. Refer to the clip below to learn more about puns used in literature. (This annotation contains a link)
Why does the author capitalize White Rabbit in the text?
One major theme in Carroll's text is the transition from childhood to adulthood. As you continue to read, pay attention to how he explores this theme.
Alice has compared herself to a telescope several times throughout the text. Using evidence from the text, explain the significance of the simile.
Carroll's distinctive style of writing falls into the genre of fantasy. The video below will provide more information on the key elements that make up a fantasy story. What elements does this story have? (This annotation contains a video)
Alice is confused about her identity. Think about how this confusion relates to one of the story's themes of the transition between childhood and adulthood. Are many children confused when they begin puberty and begin to "change"?
When ______ fits her, Alice realizes that she is shrinking.
Alice is indeed eager to enter the garden, but why? What does the garden have that Alice needs or wants? Think about this as you continue to read.
What genre would best describe this text thus far?
Illustrators design images to evoke a certain mood, as well as to explore a certain theme. What mood or theme does the illustrator create in the image of Alice and the animals swimming? How does it compare to the mood or theme of the story?
It is important to note what "caucus" means. It is a group of people with shared concerns within a political party or larger organization. Carroll is using this race to symbolize something about society at this time. Pay attention to what he is saying about society.
View this short video on symbolism. As you continue to read, think about the symbols used in the story, and how they affect the mood, tone, or theme of the story. (This annotation contains a video)
William the Conqueror was the duke of Normandy by the age of 8. Violence afflicted his early reign, but with the help of King Henry I of France, William survived the early years.
What does the caucus-race symbolize?
Carroll uses which literary device when he has one of his characters speak of Shakespeare?
Alice confuses the Mouse's tale with his tail. Which literary device is Carroll using by having Alice distort language?
Carroll's diction and structure changes here to mimic the Mouse's tail. Think about how this adds to the story's structure and overall theme. Do things in Wonderland change meaning and form?
This is an example of an idiom. See if you can find anymore idioms as you read. Below is a short clip reviewing the meaning and some examples of idioms. (This annotation contains a video)
Use the word melancholy in a sentence of your own. Try to make it clear from your sentence that you understand the meaning of the word.
The White Rabbit mistakes Alice for his housemaid, which emphasizes how the White Rabbit challenges Alice's perceptions of class. Alice is from a wealthy English family during the Victorian era. Pay attention to how other characters question Alice's status in Wonderland and how it creates an identity crisis for Alice.
What does the highlighted text reveal about Alice's character?
Carroll is using Alice's enormous size to represent the natural growth from childhood to adulthood. Some critics believe the house that she cannot enter do to her size represents domestic repression during the Victorian era. As you continue to read, think about the deeper meanings that Carroll may be exploring.
Alice is having trouble deciphering between what is real and what is imaginative.
This Salvador Dali painting, titled "The Persistence of Memory," is an example of Surrealism. Surrealist art shows impossible scenes in which images are juxtaposed in strange or irrational ways. This type of art blurs the lines between the unconscious, dreaming mind and reality. (This annotation contains an image)
Think about the painting you just viewed. In what way is the subject and style of the painting similar to Alice's Adventures in Wonderland?
Chapters 1-4 Quiz
Hookahs are water pipes that are used to smoke specially made tobacco that comes in different flavors. (This annotation contains an image)
What is Alice's tone in the highlighted text?
Alice is commenting on the caterpillar's sexual maturity for he himself changes or metpahormsizes from a caterpillar into a butterfly. This compares to Alice changing from a little girl to a young adult.
What word best describes the caterpillar's tone towards Alice?
To refresh your mind about motifs, watch the short clip below. (This annotation contains a video)
Earlier in the book, Alice referred to the "bee" in the poem she is reciting as a "crocodile." Carroll having Alice mistranslate the poem becomes a motif in the story. The idea of language and how it is used and misused is being explored. Pay attention to other parts of the story where the motif of language is displayed.
This poem was a popular poem during this time period. Children in Victorian England were often required to memorize it.
Speculate why the author chooses to use this poem for Alice to recite. How does the poem relate to the overall theme(s) of the story? Cite specific evidence to support your answer.
What does Alice's conflict with what side of the mushroom to eat symbolize about her character?
Alice's long, serpent-like neck represents her internal battle with her identity.
In this scene, Alice is able to figure out how to get back to a reasonable size. This illustrates Alice's
Here is an image of the two footmen wearing livery (uniforms). (This annotation contains an image)
Think about the humor in this section. The idea of a fog and a fish as footmen is funny, as well as the both of these characters delivering the same exact invite to each other.
Explain the irony of the highlighted statement. Think about Wonderland and the idea of the rational and irrational mind.
The Cheshire Cat is a fictional cat made up for this story. It is not a real breed of cat. However, it is likely modeled after the British Shorthair, pictured below, which often appears to be smiling. (This annotation contains an image)
The Duchess' interaction with the baby exemplifies which of the following moods?
View the clip below to see different scenes of the Cheshire Cat. (This annotation contains a video)
After viewing the annotation above, explain how the portrayal of the Cheshire Cat in the video compares to the portrayal of the cat in the story. What similarities and differences do you notice in the portrayal of this character?
Why does Alice raise herself two feet high before entering the house?
This is an artist's depiction of the March Hare, whose house Alice is venturing to. (This annotation contains an image)
What Alice learns above ground (the real world) is different from the upside down logic presented in Wonderland. Several of the creatures in Wonderland are argumentative and brash and their rude behavior contrasts with the polite society of Victorian England.
Another theme is presented in this chapter. By Carroll using jokes and riddles as games of logic, he is exploring the deeper meaning of life. Is life a meaningless puzzle or game? Think about how this theme correlates with the theme of the progression of childhood to adulthood.
Some critics have hypothesized that the answer to the riddle has something to do with The Raven by writer Edgar Allan Poe. Other critics believe Carroll is simply talking about life's meaningless answers. What do you think?
What does the unanswered riddle most likely symbolize?
What did the Queen do to the Mad Hatter for singing the song so badly?
Here is a picture of a cake covered in treacle, which is a sweet syrup made during the process of refining molasses. It is similar to the syrup you put on your pancakes. (This annotation contains an image)
In the highlighted passage, the author uses _____ as a literary device, adding to the _____ mood of the nonsensical scene.
Two, Five and Seven are playing cards. Below is an image from the Disney film adaptation of the book which shows some of the cards. (This annotation contains an image)
Alice is gaining a sense of confidence and assurance in her beliefs and actions in Wonderland. Why do you think she resists lying down on her face like everyone else?
At this point of the story, what character seems to hold the most power in Wonderland?
Croquet is a sport that involves hitting plastic or wooden balls with a mallet through hoops embedded in a grass playing court. (This annotation contains an image)
Below is a scene from Disney's adaptation of the croquet game. Pay attention to the playing equipment. (This annotation contains a video)
In the beginning of the text, Alice was anxious to enter the garden as it seemed to be a place of enchantment. Now she is beginning to see the garden as what?
The other characters appeal to Alice for help. This situation indicates Alice's increasing _____ in Wonderland.
Chapters 5-8 Quiz
According to the Duchess, everything has a moral, and it is up to the person to find it. What do you believe the moral of this story is, and why? Cite specific evidence to support your reasoning.
Since Wonderland full of nonsense, does Alice have to figure out the "sense" in things to overcome Wonderland's shenanigans?
In Chapter Three, a few idioms were present. The highlighted text is another example of an idiom. What does this idiom most closely mean?
Here is beautiful illustration of Alice and the Gryphon. (This annotation contains an image)
The Gryphon is the first character who represents
The Mock Turtle's statement represents which of the following themes?
Carroll is using satire with the Mock Turtle's story about his education. Satire is the use of humor, irony, exaggeration, or ridicule to expose and criticize people's stupidity or vices.
Alice is now watching what she says to the creatures in Wonderland. What does this show about her character?
View the 1999 "Alice in Wonderland" clip and see the Mock Turtle sing his song. Does the video help you visualize the characters and setting more? (This annotation contains a video)
The highlighted text is an example of Carroll
Think about the tone used by the Mock Turtle and the Gryphon and how is affects the mood of the scene.
What type of irony is displayed in the Mock Turtle's statement?
A Knave is a dishonest or unscrupulous man. It is also another term for jack in cards. (This annotation contains an image)
Here is an image of the King as the judge. (This annotation contains an image)
The jurors writing "very busily" creates what type of mood?
At this time in the story, Alice's body is growing without any help from a drink or a piece of food or even the mushroom. What do you believe this particular event symbolizes in Alice's development as a character?
The Hatter's lack of memory mimics Alice's forgetfulness with poetry.
When Alice's name is called to be a witness, what tone is established?
The King's misuse of "important" and "unimportant" shows
Alice is showing how she cannot be intimidated and refuses to tolerate the nonsense anymore. What lesson has Alice learned through this experience?
According to the King and Queen, what proves the Knave is guilty?
Alice has spent a lot of time in the novel figuring out the rules of Wonderland in order to properly understand it. The trial scene indicates how Alice realizes the meaningless rules and order of Wonderland as the poem has no real meaning at the trial.
Refer to the annotation above, and explain if you agree or disagree with the interpretation of Alice's development in Wonderland. Use the text to support your claim.
Alice has grown above the nonsense that takes place in Wonderland. Think about how this pertains to the major themes of growing up.
Chapters 9-12 Quiz
Alice's sister imagines Alice in the future as a strong adult who encompasses some of her child-like innocence and compassion.