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What is the main theme of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland?  

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estrella02 | Student, Grade 9 | eNotes Newbie

Posted October 5, 2009 at 11:55 PM via web

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What is the main theme of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland?

 

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M.P. Ossa | College Teacher | (Level 3) Educator Emeritus

Posted October 6, 2009 at 5:35 AM (Answer #1)

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It would be safe to say that the central theme is survival and adaptation to sudden change. Many have argued that this is an allegory to the transition from childhood to young adulthood, or from young adulthood to adulthood, which are transitions into complex, and complicated situations to which we have to adapt.

When Alice moves into Wonderland, things are difficult for her. More than just enjoy herself and have fun in the freedoms of being alone, Alice actually went through a series of quasi traumatic event, rare and odd changes, met very strange character, saw things she had never experienced before, and in some occasions she wished she could be back home.

Those are feelings very similar to those of people who are entering a new stage in their lives: Meeting strangers, having to problem solve alone, changes in our bodies, experimenting with things we have never tried, being chased or chasing something not knowing what it is. Those are subtopics that chain into the main idea of surviving change and facing the challenges of change.

Hope this helps!

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estoverl | Middle School Teacher | (Level 1) Assistant Educator

Posted July 8, 2015 at 3:51 AM (Answer #3)

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Alice in Wonderland is a timeless story that is relevant in many cultures, having been translated in 40 languages. Through most of its history, Lewis Carroll's Alice in Wonderland has been described as a "coming of age" story about a young girl trying to figure out who she really is. These universal themes have allowed Alice to remain popular for many years and in many cultures. 

The themes of identity, Alice figuring out who she is, and coming of age are so similar as to be one theme. Struggling to figure out who you are is an accepted part of late childhood and the teenage years for most people. As Alice travels through Wonderland, she is constantly bombarded by personal changes that challenge her perception of herself, not unlike the changes that children go through during the late childhood to teenage years. 

The main theme of Alice in Wonderland can therefore be described as one of growing up and finding one's identity. 

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