Abstract illustration of the silhouettte of Alice falling, a white rabbit, and a red mushroom

Alice's Adventures in Wonderland

by Lewis Carroll

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How did Alice find herself?

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Alice finds herself in the last two chapters of the book. The more she speaks her mind in court, the more she grows; the more she grows, the more confident she becomes. After stating that she is her normal size, Alice finds herself back where she started on the river bank.

Before being taken to court, however, Alice seems to have given up. The strangeness of Wonderland drains her of all of her confidence. During her discussion with the Mock Turtle and the Gryphon,

Alice said nothing; she had sat down with her face in her hands, wondering if anything would ever happen in a natural way again.

When the Gryphon asks her to sing a song,

Alice did not dare to disobey, though she felt sure it would all come wrong, and she went on in a trembling voice . . .

As soon as Alice arrives in court, however, she seems to feel a sense of familiarity with her surroundings. She sees a judge in a wig and twelve jury members sitting in a jury box. She is confident enough to exclaim, "stupid things," which the jury starts writing down on their slates. Alice suddenly realizes that she is the one in control of the situation.

It is as this point that Alice begins to grow. As she grows, she becomes confident enough to point out the ridiculousness of everything and everybody around her.

She had grown so large in the last few minutes that she wasn’t a bit afraid of interrupting him.

She argues with the queen and the king about being a mile high, and when the queen orders her men to capture Alice and chop off her head, Alice says,

‘Who cares for you?’ said Alice, (she had grown to her full size by this time.) ‘You’re nothing but a pack of cards!’

By putting the nonsense of Wonderland into perspective, Alice finds herself and returns home.

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Alice is able to find herself in no longer being afraid of the world around her.  When she is in the Queen's court, Alice generates the courage to stand up, literally and figuratively, to what is happening around her.  For the first time in the narrative, Alice finds her voice at the absurd nature of the hearings and the lack of order in the world around her.  Alice is no longer afraid.  She is able to use her voice and in doing so, she is able to find herself.  Alice is no longer able to cower in fear of the world around her.  When the Queen threatens to silence Alice, she stands up and proclaims that all the Queen has are cards.  She is no longer afraid.  It is here in which Alice finds herself as she is able to stand up for what she believes in and not live in constant fear and doubt.  Her physical development is matched with her emotional voice and through both, Alice finds herself.  On another level, Alice finds herself because she is able to speak out against that which is wrong and that which is not acceptable.  Through this, Alice is able to articulate a vision of what should be and this becomes a critical part of her being able to find herself.  

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