Category: The Meaning Behind the Fairy Tale

Wandering through Wonderland

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Alice-In-Wonderland-Theatrical-Poster

Just in time for its DVD release on June 1st, here are some of my thoughts, plus some gathered tidbits to serve as a little guide to help you as you wander through Wonderland.

Symbolism and Themes from the Story 

• From a child’s perspective the world is full of strange things…. We become jaded as we get older because we think we have it all figured out. But this story tries to take us back to that child-like state of awe, wonder, as well as the confusion and fear that come with it. (And really without all of that, life can be pretty boring. Better to be childlike, I think!)

• Nature themes – The flowers and animals talk, (one of the six impossible things listed by Alice), but perhaps that means we should listen. The Red Queen prefers dominion over animals, (which sounds quite Biblical), using them as furniture and croquet sets (much like Flintstones, but with a bitter edge). However her attempts at control failed her. The lovely white queen befriended the animals and that became Alice’s advantage as well. Nature is a powerful force, so it’s much better when it’s on your side!

• The magic of the growing and shrinking potions that are used to reach things that are up high or walk through small doors makes me think of Western society’s obsession with pharmaceuticals – the instant fix for the smallest of problems.  Though the story does show that instant fixes offer a different set of problems – like clothes that suddenly don’t fit, or otherwise not fitting into a situation.

• Our heroine Alice gets a lot of costume changes this time! Including a shiny set of armor that still manages to look pretty!  Perhaps this symbolizes her multi-faceted personality. She learns to takes charge and forge ahead both in the imaginary world and the real one.

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