You know how the original Disney animated version of “Alice in Wonderland” featured a lot of strange animals and random events, then ended with Alice waking up from her dream during an afternoon nap? That’s pretty much exactly what the original stories by Lewis Carroll are like.
Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and its follow-up, Through the Looking Glass and What Alice Found There, are basically the detailed dreams that young Alice has, one on a midsummer afternoon, one on a cold winter day. Sure, there are some highly educated book critics and literary folks who can produce pages upon pages of analysis detailing the meaning and merit behind these notable works (the edition I have certainly has a couple dozen pages of introduction for just that purpose), but if it takes all that extra work to explain one children’s story, then really, what’s the point? You’re reading someone else’s interpretation, and not the book. And I’m not a fan of needing help to understand a story (if I do, either it’s a poorly written story, or it’s just not my type).
Coming from someone who has read the book (and nothing but the book), I can say that in my straightforward opinion, it’s all just nonsense. Silly and somewhat amusing, but nonsense all the same. Even Alice herself states as much at the end of Through the Looking Glass: “What dreadful nonsense we are talking!”
While I’m glad to be able to say I’ve finally read this timeless children’s classic, I will admit that I don’t care for nonsense books. To me, as an author who takes great care to include truth and meaning in what she writes, I can’t stand a story without a purpose. There’s just no point! I felt like I wasted my time reading it, because there was nothing for me to take away, no lessons to learn, no message to apply to my own life. I can appreciate a story that is diverting for entertainment’s sake, and entertainment alone. But these stories are literally just nonsense! Alice is here, then there, talking to this creature, then that creature… the scenes shift randomly, the plotline doesn’t make any sense, you can’t even describe it as a “story” because all that seems to happen is Alice wandering around a land of make believe and having nonsensical conversations with imaginary characters. Maybe that’s fun for some people. Mostly it just gave me a headache ><.
So, I am here to declare once and for all that you should never, ever expect such a book from me! I may include bits of silliness and random scenes that are more for fun than for pushing the plot, but it they will be small bits of fluff woven into a very solid story arc! I have too many meaningful things to share in my stories to waste my words on something pointless. As the Mock-Turtle in Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland declared, “No wise fish would go anywhere without a porpoise.” ;-)
What do you think? Share your thoughts in the comments section!
Until the next time, keep reading!
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I have two passions: reading and writing. You can't write good stories without first reading good stories - that's my theory, anyway. So this is where I'll share with you the depth of those passions: background on what and why I write, as well as talking about the books that I read and how they impact my writing.