The Truth About Alice in Wonderland

The beloved movie based on a book that I hope everyone has seen or read or both is no other than Alice in Wonderland. Glistening with imagination and white rabbits and singing flowers, many kids like myself fell in love at a young age with Alice’s story.

But what is the truth behind this wonderful story and the characters we love and relate to so much? Lucky for you I’m about to dive into it spilling all of the tea for our unbirthday party. Grab a seat and get ready to be mind blown about all of our favorite childhood Disney movie.

Alice in Wonderland is based on a real girl named Alice Pleasance Lidell (1852-1934) who strikingly looks nothing like the Alice character at the time; her hair was worn in a brown bob with bangs, although her personality is quite similar stubborn and curious. Alice also loved to travel the real one and carried a journal enjoying photographing and documenting her journeys. I love this because in “Through The Looking Glass Story,” Alice sails all over, and there is some truth in that as the real Alice traveled across the world when many people did not.

As I’ve grown up over the years I have heard  many false conspiracies about the story and the writer. Many people say Lewis Carroll was on drugs in the process of writing Alice’s story and that is where all of the wonder strikes from. But he was not, I am going to insert a quote below of a post from HuffPost News on the matter.

HuffPost News reported: “Carroll’s diaries make no mention of drugs. We know he occasionally enjoyed a glass of sherry and may have taken the opiate-infused drug Laudanum (readily available to everyone in the 1860s). Other than that, there’s nothing connecting Alice and drugs.”

Alice’s story has gone so far as to get banned. The governor of Hunan Province banned “Alice in Wonderland” in China in 1931 due to the fact that the animals were talking and “Animals should not use human language.” They considered it to be an insult to attribute humans and animals to having the same complexities.

Many people did not allow their own children to watch Alice In Wonderland and challenged if it was even meant for young children because of one of the most controversial scenes when Alice meets the sassy caterpillar Absolem. Absolem is a main character throughout the stories and movies, and in “Through The Looking Glass,” years and years later, Alice sees Absolem at the worst time or maybe so the best time, making an escape from a crowded party and crawling back into Wonderland. As much of a fan I am of Absolem, many parents are not, as he is notoriously sarcastic and casually smokes out of a hookah. The cute, sassy blue caterpillar has caused quite a rally outside of Wonderland with his bad habits. Many religious groups and academic establishments banned the book due to just this in 1960.

It’s no secret that Alice in Wonderland characters have some mental illnesses going on, so let’s talk about them and the characters and what they represent. Also, on a side note, I love how Carroll brought light on mental illness because back then, when the story came out, it was not talked about or brought to light as much as it is today. Alice herself has Hallucinations and a personality disorder. The White Rabbit suffers from a generalized anxiety disorder, and the Cheshire Cat is schizophrenic.

There are many ways that these illnesses are represented in the text and the movies. For starters, we see the white rabbit constantly worrying about being late and always running around, “Im late, Im late” This represents his anxiety. Then we see the Cheshire Cat morphing reality around him and disappearing, linking to schizophrenic.

We can’t forget the Red Queen suffering from a narcissitic personality disorder wanting everything around her, her way. “Paint the white roses red”, “off with her head”.

The central theme or the most obvious of Alice in Alice in Wonderland is trying to adapt to adulthood and not wanting to grow up. Wonderland is her day dream and she avoids at all costs waking up being forced to face reality. Lewis Carroll adored the way young children approached the world and wanted to describe it; well, he did well enough to describe Wonderland. Outside of Wonderland, we have all of these rules, social que’s, egos, and bad habits we have created for ourselves in our world. In his book, Carroll rips life apart in a small but huge way, describing things no one else was talking about in the 60s. In the movies and the book, it is harder to pick out the main themes and the little nick-lacks of what everything represents. Obviously, I am just skimming it for you guys, but I’m sure there could be a part two diving deeper into Alice’s story.


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