Alice's Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll Summary | Shmoop Pro™Lewis Carroll Alice in Wonderland. Search this site. Navigation Home. Lewis Carroll: A History. Background of Alice in Wonderland.
Alice's Adventures in Wonderland
With its fantastical tales and riddles , it became one of the most popular works of English-language fiction. It was notably illustrated by British artist John Tenniel. The story centres on Alice, a young girl who falls asleep in a meadow and dreams that she follows the White Rabbit down a rabbit hole. She has many wondrous, often bizarre adventures with thoroughly illogical and very strange creatures, often changing size unexpectedly she grows as tall as a house and shrinks to 3 inches [7 cm]. She encounters the hookah-smoking Caterpillar, the Duchess with a baby that becomes a pig , and the Cheshire Cat , and she attends a strange endless tea party with the Mad Hatter and the March Hare. She plays a game of croquet with an unmanageable flamingo for a croquet mallet and uncooperative hedgehogs for croquet balls while the Queen calls for the execution of almost everyone present.
The story begins as Alice is sitting by a river bank on a summer day. The White Rabbit pulls a watch out of his pocket and says that he is late. With that, he jumps into the rabbit hole. Alice decides to follow the rabbit down the hole until she comes to a hallway that has doors along either side. Alice finds a key and unlocks one of the doors.
Alice in Wonderland
Alice is sitting with her sister outdoors when she spies a White Rabbit with a pocket watch. Fascinated by the sight, she follows the rabbit down the hole. She falls for a long time, and finds herself in a long hallway full of doors. There is also a key on the table, which unlocks a tiny door; through this door, she spies a beautiful garden. She longs to get there, but the door is too small. Soon, she finds a drink with a note that asks her to drink it.
The tale plays with logic , giving the story lasting popularity with adults as well as with children. Alice was published in , three years after Charles Lutwidge Dodgson and the Reverend Robinson Duckworth rowed in a boat, on 4 July  this popular date of the "golden afternoon"  might be a confusion or even another Alice-tale, for that particular day was cool, cloudy and rainy  , up the Isis with the three young daughters of Henry Liddell the Vice-Chancellor of Oxford University and Dean of Christ Church : Lorina Charlotte Liddell aged 13, born "Prima" in the book's prefatory verse ; Alice Pleasance Liddell aged 10, born "Secunda" in the prefatory verse ; Edith Mary Liddell aged 8, born "Tertia" in the prefatory verse. The journey began at Folly Bridge near Oxford and ended five miles away in the village of Godstow. During the trip Charles Dodgson told the girls a story that featured a bored little girl named Alice who goes looking for an adventure. The girls loved it, and Alice Liddell asked Dodgson to write it down for her. He began writing the manuscript of the story the next day, although that earliest version no longer exists.
The White Rabbit pulls out a pocket watch, exclaims that he is late, and pops down a rabbit hole. Alice follows the White Rabbit down the hole and comes upon a great hallway lined with doors. She finds a small door that she opens using a key she discovers on a nearby table. Through the door, she sees a beautiful garden, and Alice begins to cry when she realizes she cannot fit through the door. She shrinks down to the right size to enter the door but cannot enter since she has left the key on the tabletop above her head. Still unable to enter the garden, Alice begins to cry again, and her giant tears form a pool at her feet. As she cries, Alice shrinks and falls into the pool of tears.