Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass

I don’t remember reading it as a wee one, but lately I’ve had an itch to experience this iconic work. I didn’t do a deep read with annotations and allusions explained, so I have no profound insights about the puzzles or layered meanings, but as a romp through fantasy-land, it was quite enjoyable. The nonsense piles on so thick sometimes that you, as reader, feel dizzy and laugh much like Alice. The puns fly fast and furious, the weak jokes (much appreciated by myself). You run into familiar faces that are deeply etched into the cultural tablecloth, the “off with their head” queen, the timid rabbit, the Cheshire Cat, the Mad Hatter and March Hare. The volume I read included Through the Looking Glass, so we also get the great Jabberwocky poem, the TweedleDee/Dums, and Humpty Dumpty (who graciously explains the words in the first Jabberwocky verse, like brillig meaning about 4 o’clock in the afternoon when you start to broil things). Alice is constantly told by the fantasy characters how stupid she is, and she gracefully deflects the conversation to other topics without becoming angry (and is told specifically not to lose her temper by the purple hookah-smoking caterpillar). She asks many questions and attempts to ingratiate herself by complimenting some of the characters. In the end she always returns to the real world by arising from a nap.