Alice Transformed: Coursera Essay

Lewis Carroll*

In the beginning, Alice falls down a rabbit-hole, landing in a room containing a tiny key, a tiny door, and a large table. When she is small, the door is locked–she’s not allowed out. But then she grows very large…so large, she can hardly fit into the womb room anymore. Ah! Now she can reach the key! But the way out is so tiny! Luckily, she is taken up by a force outside of her control (a sea of tears) and is thrust into Wonderland.

This initial entrance into Wonderland is a metaphor for Alice’s birth into a new life. In Wonderland, she sees many unusual sights that amaze, frustrate, and/or delight her. The Caterpillar leads her to question her own identity—an elusive concept in the ever-changing world of Wonderland. The Cheshire Cat encourages her to be self-aware: “we’re all mad here. I’m mad. You’re mad.” The Cat is the only creature in Wonderland who recognizes his own madness! After talking to the Cat, Alice is less frustrated by the madness that surrounds her. She allows the Mad Tea-Partiers to entertain instead of frustrate her.

After the tea party, she again finds the room from which she was first thrust into Wonderland. This time, she does not hesitate. She confidently grabs the key, drinks the shrinking potion, and walks through the door–reborn as a new, confident Alice.

Alice is essentially “born” into Wonderland twice. The first birth is full of frustration and self-doubt. But the second birth is followed by self-confidence. She now applies lessons that she learned the first time around. For instance, she stops herself before telling the Mock-Turtle that she eats lobsters and fish. She confidently deals with the intimidation tactics of the Queen of Hearts, whereas she would have been frightened or angry before. Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland is an allegory in transformation. It’s a story about growing up.

Yes, I have done the unthinkable. Just to spite all those angry essay-format-Nazis, I have written *dum dum dum* AN ESSAY WITHOUT A THESIS STATEMENT. I hope you will all forgive me for this unkindness. 😉

*Images were taken from: 

4 thoughts on “Alice Transformed: Coursera Essay

  1. I have loved reading your take on 'Alice books as metaphor for human development' since you started exploring it through your posts.

    May I be cheeky and suggest that your very last sentence is, in fact, your thesis statement? 😉


  2. We're supposed to have an essay thesis? Who knew 🙂 I've been reading the forums, but to be honest so many posts seem more about complaining than anything else that I've sortof given up on them. Plus there are just so many threads!

    I like your essay; your argument sounds so obvious, and yet I hadn't thought of it til you pointed it out. Which, imo, is the sign of a good essay.

    How did your feedback go?


  3. Thanks everyone for stopping by and for the compliments. I agree, Fence, the forum can be swamped with complaints. Eve: Ha! You're right! I DO have a thesis.

    I've been out of town and ignoring my blog but I've got to do some blog surfing soon! 🙂


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