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Alice's Adventures in Wonderland (Essay Sample)


As we progress through Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass and What Alice Saw There, we continue to witness Alice’s encounters with numerous fantastical situations filled with a host of odd characters and unbelievable events: a scurrying white rabbit with a pocket-watch, a worried deck of cards painting roses a different color, a disappearing curious cat, and hookah-smoking philosophical caterpillar, just to name a few. However, though these encounters may seem bizarre, they also give the reader an opportunity to wonder at their meaning and offer an interpretation as to their significance. Does the White Rabbit symbolize something more than furry mammal that appears to be running late? Why is he so concerned with time? Why does he appear so nervous? Why is he wearing a waistcoat? Does the Cheshire Cat stand for something more than an eccentric feline? Why does that cat keep smiling? Why does he keep disappearing and reappearing? Why does he do so one body part at a time? By thoroughly questioning and analyzing details of each of the scenes in Carroll\\\'s text, the reader is able to interpret their significance and offer an argument for the existence of an extended metaphor. (An extended metaphor is a metaphor that drawn-out and expanded over the course of several sentences or paragraphs and incorporates other points is comparison.) For this essay, interpret a scene or character from the text and write a 4-6 page essay that discusses and explains how scene or character can be an extended metaphor for something in the world outside the text. (If you choose to focus on Alice as a point of comparison, do so in the context of a specific scene.) As an extended metaphor is extended, be sure to include detailed supporting examples from both Carroll’s text and the concept/idea that you are comparing it to. As you brainstorm and draft, consider 1. What is the central metaphor you want to focus on? In other words, what scene/character are you comparing to what element of the world/society? 2. If you are focusing on a scene: What happens in the scene? What is the progression of events? Who is involved? How do characters interact? Is there any miscommunication or conflict that arises? Between whom? How? Why? a. How might these details be compared to the world/society 3. If you are focusing on a character: what does the character look like? What is the character wearing? Or not wearing? What role does the character play? What attitude does the character have? What concerns does the character express? How does the character interact with others? Does the character have (or exercise) any authority? What kind of language(s) does the character use? a. How these details might be compared to the world/society 4. What other specific details are included within the scene/for the character? a. Where is the scene set? Or what scene(s) does/ do the character appear in? b. How might these details be compared to the world/society? 5. What purpose might be established by creating the extended metaphor that you create? a. What are the implications or effects of viewing the scene/ character from the metaphorical viewpoint that you establish? Grading: Your essay will be graded based on the following questions: • Focus: Does the essay present a clear purpose and unique thesis? Does the essay remain focused on that purpose and contextualize it? • Organization: Does the overall organization make sense in terms of the larger goals of the paper? Is the essay easy to follow and understand? • Development: Does the writer thoroughly and thoughtfully explained the extended metaphor and its implications? Are examples easy to follow, and connections explained thoroughly? • Word Choice and Sentence Fluency: Is the vocabulary precise and engaging? Does the writer demonstrate an awareness of audience and strive to have an original voice? • Conventions: Is the writing relatively free of errors in grammar, spelling, punctuation, and formatting?

Alice's Adventures in Wonderland
The story captures the thoughts, fantasies and imaginations of Alice the little girl who is the protagonist in the story. The adventures begin in a river bank as Alice and her sister are reading a book, but Alice is drowsy and falls asleep, and when she finally wakes up she tells her sister about the dream. To take a satirical look into the story, Carroll uses both metaphors and extended metaphors. The rabbit hole appears in the first chapter of the story as representing one of the most alluring extended metaphors in the story. Falling below the rabbit hole, while in pursuit of the rabbit and subsequent events show parallels with the world of the unknown.
The rabbit hole is the central metaphor, where the event surrounding the rabbit hole is precipitated by Alice’s curiosity following the sighting of a white rabbit. At this point, Alice and the rabbit take center stage in this scene. At first Alice is not surprised at the sight of the rabbit, but unexpectedly, the rabbit seems to say that it would be late. As such, the rabbit hurries away into the rabbit whole Alice follows the rabbit. Strangely, the rabbit also takes out a watch from the pocket (Carroll 4). As Alice decides to follow the rabbit she finds herself in a large opening beneath the rabbit hole leading into a new and strange ‘world’.
Alice is a curious child, and it is the white rabbit that leads her to take an adventurous tour below the rabbit hole. Thus, the white rabbit is closely tied to the extended metaphor of the rabbit hole, where as a child curiosity gets the better of her. However, upon following the rabbit, Alice realizes that things are not as simple as she initially assumed, and this gives a glimpse of how things might turn out when trying to pursue something. The white rabbit has a waist coat and it is also the rabbit that awoke Alice from slumber. It is the rabbit and rabbit hole that cause Alice to explore the Wonderland, and it dawns on her that her quest for knowledge is not a straight forward thing, and it is as if she is suddenly put in an adult’s situation as she has to maneuver her way around the rabbit hole with little help from outside.
In going down the rabbit hole, the author explores entry into the unknown world, where Alice goes in the hole that is dark and she can barely see below her as she fell. Nonetheless, Alice could see on the side walls where there was a cupboard, books and pictures (Carroll 5). On one hand, Alice is surprised at the thought of the things below the rabbit hole. On the other, the hole is still dark, and the author likens the hole to something mysterious that needs to be explored. It is inconceivable how there appear books below the hole and yet it i...
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