Size Does Matter

Why do we seem to always be too small or too big to do something? Even now, there are some things I sometimes wish I could attend, but am simply too old to. This particular feeling becomes more prominent the older one gets. I have met many an adult that wishes the he was still in high school or, even more so, college. These are called the best years of our lives, yet I find myself wanting to grow older. I want to grow older because I there are some things I cannot experience yet. A lot of privileges I am longing for have these irritating age stickers on them. “16”, “18” and “21” are some of the most annoying. So I want to grow to experience these things, yet I think I will want to return to this age once I have.

For Alice however, this is much more a physical aspect. When she is large, the animals want to burn her. When she is small, she cannot train the dog like she would like to. When she is too small she cannot reach the key, when she is too large she cannot crawl through the door. It is almost as if this story was written for someone older than the little girl it was for. It seems that this book is much more of a coming of age experience than we think. If we think of Carroll’s writing as preparing her for what is to come, a lot of his imagery falls into place.

The references to puberty, the problems with sizes and growing up fit perfectly into this image. Even the caucus race can be seen as a playful introduction to politics, something little Alice would have had to deal with very soon. So Alice must grow as fast as possible to not fall behind when compared to her peers. Yet Carroll seems to be morally torn in between destroying what he loves, the child, and not destroying it and making her an outcast. So his only option for voicing this torment is writing a story for her.

Poor Alice. Poor us. We, like her, are expected to grow as fast as possible. But somewhere along the way we will loose our innocence and our childhood. So it is up to us and those who try to help us with this to retain some youth within us. For us it is too late. The fact that I am writing a blog post, voluntarily, which is over 500 words long and am doing it on a nice Wednesday night is proof enough that I am too far gone already, along with at least a large portion of my classmates. But we can try to prevent others from falling into the same trap, and maybe reagin some of our inner child.

2 Responses to “Size Does Matter”

  1. Oh golly, I was rather worried about this when I read the title. x_x Me and my mind. Anyways, I kinda like the point you made there. Also, I do agree that “16” is one of the most annoying “age stamps” there is, though the other two hardly effect me, I’m sure that to someone they’re a burden. Who is to say that age is what brings wisdom anyways? It’s experience. I’ve met 13 year olds mature enough to drive, and 17 year olds hardly mature enough to ride a bicycle.

    But anyways, I do agree that Alice doesn’t seem to fit in Wonderland. She is extremely childish, and it’s rather prominent throughout the story. It does seem as though it would be better suited for someone a little older.

  2. This reminds me of a comment Mr. Long once made. It was along the lines of “The world today calls for the children to grow up and act in a sophisticated and adult-like manor very quickly, but children are still children. And when they behave in the confines of their true physical age, they are scorned.” I believe this has a lot of why we wish to be young/old at times. Our youth isn’t lost by our own will. It becomes lost when we are expected or needed to begin acting older so we can eventually function as an adult. All of this, of course, is exactly what you are saying.

    This story (so far) is entirely composed of subtle nudges and lessons towards Alice, attempting to ease her into the awkward stage between child and lady. She will be shoved through that transition by nature whether she likes it or not, and whether Carroll likes it or not either. She will be stepping into larger shoes weighted wish responsibility and will wish that she had that cake to make her small again. Poor Alice indeed.

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