Reading the Classics - Classics We Love: Alice in Wonderland & Through the Looking Glass Showing 1-29 of 29
Danny Elfman's Alice in Wonderland (2010) - Main Theme
Themes and motifs
The discomfort she feels at never being the right size acts as a symbol for the changes that occur during puberty. Alice finds these changes to be traumatic, and feels discomfort, frustration, and sadness when she goes through them. She struggles to maintain a comfortable physical size. In Chapter 1, she becomes upset when she keeps finding herself too big or too small to enter the garden. In Chapter 5, she loses control over specific body parts when her neck grows to an absurd length. These constant fluctuations represent the way a child may feel as her body grows and changes during puberty.
The Journey Begins with Curiosity
Alice begins as a cool and rational girl, but all of her sense of order is shaken as she encounters characters and situations which defy her sense of order in the world. In order to make it through Wonderland, Alice must rely on cunning and even manipulation in order to succeed. For example, the Queen of Hearts makes little sense yet her authority holds no matter how ridiculous it is. Adult life is full of these injustices. The belief that the world is safe and stable is lost, and one must adjust to things that are unjust and do not make sense. Throughout the story, Alice encounters situations which make little sense. Even when she is given information meant to help her, this information proves to be just as nonsensical.
Lewis Carroll adored the unprejudiced and innocent way young children approach the world. To understand our adult world, Alice has to overcome the open-mindedness that is characteristic for children. Apparently, adults need rules to live by. This leads to the incomprehensible, and sometimes arbitrary behavior that Alice experiences in Wonderland. When entering Wonderland, Alice encounters a way of living and reasoning that is quite different from her own. A Duchess who is determined to find a moral in everything.
It seems like a simple fairy tale, but it goes much deeper than that. The events in the story correlate with the steps in a child's growth and progression through childhood and adolescence. How puzzling all these changes are! I'm never sure what I'm going to be, from one minute to another. At the beginning of Alice in Wonderland , Alice daydreams and is unable to pay attention while her sister reads an advanced novel to her. While her imagination runs wild, she begins to piece together a perfect world of her own. That's when Alice notices a white rabbit, a manifestation of her imagination that sparks her curiosity.