Is Wonderland as strange as we make it out to be? I mean putting aside the talking animals and the long fall down a rabbit hole, what is so strange about Wonderland that makes it worthy of all this talk and discussion? I mean, there are plenty of fictional stories that have talking animals and strange happenings. Look at Dr. Seuss, you don’t see people going and analyzing his books and his writing is just as witty and confusing as Lewis Carroll’s…and it rhymes!
When I started this book I really did expect more. Here is this book that is referenced over and over again in present-day media and language, has had two movies made based on it – about to be three, and has been analyzed thoroughly by teachers, students, professionals, and nobodies. And yet, I feel as if it’s not as great as it should be, as if there’s a chapter (or 10) that got lost from my copy of the book in some printing mishap. Am I the only one disappointed by this story? It’s not even that “I’m so disappointed because the ending wasn’t as good as it should’ve been.” kind of disappointed. The ending was fine, exactly that, fine. But I just feel as if there’s more to the story, that there’s something I’m not getting because I don’t see the spectacular nature of the story that everyone else is so obsessed with.
Don’t get me wrong, I still love the story, I watched the movie this morning. I have been meaning to read this story for a while now and I was so excited to read it because I thought there would be hidden meaning after hidden meaning that I never knew existed, then I finished it and was left with this feeling of, “That’s it?” I don’t know if it’s because I thought the hidden meanings would be more hidden, or more meaningful, or if maybe reading the annotated version didn’t allow me to discover these meanings on my own. Maybe if I had read the original copy first and then read the annotated copy I would have been more satisfied. Then, I would have been able to make my own discoveries, formulate my own opinions, without the influence of analysts who got to read the original copy themselves. I think that’s it. So, if you have yet to read the story – read the original copy first. Since that is the way it was intended to be read, it’s only fair to Lewis Carroll that first time readers don’t have the experience ruined by the annotations of analysts.