The Island vs. Wonderland

Posted On December 3, 2009

Filed under Samuel M.

Comments Dropped one response

Wonderland is not like the Island. Not by a long shot. Want to know why? Read on…

This is another comparison between two novels we have read this year. My first one can be found here. In this entry, I will attempt to compare and contrast Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland with William Golding’s Lord of the Flies. Just like my previous comparison, it is between a book that makes you question your lifestyle and personality (the Veldt/LotF) versus a childrens book (Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland). I will start of with the basics. Both stories are works of fiction. In both novels, the authors created their own environments. And let’s not forget, both stories have symbolism.

That is what I’m going to talk about. The symbolism in both stories could not be more different. In Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, there are occasional hints of symbolism here and there. The only major symbolic reference, in my opinion, was chapter two ‘The Caucus Race’. Every other symbolic reference after that is questionable. Not to mention the symbolism changes from chapter to chapter. Something that happens in chapter two is never again mentioned or revisited in chapter three. It’s like there is no ‘past’ in Wonderland. Only a present and a future.

In Lord of the Flies, however, the symbolism is straightforward. Once you realize the symbolic references, it becomes easier to understand the story and the meaning behind it. You also don’t have to over-analyze the story to get at what Golding is hinting at. Any symbolic reference from any chapter is revisited in the following chapters. On the island, there is a past, present, and future. On the island, what happened in the past affected the present which in turn affects the future. Nothing happens on the island without a reason behind it.

Perhaps this is the reason why I think analyzing Alice is questionable. There are no references that make me question my lifestlye or myself as a person.


One Response to “The Island vs. Wonderland”

  1. Ben Wilkoff

    While I will not dispute that Lord of the Flies is filled with symbolism, I really wanted to know what you found to be symbolic. What does the Pig on the steak symbolize? What does the Cheshire Cat symbolize? What did the race symbolize? While you can reference that both books have symbolism, I’m not sure that you can really compare the two without talking about the specifics of each society.

    The classic symbol of Alice is “going down the rabbit hole”. Is there anything in your life that is akin to that experience of not knowing where the next turn will take you?

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