Remember that when we left Alice last time she was in court where there was a trial going on over stolen tarts. By now Alice is growing so large that she upset s the jury box with her skirt as she stands up. The trial finally proceeds after this upset and when asked by the King what she knows she replies, ‘Nothing whatever.’
In response to Alice’s large size, the king declares, “Rule 42 …All persons more than a mile high to leave the court!” Alice retorts that she is not a mile high and that it’s not a regular rule and that the king invented it just now. To this brash comment the king replies, ‘It’s the oldest rule in the book.’ Alice is undaunted in her defense and firmly states, “Than it ought to be #1.” (Sounds like he is making up the rules as he goes? Is that legitimate?)
Having no answer to this remark, the scene shifts and the White Rabbit presents evidence. It’s a letter he’s found that’s not directed to anyone and turns out to be a set of verses. Much ado is made over interpreting the meaning and value of the verses. Alice argues that it doesn’t prove anything. She is growing bolder and bolder as now as she has grown so large. (Interesting how size turns fear into fearless.)
It is finally determined that the verses reveal that the ‘supposed’ stolen tarts are right in the middle of the room on the table. The king then tells the jury (for the 20th time) to consider their verdict but the Queen wants the sentence first, and the verdict last. Alice heatedly argues against this until the queen commands her to hold her tongue. Alice says she won’t and the Queen’s reply (of course) is, ‘Off with your head!’
That does it for Alice who screams, ‘Who cares for you, you’re nothing but a pack of cards!’ At this the cards rise into the air and fly down upon her. She tries to beat them off …..and then…..Alice wakes up and finds herself back on the bank of the river with her sister brushing dead leaves that had fluttered down from the trees from her forehead.
Alice tells her sister all about her curious dream and when she is finished her sister tells her to run off to tea, which Alice does, thinking what a wonderful dream she had as she goes. Her sister stays on the bank of that river, however, and begins to dream herself. She dreams of Alice and, listening, her dream becomes filled with all of the character sounds in Alice’s dream. She sits with closed eyes, half believing in Wonderland but knowing that when she opens her eyes it will only be ‘dull reality’ and the noises will change to familiar barnyard sounds. She pictures how Alice will grow up and, keeping her childlike heart, will gather other little children about her and tell them strange stories, perhaps even of Wonderland, while remembering her happy summer days.
And here the story ends.
Lewis Carroll addresses all his child readers, writing some lovely thoughts. One in particular is a Christmas time thanks and a blessing that includes the wish that all children’s Christmas’s be “…Bright with the presence of that unseen Friend who once on earth blessed little children…”
5 thoughts on “Alice Adventures in Wonderland-Chapter XII”
It certainly seems to have had a happy ending for Alice, maybe, but a lot of questions are left unanswered. Like, why the queen insists upon a “sentence” first and then the verdict? Hmmm. Now, would a judge deliver a verdict based on her own/his own emotions, feelings or life experiences. I don’t know. It seems fashionable in this era of life but then Lewis Carroll lived quite a long time ago. Seems he knew a lot about politics and knew that in every era, nothing much changes among the powers that be or those who strive for power. And the funny thing is….the royal governess was actually holding sway from “a house of cards’.
Reminds me of the Scripture that Jesus spoke about building your foundation on the Rock and not on shifting sands….or a house of cards.
I think I will be like Alice’s sister after hearing the dream, just sit on the bank of the river and have my own dream. Discover Majesty and contemplate the glory of Majesty. One of my very favorite authors A.W. Tozer, writes, “We learn by using what we already know as a bridge over which we pass to the unknown. It is not possible for the mind to crash suddenly past the familiar into the totally unfamiliar. Even the most vigorous and daring mind is unable to create something out of nothing by a spontaneous act of imagination. Those strange beings that populate the world of mythology and superstition are not pure creation of fancy. The imagination created them by taking the ordinary inhabitants of earth and air and sea and extending their familiar form beyond their normal boundaries, or by mixing the forms of two or more so as to produce something new. However beautiful or grotesque these may be, their prototypes can always be identified. They are like something we already know.”
I have enjoyed once again the story of Lewis Carroll. I read the story of Alice and had it read to me many times as a young girl. Read it to my children. Watched the movies and had many discussions on Carroll’s writings. Yet, it always builds another bridge in my unknown. This time it reminded me of my love relationship with Tozer and his ‘totality’ of God and His Majesty.
Thanks Debi for taking us all this journey with Alice in Wonderland. May the first time readers as well as repeated readers continue their journey to build bridges to the creator of heaven and earth.
It is no coincidence that Lewis Carroll was all of these and more: Author, Mathematician, Anglican Clergyman, Photographer, Logician. Was born in England in 1832.
Sara, I enjoyed reading your quote from Tozer and his thoughts about learning and subsequent creativity. It created a remembering bridge for me to one of your teaching series you presented some time ago entitled, ‘Landscaping Designs’. If I recall correctly, you shared a principle of Chinese watercolor painting in one of the teachings that went something like this (of what I understood you to say): that students must practice and practice mastering the techniques of the masters in order to have a foundation for their own creativity to be expressed.
You even gave me a Chinese Brush Painting book which emphasized the same thing and gave examples of good technique to practice copying until your own technique was developed. I have tried to use this principle in the landscape designs I do for clients and in the landscape classes I teach…study and learn from those who do it well.
I found this comment online that I thought relates concerning:”The Ming dynasty (1368-1644) favoured a return to tradition as artists copied the masterpieces of early times. In fact, painting manuals were written which contained prototypes of a certain leaf, rock or flower which the artist could then copy and combine to create a new work. Unlike the West which always emphasized individuality and creativity, both in painting and literature, the Chinese greatly appreciated the need to master tradition before undertaking the new.”
Tozer’s qoute, ” it is not possible for the mind to crash suddenly past the familiar into the totally unfamiliar” might hold a clue to the lack of respect and deference to the “old landmarks” as the Scriptures put it. Crashing headlong into the unknown, despite the warning signs, despite lack of information or better yet ,” ignoring or ignorance of” information and direction sometimes results in a disastrous life, rather than a creative one. Ignoring or omitting the “bridge experiences” is deleterious and can result in a shallow, paltry, unenriched life style. As Debi indicated above, the tradition of the masters is not to be ignored but appreciated and studied to be able to understand and be creative in the new.
For example, the great composers, like Bach, Mozart and Beethoven, though they were gifted geniuses studied the works of those who had created great compositions before them. They studied styles and techniques and modes of music and arrangements. And then, with their great gift of God of Music, went forth and created greater works…out of the box….immortal music that lives down through the generations.
Solomon said in Ecclesiastes….(paraphrased) ‘There’s nothing new under the sun; what once was will come again.’ If we learn from those who have gone before us, when it “comes around again” we can be on the cutting edge ofa new creative way of doing ‘an old thing”!!
When God created the heavens and the earth and all thereof He surely knew we would need the images of nature and life to enjoy our giftings.