Alice in Wonderland
Lewis Carroll
Contributed by Sharon Fleming
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Chapter Summaries
The Rabbit-Hole and the Beginning of Alice’s Adventure
Alice is with her sister but quickly becomes bored and distracted. Soon after, she notices an eccentric rabbit in a suit walking on two legs and decides to follow it down the famous rabbit-hole, beginning her journey.
Confronting Fantasy and Sadness
Alice falls down the rabbit-hole, but loses track of the rabbit. While exploring and the area, she stumbles upon a cake that changes her size as well as a number of other animals like the Mouse.
The Caucus Race
Alice participates in a race with a group of fantasy creatures. Themes of absurdity still surround the event and its goals.
The White Rabbit
The white rabbit seeks out Alice looking for his gloves and fan.
Caterpillar Hookah
Alice meets a shady caterpillar on a mushroom puffing on some dank kush. Alice interacts with the caterpillar and a pigeon subsequently, and experiments with the mushroom, which also changes her size.
The Duchess
Alice visits the Duchess house and is treated to a strange sequence of the Duchess giving her a screaming baby that turns into a pig, again cementing the absurdity of the landscape.
Insanity Explained
While lost, Alice meets the Cheshire Cat, which is able to phase in an out of physical reality as it pleases, and which seems to have insight into the nature of the insanity of Wonderland. It is one of the first times we get a glimpse into what Wonderland represents. The Cheshire Cat points the disoriented Alice in the direction of the Mad Hatter’s house.
Tea Party
Alice connects with the Hatter, the March Hare, and the Dormouse and participates in their tea party in the woods.
Alice meets the ostensible dictator of Wonderland, the Queen of Hearts, and plays a game of croquet with her. The Queen of Hearts is characterized as embodying a tempestuous, unbridled fury.
After the game
The Gryphon and the Mock Turtle teach Alice to dance the Lobster Quadrille.
The Knave of Hearts is put on trial for the crime of stealing the Queen’s tarts, and Alice becomes involved in the arbitration process as a witness.
Conclusion and Return to Reality
The trial turns ugly and the card jury and the Queen become suddenly hostile towards Alice. Alice rejects their fantastical basis as they surround and rush her, before she promptly wakes up to her sister cleaning leaves off her face.
Chapter Summaries Table
Chapter Summary
Chapter 1
Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland begins with an idyllic scene: Alice and her sister sit by a riverbank, reading a book together. However, since the ...
Chapter 2
Suddenly, the “EAT ME” cake makes Alice grow so tall she can barely see the doorway to the garden, let alone pass through it. Frustrated, Alice st...
Chapter 3
Upon arriving at the shore, Alice and the animals get out of the water with the goal of drying off. Alice engages in a heated argument with the Lory b...
Chapter 4
While searching for his missing gloves and fan, the White Rabbit approaches Alice and asks for her help. Confusing Alice for his housemaid, the White ...
Chapter 5
Alice finds an indifferent Caterpillar sitting atop a large mushroom and smoking a hookah pipe. After a moment of awkward staring, the Caterpillar bre...
Chapter 6
From a distance, Alice sees a fish wearing a footman’s livery approach the four-foot-tall house. A similarly dressed Frog-Footman opens the door and...
Chapter 7
Alice comes face to face with the March Hare and Mad Hatter. A table has been set under a tree, and both the March Hare and Mad Hatter are in festive ...
Chapter 8
Alice finally enters the beautiful garden, where she encounters three gardeners bickering over who among them has the duty of painting the white roses...
Chapter 9
After the Cheshire Cat vanishes, the Duchess becomes unusually close to Alice. They walk side by side with their hands close together. Alice thinks th...
Chapter 10
The Mock Turtle continues whining and sobbing as he talks with Alice. Amid his misery, he asks Alice if she has ever met a lobster. Remembering she on...
Chapter 11
Alice arrives to a full courtroom. The King and Queen of Hearts have already taken their seats, and a variety of animals have come to witness the tria...
Chapter 12
After the White Rabbit calls Alice forward, she rushes to the witness stand, forgetting she has grown. As a result, she knocks over the jurors and fra...
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