Throughout her journey in Wonderland, Alice experiences a barrage of challenges that have no discernable solutions. In fact, Wonderland presents Alice with circumstances that contradict her lived experiences. Moreover, Wonderland does not meet Alice’s expectations. Whereas she is accustomed to polite interactions outside of Wonderland, within it Alice encounters constant rudeness and lack of courtesy. Whereas Alice lives by reason and civility, those in Wonderland thrive on irrationality and disorder. Alice comes to realize that Wonderland would appear sensible to her if she modifies her expectations of it. However, the cognitive dissonance Alice experiences in trying to apply her conception of the world to Wonderland impairs her ability to adapt to it.
Alice initially believes herself intelligent enough to comprehend Wonderland’s madness. However, she falls short through her inability to understand the Queen’s croquet game, the Caucus race, and the Mad Hatter’s riddle. These failures cause Alice to question her ability to comprehend Wonderland. As she continues encountering randomness and meaninglessness, she struggles to make sense of it all. These events demonstrate the fact that, despite humankind’s best efforts to grasp and control the world, it is rife with mystery.