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The Dreams of Alice Many people have argued that hallucinogenic drugs influenced Lewis Carroll's novel Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. However, upon closer observation, the story more closely resembles the experiences people have while dreaming, rather than while under the influence of drugs. There are numerous examples throughout the novel which support the idea that it is based on dreamlike experiences. The first example of how the story relates to dreams is in the beginning as Alice finds herself falling down the rabbit hole. People do have the experience of being able to fly in a dream.
This is very similar to Alice falling down the rabbit hole. She keeps falling and falling, much like she is flying. Down, down, down. Would the fall never come to an end? I wonder how many miles Ive fallen by this time? She said aloud, (Carroll 20).
Alice falls and falls to a point where she cannot even tell how long she has been falling. In reality, falling for long periods of time, such as skydiving, is as close as one can come to true, unaided flight, just like Alice's fall down the rabbit hole People who use hallucinogenic drugs have reported falling, as though they could fly, but few have ever actually felt that they were flying. Even those users who report they are flying report more of a blurred sense of flying, not the clear experience one has while dreaming, or like the experience Alice has falling down the rabbit hole. Another connection to dreams is the pattern of things appearing and disappearing in the novel. Oftentimes, in dreams, things appear and disappear for no apparent reason, much like the experience Alice has throughout her journey in Wonderland. Alice finds things appearing when she comes across the glass table with the small golden key on it.
There was nothing on it but a tiny golden key... There seemed to be no use in waiting by the little door, so she went back to the table, half hoping she might find another key on it, or at any rate a book of rules for shutting people up like telescopes: this time she found a little bottle on it (which certainly was not here before, said Alice, (Carroll 22, 23). Alice found the table, first with only a key on it, left, came back, and there was a small bottle there, which was certainly not here before, (Carroll 23). Another example of things appearing and disappearing is the Cheshire cat which continually appears and disappears throughout the novel. If one only knew the right way to change them+ when she was a little startled by seeing the Cheshire-Cat sitting on a bough of a tree a few yards off... As she said this, she looked up, and there was the Cat again, sitting on a branch of a tree...
I wish you wouldnt keep appearing and vanishing so suddenly: you make one quite giddy. All right, said the cat; and this time beginning with the end of the tail, and ending with the grin, which had remained some time after the rest of it had gone... She noticed a curious appearance in the air: it puzzled her very at first, but after watching it a minute or two she made it out to be a grin, and she said to herself Its the Cheshire-Cat: now I shall have somebody to talk to, (Carroll 65 - 66, 82). These examples from the text support the idea that the novel is based upon dreamlike experiences. The fact that, throughout the novel and in many different forms, things appear and disappear shows a connection to dreams. In dreams things are always appearing and disappearing, just like the bottle on the table and the Cheshire-Cat.
These appearances and disappearances are unique to dreams and not to drug use. Drug users will often see things that are not actually there, but these are not things with which they can physically interact. However; in dreams, and in Alice, the things that appear and disappear are things that are of actual substance and can be used and interacted with. This argument shows that the novel more closely resembles a dream and not an experience with hallucinogenic drugs.
Upon examining Lewis Carroll's Alice's Adventures in Wonderland one can see how it is influenced by dreams and not by hallucinogenic drugs. People have argued that it is influenced by drugs but upon observing the evidence such as the appearances, disappearances, and the sensation of flying, it is very clear that Lewis Carroll intended for this to be a fun childrens novel based on dreams, not a psychedelic, drug induced story base on experience with hallucinogenic.
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Research essay sample on Alice Adventures In Wonderland Hallucinogenic Drugs