Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking-Glass
Contrasting Regions Quotes Page 1
How we cite our quotes:
. . . she was quite surprised to find that she remained the same size. To be sure, this is what generally happens when one eats cake; but Alice had got so much into the way of expecting nothing but out-of-the-way things to happen, that it seemed quite dull and stupid for life to go on in the common way. (Wonderland 1.23)
At first we think Wonderland is going to be the complete opposite of the "real world," but then we realize that it's more inconsistent than that.
"How queer it seems," Alice said to herself, "to be going messages for a rabbit! I suppose Dinah'll be sending me on messages next!" And she began fancying the sort of thing that would happen: "'Miss Alice! Come here directly, and get ready for your walk!' 'Coming in a minute, nurse! But I've got to watch this mouse-hole till Dinah comes back, and see that the mouse doesn't get out.' Only I don't think," Alice went on, "that they'd let Dinah stop in the house if it began ordering people about like that!" (Wonderland 4.4)
Alice can't even imagine a complete Wonderland-style reversal of roles with her pet. She's able to imagine her cat ordering her around, but she can't extend this fantasy to cats ruling the world. Being in Wonderland is helping her imagination develop, but only to a certain extent.
"It was much pleasanter at home," thought poor Alice, "when one wasn't always growing larger and smaller, and being ordered about by mice and rabbits. I almost wish I hadn't gone down that rabbit-hole – and yet – and yet – it's rather curious, you know, this sort of life! I do wonder what can have happened to me! When I used to read fairy tales, I fancied that kind of thing never happened, and now here I am in the middle of one! There ought to be a book written about me, that there ought! And when I grow up, I'll write one – but I'm grown up now," she added in a sorrowful tone: "at least there's no room to grow up any more here." (Wonderland 4.9)
Alice explicitly compares her experience in Wonderland to a fairy tale. Of course, we know that this is a meta-joke – she feels like the protagonist in a fantasy story because she is the protagonist in a fantasy story.