Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking-Glass
by Lewis Carroll
Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking-Glass Exploration Quotes
How we cite our quotes: Citations follow this format: (Book.Chapter.Paragraph)
"The first thing I've got to do," said Alice to herself, as she wandered about in the wood, "is to grow my right size again; and the second thing is to find my way into that lovely garden. I think that will be the best plan."
It sounded an excellent plan, no doubt, and very neatly and simply arranged: the only difficulty was, that she had not the smallest idea how to set about it. . . . (Wonderland 4.35-36)
Alice tries to set about her adventure in a businesslike, organized way, but it's simply not that kind of place. She's going to have to explore haphazardly, taking things as they come instead of trying to follow a prescribed path. There's a reason that it's impossible to make a map of Wonderland.
"Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?"
"That depends a good deal on where you want to get to," said the Cat.
"I don't much care where – " said Alice.
"Then it doesn't matter which way you go," said the Cat.
" – so long as I get somewhere," Alice added as an explanation.
"Oh, you're sure to do that," said the Cat, "if you only walk long enough." (Wonderland 6.45-50)
Alice has trouble accepting that everywhere could be somewhere. She thinks that she's open to exploring anything she comes across, but really she has expectations about what kind of place "somewhere" really is.
"Oh, Kitty, how nice it would be if we could only get through into Looking-glass House! I'm sure it's got, oh! such beautiful things in it! Let's pretend there's a way of getting through into it, somehow, Kitty. Let's pretend the glass has got all soft like gauze, so that we can get through. Why it's turning into a sort of mist now, I declare! It'll be easy enough to get through – " (Looking-Glass 1.12)
Alice moves rapidly from curiosity, to the desire to explore, to the ability to explore. Her imagination makes possible the exploration that she craves, even when it isn't logically possible.