What Is The Alice in Wonderland Story About?

The Alice in Wonderland Story

Lewis Carroll’s Alice In Wonderland is still read with enjoyment by children and adults alike, and still fires the imagination of creative people. Weary of her storybook, one “without pictures or conversations,” the young imaginative Alice follows a hasty hare underground to come face to face with some of the strangest adventures and most fantastic characters in all of literature. The Ugly Duchess, the Mad Hatter, the diabolical Queen of Hearts, the Cheshire Cat each more eccentric than the last. This masterpiece could only have come from that master of sublime nonsense, Lewis Carroll. In penning this brilliant burlesque of children’s literature, this farcical satire of rigid Victorian Society, this arresting parody of the fears, anxieties, and complexities of growing up, Carroll was one of the few adult writers to enter successfully the children’s world of make-believe, where the impossible becomes possible, the unreal, real and where the heights of adventure are limited only by the depths of imagination.


Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland often referred to as Alice in Wonderland is a novel written by Charles Lutwidge Dodgson under the alias Lewis Carroll. Alice in Wonderland tells the story of a young girl named Alice and her adventures after she falls down a rabbit hole into a fantastical universe inhabited by strange, talking animals. Alice in Wonderland plays with our sense of reason and resonates with not only children but also adults. Alice in Wonderland is regarded as one of the best models of the genre of literary nonsense. Alice and Wonderland’s narrative structure, as well as its characters and visual depictions, have been incredibly impactful in fantasy literature and in pop culture.


Alice in Wonderland Chapter 1 – Down the Rabbit Hole

Sitting with her sister by the riverbank, Alice sees a walking, talking, well-dressed White Rabbit with a pocket watch dart by. She follows the rabbit down a rabbit hole, falling a long distance into a strange room with numerous locked doors of various sizes. After finding a key to a door far too small for her to walk through, she sees a bottle sitting on a table with the label, “Drink Me.” After she proceeds to drink the bottle, she shrinks small enough to fit through the door. However, Alice cannot reach the key to the door, which she left on the table. She then finds a cake labeled “Eat Me,” which causes her to grow so large that she hits her head on the ceiling.

Alice in Wonderland Chapter 2 – The Pool of Tears

Upset, Alice begins to cry and her tears fill the hallway. After picking up a fan, she shrinks again and begins to swim through her own tears. While swimming, she meets a Mouse, and tries to speak to him in basic French, assuming that he is a French Mouse. Asking the mouse “Où est ma chatte?” (“Where is my cat?”), Alice inadvertently offends the mouse.

Alice in Wonderland Chapter 3 – The Caucus Race and a Long Tale

Alice’s sea of tears quickly becomes filled with more creatures that have been swept up by the flood. Alice and the animals assemble together on a bank and the question arises over how to dry themselves. The Mouse delivers an incredibly dry lecture about William the Conqueror. A Dodo suggests that a Caucus Race would be the best choice to dry everyone off, which involves everyone running around in a circle with no winner. Alice ultimately scares all of the animals away, unintentionally, by talking about her rather terrifying cat.

Alice in Wonderland Chapter 4 – The Rabbit Sends a Little Bill

The White Rabbit reappears once again, looking for the Duchess’s fan and gloves. Confusing Alice with his maidservant – Mary Ann – the White Rabbit commands Alice to recover the items from the house. Once inside the house, Alice starts to grow again. Mortified, the White Rabbit makes Bill the Lizard, his gardener, climb down the chimney. Alice can hear the animals that have convened to gape at her huge arm. The animals begin to throw pebbles at her, which transform into little cakes. Eating the cakes, Alice shrinks again.

Alice in Wonderland Chapter 5 – Advice from a Caterpillar

Alice comes across a blue Caterpillar sitting on a mushroom and smoking a hookah. Questioned by the Caterpillar, Alice admits she is experiencing a crisis of identity, exacerbated by her struggle to recall a poem. Before he crawls away, the Caterpillar informs Alice that whereas one side of the mushroom will cause her to grow taller, the other will make her shorter. She takes two pieces, one from either side of the mushroom. The first makes her smaller than ever before, while the other makes her neck grow as high as the trees, where a pigeon confuses her with a snake. Eventually, Alice is able to shrink back to her normal height. Next, she comes across a small manor and takes the mushroom to reach a more suitable size.

Alice in Wonderland Chapter 6 – Pig and Pepper

A Fish-Footman delivers an invitation for the Duchess of the house to a Frog-Footman. Alice sees this interaction and, following a mystifying conversation with the Frog-Footman, enters the house. The cook is smashing dishes and cooking a soup with too much pepper, causing the Duchess, her baby, and Alice to all sneeze wildly. The Duchess hands her baby to Alice, and the baby transforms into a pig. Next, the Cheshire Cat shows up in a tree, and directs Alice to the March Hare’s house. The Cheshire Cat vanishes but his grin stays behind, floating in the air. This leads Alice to note that while she has seen a cat without a grin, she has never seen a grin without a cat.

Alice in Wonderland Chapter 7 – A Mad Tea-Party

Alice is a guest at a tea party alongside the March Hare, the Hatter, and an exhausted Dormouse who keeps nodding off only to be forcefully woken again by the other guests. The guests share stories with Alice and tell a number of riddles, such as “Why is a raven like a writing desk?” The Hatter tells Alice that they can have tea all day long because Time has frozen still at 6 pm as a punishment. Alice is offended by the constant riddles and decides to leave, declaring that was the most absurd tea party she has ever attended.

Alice in Wonderland Chapter 8 – The Queen’s Croquet Ground

After Alice leaves the mad tea party she comes across a garden where she finds several living playing cards painting over the white roses on a rose tree with red paint, as the Queen of Hearts despises white roses. Soon, more playing cards, royal kings and queens, as well as the White Rabbit proceed into the garden. Alice is introduced to the King and Queen. The Queen of Hearts utters her favorite saying “Off with his head!” which she tends to do frequently, showing her displeasure at any minor transgression from a royal subject. Alice is required to join a game of croquet with the Queen and her people. Soon, the game of croquet takes a turn for the worse. Instead of mallets, flamingoes are used and hedgehogs replace the croquet balls. The Cheshire Cat appears again, and the Queen orders his beheading. As the Cat is a creature of the Duchess, the Queen decides to free the Duchess from prison in an attempt to solve the issue.

Alice In Wonderland Chapter 9 – The Mock Turtle’s Story

The Duchess is taken from prison to the croquet game as a result of Alice’s suggestion. The Duchess reflects about discovering morals in all that surrounds her. She is removed at the order of the Queen, who then introduces Alice to the Gryphon.  The Mock Turtle attempts to relay his story of how he was once a real turtle in school, but his tale is interrupted so that they may play a game.

Alice in Wonderland Chapter 10 – Lobster Quadrille

The Gryphon and the Mock Turtle dance to the Lobster Quadrille, as Alice attempts to perform “Tis the Voice of the Lobster.” Then, the Mock Turtle sings the song “Beautiful Soup,” as Alice is taken away by the Gryphon for an upcoming trial.

Alice in Wonderland Chapter 11 – Who Stole the Tarts?

Alice goes to a trial where the Knave of Hearts is suspected of stealing tarts belonging to the Queen. The jury is made up of a variety of creatures, such as Bill the Lizard, while the White Rabbit serves as the trumpeter. The King of Hearts is the presiding judge. During the trial, Alice realizes that she is starting to grow bigger. Alice is reprimanded by the Dormouse for growing so fast and using up all of the air. Alice ridicules the Dormouse for his criticism because she cannot control how quickly she grows. In the meantime, the witnesses begin to testify at the trial, including the Duchess’s cook and the Hatter, who aggravates the King with his ambiguous responses to questioning.

Alice in Wonderland Chapter 12 – Alice’s Evidence

When Alice is called up to testify, she clumsily bumps into the jury box and all of the animals fall out. The King commands that all of the animals be placed once again in the box before the trial can resume. Alice is ordered to leave the trial by the King and Queen because of the law that all persons over a mile high are not allowed in court. Alice defies their order and insists on remaining in court. She proceeds to challenge the King and Queen about the absurdity of the trial, and the Queen orders, “Off with her head!”. Alice is then woken by her sister for tea, as she brushes off fallen leaves (rather than playing cards) from her face. 

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