Posted by: Laurel | November 30, 2010

Miniature Worlds

I’m with Alice. I, too, am frustrated by her inability to remain a consistent height. When she’s talking with the Caterpillar, she says that she can’t seem to explain herself, that “being so many different sizes in a day is confusing.” Agreed. So I wondered why, on page 56, she would opt to take a bite out of the mushroom in her right hand after she had only just returned to a more proper height. Even to enter into a cute little house (trespassing, anyone?) I wondered why she would allow herself to stretch wildly in one direction or another, then remembered Carroll’s “Lilliputian Stationary” from the Mavor reading. From the reading:

Constructing miniature worlds, writes Susan Stewart, is a way of making ‘an other time, a type of transcendent time which negates change and the flux of lived reality.’ Carroll ensured such an other time by cementing a tiny photograph of Alice Liddell inside the end of his telescope; one gaze and the world would stop still, every star would be Alicious.

Okay, the first bit of this, I understand completely. I had an American Girl book that taught readers how to make objects in miniature. Playmobil is very popular. It’s the second part that makes my skin crawl. Anyhow, trying to get to the crux of the matter. If the above quotation is what Carroll thought of life in miniature, I wonder why he would make the change in size such a constant event for Alice. It seems, firstly, that he would prefer to keep her small, not stretching to ten feet tall with her neck bobbing all over the place. And second, didn’t Wonderland have enough wonders to begin with?

Old school Playmobil Victorian Dollhouse, image found at

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