Alice's Adventures in Wonderland

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Eating and Drinking, Growing and Shrinking Symbol Analysis

Eating and Drinking, Growing and Shrinking Symbol Icon
Alice is on the verge of growing up and, in Wonderland, she experiences many bizarre physical changes. Being in Wonderland is unpredictable and disturbing at times, much like transforming from a child into an adult. In the hall of doors, mysterious potions and cakes give her the ability to grow and shrink, but she always misses out on the size she needs to be. When she is at her smallest, she is swept away by the pool of tears and when she finally manages to grow, thanks to the edible pebbles in the White Rabbit’s house, she grows too much and gets stuck. This endless uncertainty is a visual way that Carroll plots Alice’s spiritual journey as she comes to terms with both the physical and psychological changes that are part of growing up.
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Eating and Drinking, Growing and Shrinking Symbol Timeline in Alice's Adventures in Wonderland

The timeline below shows where the symbol Eating and Drinking, Growing and Shrinking appears in Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 1 - Down the Rabbit-Hole
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...is possible). Something has appeared on the table that was not there before – a bottle of liquid , labeled “DRINK ME”. Alice is a clever child, and will not drink it until... (full context)
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Alice feels very strange, like she is shrinking, and in fact she is. She has become the perfect size for the tiny door.... (full context)
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...cake, hoping she will get bigger, and waits anxiously to see which way she will grow, but she appears not to be growing any way at all, so she finishes the... (full context)
Chapter 2 - The Pool of Tears
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Alice suddenly feels herself starting to grow. She can see her feet disappear beneath her as she gets taller and taller. She... (full context)
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Alice realizes that she is now wearing one of the white rabbit’s gloves. She is shrinking again. It must be the fan she’s carrying, she thinks, and tosses it away and... (full context)
Chapter 4 - The Rabbit Sends in a Little Bill
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...to make something interesting happen so she drinks it down. She hopes it’ll make her larger again. It certainly does, but she soon regrets drinking so much at once, because in... (full context)
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...pebbles in through the windows. To Alice’s surprise, some of the pebbles start turning into cakes. She thinks that eating one would surely make her smaller. She is delighted when she... (full context)
Chapter 5 - Advice from a Caterpillar
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...to fade, and he tells Alice that one side of the mushroom will make her taller and one side will make her smaller. Then he mysteriously crawls away. (full context)
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...feels her head become free of her feet. But it is her neck that is growing rather than the whole of her, and soon she is looming like a giraffe over... (full context)
Chapter 6 - Pig and Pepper
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...which has a roof thatched with fur. She eats a little of the mushroom to grow bigger and nervously approaches the house. (full context)
Chapter 11 - Who Stole the Tarts?
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Alice feels a strange sensation and realizes that she’s growing again. The Dormouse notices the bench becoming tighter and tells her to stop. She retorts... (full context)
Chapter 12 - Alice's Evidence
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Alice forgets that she has been growing all this time, and as she hurriedly leaves her seat, she sends the jurors flying,... (full context)
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...very important so he asks the jurors again to consider their verdict. Alice is now big enough that she is not scared to interrupt the King and proclaims that the evidence is... (full context)
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...nonsense. The Queen orders Alice’s head to be cut off, but Alice, now quite a giant, has no fear and shouts “You’re nothing but a pack of cards!” At this she... (full context)
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...and the Mock-Turtle and the pig-baby will disappear. Lastly, she dreams of how Alice will grow into a woman and tell her stories to eager children just like her and perhaps... (full context)