Alice In Wonderland Caterpillar Analysis

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The Caterpillar as a Teacher
A Lewis Carroll’s book Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland has fascinated me since I was a little child. Now, as an (almost) grown-up, I keep discovering additional layers and ever fresh important messages, new insights, and wisdom hidden in it. My intent in this work is to shed some new light–also relying upon the foremost commentaries on the subject–on the significance of Alice’s encounter with the Caterpillar.
Alice encounters the Caterpillar when she has already had certain experiences with Wonderland and its strange inhabitants. At that moment, she is only three inches (seven centimeters) tall, walking between some “large” mushrooms. “There, on top of the mushroom, was a large green caterpillar.” (Carroll 13).
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At almost every step, especially in the beginning of her adventures, Alice discovers different foodstuff with magical characteristics. Thus we can easily come to a conclusion that food in the Alice in Wonderland, along with its obvious connection with physical growth, represents a “path to adulthood” (Novelguide). However, when Alice tastes something with a note ‘Drink me’ for the first time, she changes her size, but her psychological growth has not yet followed, since she does not remember to first take the key from the table and thus she remains unable to unlock the door she wanted to go through. Later on, when Alice is too big to exit the White Rabbit’s house, she laments her change in size that is not accompanied by a parallel development of her psyche, “’Perhaps somebody will write a book about this place–and about me! Perhaps I will–when I am bigger.’ Then she remembered, ‘But I’m bigger now!’” (Carroll 11). She is starting to understand that growing needs to occur on at least two levels, physical and psychological. Thus growing in size represents only one part of becoming an adult. At the end of the conversation with the Caterpillar, Alice gets a definite advice on how to control her size–by consuming small bites of either white or brown mushroom. And now she feels

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