Humor in Wonderland

Fairy tales were often distrusted in the nineteenth century and Alice in Wonderland was no exception. Many people have pondered whether their children would be able to distinguish the fictitious would of Wonderland from the reality of the real world (Avery 321). Alice in Wonderland has proven that fiction and reality can be separated and has become a renowned piece of literature not only loved by children but also by adults. The fiction incorporated in Alice in Wonderland also portrays a sense of humor as shown in no other fairy tale. Humor in Wonderland is balanced between the animation of animals, Alice's thoughts, and the fluctuating differences between the worlds of reality and fiction.
The animation of animals becomes humorous from the very beginning of the story when Alice encounters a white rabbit. Alice finds that the rabbit is not ordinary "when the Rabbit actually took a watch out of its waistcoat-pocket, and looked at it, and then hurried on, Alice started to her feet, for it flashed across her mind that she had never before seen a rabbit with either a waistcoat-pocket, or a watch to take out of it, ..."(Carroll 7-8). Even the mouse becomes humorous as he recites "historical facts about the Anglo-Saxons..." "...which are the driest things he knows, to restore Alice and the other creatures after their involuntary swim in the Pool of Tears"(Avery 325). After the Caucus-race in which everyone wins, the Dodo solemnly performs a humorous ceremony for Alice saying "We beg your acceptance of this elegant thimble"(Carroll 23). They presented the thimble to Alice as a prize for the race which nobody won. A caterpillar becomes a humorous creature in Wonderland as he is constantly contradicting Alice while smoking a long hookah.
Alice's childlike thoughts throughout the story make up a large portion of the humor. Much of Alice's humor relates to the fact that she is fond of "taking both sides of an argument when talking to herself"(Empson 350). As Alice's curiosity leads her into following the rabbit she finds herself falling down what seemed to be a well. As she is falling she humorously begins to contemplate how far she has fallen. "I must be getting somewhere near the centre of the earth. How funny it'll seem to come out among the people that walk with their heads downwards! The antipathies, I think--(she was rather glad there was no one listening, this time, as it didn't sound at all the right word)--but I shall have to ask them what the name of the country is, you know"(Carroll 8). It is humorous how Alice can think up such things when in such a state of distress and the thought of not knowing of what awaits her. There is also humor in the fact that after growing nine feet tall, Alice's only worry is how she will put her shoes on. "Oh, my poor little feet, I wonder who will put on your shoes and stockings for you now, dears? I'll give them a new pair of boots every Christmas. They must go by the carrier and how funny it'll seem, sending presents to one's own feet"(Carroll 14)! Alice's thoughts continue to get humorous as she thinks about becoming an adult while already nine feet tall. Alice thinks, "when I grow up...--...but I'm grown up now, at least there's no room to grow up any more here. Shall I never get any older than I am now? That'll be a comfort, one way--never to be an old woman--but then--always to have lessons to learn! Oh, I shouldn't like that!"
In Wonderland, the opposite way seems to be not only humorous but also the right way to do things. A pigeon mistakes Alice for a serpent while she is grown to a full nine feet, yet Alice has a hard time convincing the pigeon that she is not, in fact, a serpent. "But I'm not a serpent, I tell you! I'm a little girl. I have tasted eggs, but little girls eat eggs quite as much as serpents do, you know"(Carroll 43). The pigeon then states that if little girls do eat eggs then, they too, must be a kind of serpent. As Alice tries to join a March Hare, a Dormouse, and a Hatter