Imagination and Reality Through the Senses
When Alice is in Wonderland, it is the sense of taste that physically changes her. Whenever Alice takes a bite into anything or drinks a potion, it acts as a light switch that alters her size and her perception of her surroundings. Carroll writes, “So Alice ventured to taste it, and, finding it very nice (it had, in fact, a sort of mixed flavour of cherry-tart, custard, pine-apple, roast turkey, toffee, and hot buttered toast.)” (Carroll 14) It is ironic that the potion that has an impossible taste is able to do the impossible, which is to shrink a person. Throughout her adventures, Alice relies on many foods and drinks to deal with the unstable world of Wonderland.
The sense of touch, such as the comforting feeling of a mother can soothe one from life’s confusing reality (especially for a child) into a safer, more enlightening world. Blais writes, “The tears, the mystery of this shoulder which protected him, the warm arms around his head, this whole embrace made him dizzy. Loved and hated at once, he buried himself deeper against her. (Blais 75-76) In Patrice’s mother’s arms is the place where he finds tranquility in the world, where nothing can hurt him, and where he is not afraid. When Patrice is feeling Louise, he connects with the person closest to him and without words or actions assures Patrice that everything is fine. The sense of touch can bring peace in a person’s life. [change]
The ability to hear also helps us question reality as we know it. For instance, when Alice hears the rabbit say, “Oh dear! Oh dear! I shall be too late!,” (Carroll 9) she follows it, confused and at the same time attracted to a rabbit that not only talks but also carries a watch. Only in the imaginary world would one ever live to hear a rabbit speak, and it is the sound of a Hare’s voice that draws Alice into a strange adventure.