“Alice in Wonderland” was one of the stories that were recommended to children, but even so, I didn’t quite understand what the book was all about. I read it when I was younger, and I didn’t comprehend what Lewis Carroll was trying to tell me. Why should I care about a young girl falling down a rabbit hole (while stupidly following a white rabbit with a pocket watch) and having all sorts of weird adventures when there was Harry Potter lurking at the corner?
Then I grew up, and then I started to understand, at least little by little.
Chapter 6 features Alice in conversation with one of the most-loved characters in the book, the Cheshire Cat.
The Cat only grinned when it saw Alice. It looked goodnatured, she thought: still it had VERY long claws and a great many teeth, so she felt that it ought to be treated with respect.
`Cheshire Puss,’ she began, rather timidly, as she did not at all know whether it would like the name: however, it only grinned a little wider. `Come, it’s pleased so far,’ thought Alice, and she went on. `Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?’
`That depends a good deal on where you want to get to,’ said the Cat.
`I don’t much care where–‘ said Alice.
`Then it doesn’t matter which way you go,’ said the Cat.
`–so long as I get SOMEWHERE,’ Alice added as an explanation.
`Oh, you’re sure to do that,’ said the Cat, `if you only walk long enough.’