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Alice in Wonderland | Chapter 2 : The Pool of Tears | Summary

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Summary

Eating the magic cake makes Alice shoot up to nine feet tall. She can easily reach the golden key, but once again, she's far too big to get into the garden. She begins to cry with frustration, and her "gallons" of tears create a pool that's four inches deep. The White Rabbit rushes by and, terrified at the sight of giant Alice, drops his gloves and fan. Alice picks up the fan, which causes her to shrink until she almost disappears.

The key is out of reach again. Worse, Alice slips and falls into the pool of tears, which—now that she's tiny—reaches up to her chin. A mouse swims by. Alice tries to start a conversation but blunders by talking about what a good mouser her cat is. The Mouse offers to tell her its sad story on the "shore" of the pool. Alice notices that the pool of tears now contains several other strange animals. She swims to shore with the other creatures following.

Analysis

Talking animals have long been a staple of children's picture books, and Alice in Wonderland is full of them. Unlike the animals in more traditional stories, the ones in Wonderland are rarely sweet or friendly; Lewis Carroll does not pander to his readers simply because they're children.

In Chapter 2, the White Rabbit is terrified by Alice, and the Mouse instantly dislikes her. This is partly because of Alice's clumsy references to cats, but many of the creatures Alice meets will be angry or nervous. Throughout the book, it is often Alice's role to feed lines to other characters that will bring out their offbeat answers.

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