Chapter 1: Down the Rabbit Hole Notes from Alice in Wonderland

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Alice in Wonderland Chapter 1: Down the Rabbit Hole

Alice is sitting with her older sister on the bank. Her sister is reading a book, and Alice is getting bored and sleepy. Alice looks in her sister's book and finds it very dull; she thinks, "'what is the use of a book...without pictures or conversations?'" Chapter 1, pg. 1 Suddenly a White Rabbit, worrying aloud about being too late, hurries past her. When he takes a watch out of his pocket to check the time, Alice jumps up and chases after him. She sees the Rabbit slip through a rabbit hole and she pursues him through a tunnel until suddenly she finds herself falling down what seems to be a deep well.

Alice falls for a very long time--so long that she wonders if she will fall straight through the earth to the other side. During her fall she notices cupboards, bookshelves, and pictures on the walls of the well. There isn't much to keep her occupied during her long fall, so she practices some of her lessons on the way down and has imaginary conversations with her cat Dinah. Finally, Alice hits the ground with a thump and, unhurt, she jumps up and continues to chase after the White Rabbit.

Topic Tracking: Knowledge 1

She hears the Rabbit saying, "'Oh my ears and whiskers, how late it's getting!'" but she is not able to catch up with him. Chapter 1, pg. 3 She winds up in a long hall with doors all around. Alice tries every door, but they are all locked. Suddenly Alice comes across a glass table with a tiny golden key on it. While unsuccessfully trying to unlock each of the doors with this key, Alice notices a low curtain she hadn't seen before. Behind the curtain is a little door about fifteen inches high. The tiny key unlocks this door and Alice opens it. Through the door, Alice can see the most beautiful garden imaginable. She tries to get out of the dark hall and into the garden, but her head is even too big to fit through the tiny door.

Disappointed, Alice returns to the glass table, hoping to find a key to a larger door or a book that would teach her how to become smaller by shutting up like a telescope. Instead, Alice finds a new item on the table: a bottle with a label that says "DRINK ME." Alice, who has read stories in which bad things happen to children who do not know the simple rules of common sense, makes sure that the bottle is not labeled "poison" before she drinks the whole bottle.

Topic Tracking: Knowledge 2

At this point, Alice does shut up like a telescope, as she had wished. She shrinks to ten inches high and starts for the door to the garden, but then she remembers she has left the golden key on the glass table, which now towers high above her. She sits down and cries in frustration. She lectures herself on the uselessness of crying, for Alice is quite fond of pretending to be two people; she realizes that now she's not even big enough to make even one proper person.

After a while Alice notices a glass box underneath the table. In the box she finds a tiny cake marked "EAT ME." Alice eats it right away, since she figures changing size will be to her advantage whether she grows tall enough to reach the key or shrinks enough to slip under the door and into the garden. Initially she stays the same size and is quite surprised (even though this is usually the result of eating a tiny cake).

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