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Alice in Wonderland and James and the Giant Peach -Surrealism in Literature

Updated on August 23, 2012
Alice in wonderland
Alice in wonderland

Alice in Wonderland summary, and James and the Giant Peach summary

If the literary world is asked to mention the most exciting works that deal with the surreal world of tiny creatures, Alice in Wonderland and James and the Giant Peach would top the list. Alice's Adventures in Wonderland explains the story of a girl called Alice who falls into a rabbit-hole and later into a magical world where she met numerous peculiar and anthropomorphic creatures. James and the Giant Peach is the famous children's entertainment book that presents a magical fairy tale centered on the little boy James Henry Trotter. James was abused by his aunts as his parents died. He encounters a mysterious stranger who presents him a bagful of magic worms which takes him to the world of mystery. These magic worms could make an ordinary peach to grow into a giant size, and could transform insects like grasshopper, spider, earthworm, centipede, ladybug, and glow worm into real characters. James thus enter the new mysterious world or ‘dream land’ with his new insect friends real life characters and causes an ordinary peach to grow to immense proportions. James and his new companions travel on this giant peach.

Alice in Wonderland themes, and James and the Giant Peach themes

Dream world inAlicein Wonderland, and James and the Giant Peach

Alice in Wonderland,the celebrated novel of Lewis Carroll and James and the Giant Peach, the famous children's book by Roald Dahl, have got several themes in common. The protagonist’s involvement in the world of insects, the presence of magical elements and various other elements make these two stories comparable. Curiosity of the central characters is the most notable element that is common in Alice in Wonderland and James and the Giant Peach. Both Alice and James live in a ‘dream world’ with insects their new friends. Both were ordinary kids who accidentally stepped into the world of mystery. They both had an extraordinary character that made them explore the world of mysterious creatures. They both dared to go beyond the allowed level to discover the mysterious world. Curiosity takes the central characters Alice and James to the surreal world where they meet weird creatures.

Alice in Wonderland story, and James and the Giant Peach story

In James and the Giant Peach James the English orphan lives with his cruel and greedy Aunts Spiker and Sponge. James wanted to escape from them and leave forNew York City. However his life makes an accidental turn as he finds a magical 20-foot peach on a tree near his house. The ‘curiosity’ in James made him have a bite. Curiosity took him to the surreal world. As James has a taste of the giant fruit, he notices a glowing tunnel inside the peach. The little boy out of his curiosity crawls inside the hole that is found in that gigantic fruit. As James gets into this hole he meets the centipede, earthworm, ladybug, glow-worm, grasshopper and miss spider. Curiosity thus made James enter the surreal world. These bug friends tells the ill fated James about their strange hopes and dreams. As the cruel Aunts of James came in search of him, Centipede the bug gnaws along the stem of the peach which make it to crash and fall on the aunts of James causing it to crash from the tree and temporarily flatten the Aunts in the process. James and his new bug thus start the journey of adventure out of their extreme curiosity to explore it. They move toNew York City with the plan of their exploration. The friends continue their adventure on the giant peach.

James and the Giant Peach
James and the Giant Peach

Alice in Wonderland analysis, and James and the Giant Peach analysis

Curiosity inAlicein Wonderland and James and the Giant Peach

Alicein Alice in Wonderland, is a curious girl who attempt to find her way out of Wonderland. Alice, like James, encounters several strange creatures that help her get out of the wonderland. Curiosity is the crucial feature of Alice. We find her chasing a white rabbit down a hole. Burning with curiosity, this naughty girl follows the Rabbit down the rabbit hole. It was a long journey for her to reaches the bottom of the hole. Curiosity only made her chase the rabbit and run into that strange hole. We read that "Alice started to her feet, for it flashed in her mind that she had never before seen a rabbit with either a waistcoat-pocket (Carroll, 2000).” When she finds a bottle "Drink Me" she is curious to know its taste (Carroll, 2000). The curiosity of Alice is explained as "...this bottle was not marked `poison', so Alice ventured to taste it, finding it very nice" (Carroll, 2000). Later when she searches for the white rabbits fan and gloves, she locates a bottle in which there was no label. She being curious says "There was no label this time with the words `Drink Me' ... `I know something interesting is going to happen' ... ` I'll just see what it does' (Carroll, 2000)". Alice, out of curiosity explores the surreal world of strange bugs. Alice’s exploration is more or less that of James in James and the Giant Peach.

Exploration of new world in Alice in Wonderland and James and the Giant Peach

Curiosity takes the central characters Alice and James to the surreal world where they meet weird creatures. Curiosity made the naughty girl Alice to enter the world of mysteries where she befriends weird creatures. Alicehas got the strange quest to understand about the world around her. Each and every move of Alicewas out of curiosity. She never feared new worlds. Throughout the novel we find her exploring new things and becoming stronger and stronger. She attempts to fully discover the wonder world. She grows up and become mature. Though moving through all the confusions, Alicereaches her home at the end of the novel. The story of James in James in James and the Giant Peach is also not different. James explores the new world out of his curiosity. He also makes a temporary break from the normal world like Alice in Alice in Wonderland. He also encounters and befriends weird creatures, insects. It is nothing but curiosity that made James explores the strange world. Throughout the story we find James, along with his new friends exploring new lands out of their curiosity and desire. He also likeAlice becomes strong as he moves along his adventure with his bold bug friends. He also grows up and become mature. He also gets a happy end in his life as he and his bug friends successfully complete their exploration.


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