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Free Study Guide-Alice in Wonderland-Free Online Book Notes Summary
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CHAPTER SUMMARY WITH NOTES

CHAPTER 4 - THE RABBIT SENDS IN A LITTLE BILL

Summary

It is at this time that the White Rabbit comes back and frantically searches for its fan and its gloves. Alice good-naturedly tries to help the Rabbit in searching for them. Very soon the Rabbit spots Alice, refers to her as ‘Mary Ann’, his house housekeeper and orders her to fetch him a pair of gloves and a fan. Alice in an effort to help him enters a house on which was engraved the words "W Rabbit".

She enters the house and fetches a pair of gloves and a fan from the table and just as she is about to leave, spots a little bottle with no label on it. With the hop that it would help her grow ‘large’ again, she drinks the contents. She is horrified when she realizes that she has grown so tall that she is incapable of getting out of the house. She is now so tall that one of her foot is up the chimney.


By then the White Rabbit and Mary Ann are aware of the presence of a ‘large’ being in their house. They try their best to get rid of it and are often silenced by the booming commands given by Alice. As part of the operation to get rid of Alice, the Rabbit sends in a shower of pebbles through the window. She is surprised to see that the pebbles were all turning into cakes. She eats one of the cakes and finally shrinks.

Once she is small enough to get out of the door, she runs out of the house and finds herself amidst a crowd of little animals waiting outside for her. She runs and manages to escape from them. She finds herself in a thick wood where she encounters an enormous puppy. Alice has now grown so small that even a puppy seems "monstrous" to her. The puppy is friendly enough but Alice is terrified because of her miniscule appearance. Also the puppy keeps trampling on her, and so, after engaging the puppy in a game of sorts, she escapes from there and charges off till she drops down tired against a buttercup.

Her major concern at present is to grow back to her original size. She looks around for something to eat or drink that would restore her to her original size. She finds a large mushroom growing near her and on stretching herself a bit she sees a caterpillar stretched out on the mushroom quietly smoking a large hookah, and taking not the least notice of her or of anything else.

Notes

The White Rabbit stands for ‘time’, who comes back and beckons to Alice all the time. His constant (re)appearance causes much anxiety to Alice and her entry into the house of White Rabbit is symbolic of her getting to terms with the passage of time.

She gets into the house of White Rabbit and grows. She is unable to go out of the house because of her size and this upsets her totally. She regains her original size when she eats the ‘pebbles turned into cake’ thrown at her by those outside the house. Carroll seems to suggest that ‘one should never tamper with time.’

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