CONCLUSION
Afier-Time
The long grass rustled at her feet as the White Rabbit hurried by-the frightened Mouse
splashed his way through the neighboring pool-she could hear the rattle
if
the teacups as
the March Hare and hisfriends shared their never-ending meal, and the shrill voice
if
the
Qyeen ordering
cd!
her urifortunate guests to execution-once more the pig-baby was
sneezing on the Duchess's knee, while plates and dishes crashed around it-once more the
shriek
if
the Gryphon, the squeaking
if
the Lizard's slate-pencil, and the choking
if
the
suppressed gUinea-pigs,filled the air, mixed up with the distant sob
if
the miserable Mock
Turtle.
So, she sat on, with closed eyes, and half believed herself in Wonderland, though she
knew she had but to open them again, and all would change to dull reality.-Lewis
Carroll,
ALICE'S ADVENTURES IN WONDERLAND
I
am at the end of this book. I am in its "after-time" (a term that Alice's
older sister uses to describe that time after "child-life").1 Like Carroll-
and his tales of an Alice who never grows past "seven and a half, exactly"
and who never fully wakes from her Wonderland and Looking-Glass
worlds-I feel a similar desire to suspend my stories as a never-ending
tea party, as a never-ending dream, "ever drifting down the stream-
lingering in the golden gleam."2 I am uneasy about the closing of this
book; I take no pleasure in the prospect of going out - "bang! -just like a
candle!"
"He's dreaming now," said Tweedledee: "and what do you think he's
dreaming about?"
Alice said "Nobody can guess that."
"Why about you!" Tweedledee exclaimed, clapping his hands
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