Yes, Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland is a great personal growth story. My wife and I watched the movie a couple nights ago and this is what I noticed.
At the beginning of the film Alice is feeling imprisoned by what people expect of her and she makes small rebellions by not wearing a corsett or stockings (gasp!) to the party. She is told how to act and how to behave.
When she first enters Underland, Absolom tells her that she is most assuredly NOT the “right” Alice. Through her adventures she starts to think and act for herself, doing things that are not expected of her. At one point Bayard, the dog, notes that what she is doing is not in the scroll.
By the time comes to slay the Jabberwocky, Absolom acknowledges that at last she has become the “right” Alice. Of course, she is expected to slay the beast but by the end of the movie she does it by her own choice and her own strength.
When she returns back to the “real” world she now has the strength of character to go beyond what is expected of her by society, as in marry Hamish, and instead step up and take her father’s place with his company. The personal transformation is very aptly mirrored by Absolom appearing to Alice at the end of the movie as a butterfly.
Too many times in our own lives we do things for the simple reason that it is what everyone else does and is what is expected. People give up their dreams and instead go to college, get a good job, get married, have 2.4 kids, retire, then die. Instead, we should do things for our own reasons. If we follow our hearts and our passions then we will find a way to success and instead of just surviving, we will thrive.
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