Dorothy vs. Alice

One day in the vibrant land of Oz, a young girl in a blue dress named Dorothy drops in unexpectedly. Realizing where she is - more specifically, where she isn’t - she exclaims, “What a curious place “. On a different day, in some parallel universe, another young girl, Alice, also in her little blue dress, drops into the extraordinary world of Wonderland. Once she wanders further into this odd place, she exclaims, “Curiouser and curiouser!” While both Dorothy and Alice find themselves facing peculiar situations and eccentric characters while they continue their travel through these curious worlds, neither share the same story.

Dorothy Gale, an outspoken and charming (yet somewhat ungraceful) Kansas farm girl, often fantasizes about breaking free to a new life - a world “somewhere over the rainbow”. What she doesn’t forecast is the disastrous way of transportation that would get her there: a roof-raising twister. While taking shelter in the house, Dorothy and her tail-wagging companion Toto are pulled into the whirling monster. While circulating above the ground, pieces of Dorothy’s life pass by her window: a cow, a chicken, her wicked neighbor on her bicycle. Finally, landing with a thud (and someone’s last and unheard shriek), Dorothy arrives in a Technicolor world far from home: OZ.

On the flip side, a dainty young Englander named Alice is somewhat reserved and keeps to herself. But like Dorothy, Alice often daydreams, letting her imagination distract her form reality, which is exactly what happens when a funny white rabbit with a pocket watch scampers past her, piquing her curiosity. Alice follows the silly creature, while her purring pal, Dinah, - much like Dorothy’s comrade, Toto – trails behind. When Alice reaches a rabbit hole, her inquisitiveness is buzzing: she leans in, hoping for an interesting view, when she slips. Unlike that of Dorothy’s, Alice’s passage leading her away from home was a bit more pleasant: her dress billowed like a parachute, so she gently floated down the tunnel. But once again like Dorothy, along the way down the rabbit whole, objects related to Alice’s life drifted past. And finally, landing with a “thud”, Alice found herself in the passageway that would lead her to Wonderland.

While in Oz, Dorothy is introduced to riveting characters, most of which are welcoming of her presence and are willing to help her find her way home. She first meets the Munchkins of Munchkin Land, who hold a singing jubilee in honor of Dorothy. She meets Glenda the Good Witch, a charismatic woman who guides her in the right direction to find the Wizard (whom she believes can send Dorothy home). Once Dorothy is off to see the Wizard, she unites with three trusty sidekicks, an innovative, brainless scarecrow, a bold, cowardly lion, and a lovesome, heartless tin man, who all accompany her along her journey. Aside from the pleasant characters, there is another who is out to get Dorothy and her little dog, too: The Wicked Witch of the West. On her broomstick, this menacing Witch vengefully sends her Flying Monkeys and Winkie Guards after Dorothy. But once Dorothy inadvertently overcomes the Witch by turning her into nothing but a melted puddle of wickedness, the Witch’s evil accomplices are actually relieved, and are thankful of Dorothy.

In contrast to the characters of Oz, the inhabitants of Wonderland are rather abrasive and somewhat ineffectual towards Alice’s task at hand. One of the first few characters that Alice meets is the Cheshire cat, who speaks in odd riddles and after most encounters with Alice, leaves her flustered and confused. She also meets Tweedle-Dee and Tweedle-Dum, two incompetent characters who speak and sing impassively and rudely won’t let Alice pass through the forest. Similar to that of Dorothy, Alice soon discovers her adversary: The Queen of Hearts. The queen, like the Wicked Witch of the West, has her own assembly of servant accomplices: the playing card guards. Like the Witch’s Winkie Guards, the card guards are afraid of the queen and follow her demand for fear of hearing her exclaim “Off with his head!” While Dorothy may have defeated her foe, Alice never reaches that point. She does, however, stand up to the queen by going on a word rampage, angrily lecturing her. Nonetheless, the queen is never actually defeated, as is the Witch, and Alice never earns the respect of the queens ruthless minions.

Once the Wicked Witch of the West was defeated, Dorothy’s journey came to a pleasant ending. After taking the time to say goodbye to her newfound and unforgettable friends, and after shedding a few tears, she is told by Glenda the Good Witch a simple and effortless way to find home: clicking her heels three times, and repeating “There’s no place like home”. This Dorothy does, and compared to her ride in, the trip home felt like a calming breeze.

In major contrast to Dorothy’s happy ending, Alice’s adventure doesn’t end after her encounter with the almighty queen – it ends with her and her army of cards in pursuit of Alice as she back tracks through her entire journey through Wonderland, hoping to get out the way she came in. Compared to the simplicity of Dorothy’s goodbye, Alice’s exit creates a scene, a chaotic stampede of yelling and “Off with her head!” Finally, Alice reaches where she started, which becomes where she ended.

Dorothy and Alice, two girls differentiated by their realities, actually prove to be somewhat similar as a result of their imaginative and fanciful minds of which can create such odd yet fantastic journeys. In the end, Dorothy awakens in her bed at home in Kansas (which is fully planted to the ground), while Alice awakens lying under a tree in England. The first thought that comes to both girls minds is “How curious”.

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