The Pool of Tears
Reading Comprehension Activity
Author: Lewis Carroll
Chapter II passage: Lewis Carroll wrote “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland” in 1865. In this passage, Alice becomes quite small and experiences some problems as “small Alice.” Students will answer comprehension questions on the passage, and explain the meaning of a phrase from the passage.
Chapter II passage: Lewis Carroll wrote “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland” in 1865. In this passage, Alice becomes quite small and experiences some problems as “small Alice.”
Students will answer comprehension questions on the passage, and explain the meaning of a phrase from the passage.
Topic(s): Adventure / Thriller, Science Fiction / Fantasy. Skill(s): Summary, Context Clues. Genre(s): Prose
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Lewis Carroll wrote Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland in 1865. The story is about a girl who has some amazing adventures when she follows a white rabbit down a hole to a very different world. Alice has trouble staying her normal size. Sometimes she grows very large. Other times, as in this passage, she becomes quite small.
As she said this she looked down at her hands, and was surprised to see that she had put on one of the Rabbit’s little white kid gloves while she was talking. ‘How can I have done that?’ she thought. ‘I must be growing small again.’ She got up and went to the table to measure herself by it, and found that, as nearly as she could guess, she was now about two feet high, and was going on shrinking rapidly: she soon found out that the cause of this was the fan she was holding, and she dropped it hastily, just in time to avoid shrinking away altogether.
‘That was a narrow escape!’ said Alice, a good deal frightened at the sudden change, but very glad to find herself still in existence; ‘and now for the garden!’ and she ran with all speed back to the little door: but, alas! the little door was shut again, and the little golden key was lying on the glass table as before, ‘and things are worse than ever,’ thought the poor child, ‘for I never was so small as this before, never! And I declare it’s too bad, that it is!’
As she said these words her foot slipped, and in another moment, splash! she was up to her chin in salt water. Her first idea was that she had somehow fallen into the sea, ‘and in that case I can go back by railway,’ she said to herself. (Alice had been to the seaside once in her life, and had come to the general conclusion, that wherever you go to on the English coast you find a number of bathing machines in the sea, some children digging in the sand with wooden spades, then a row of lodging houses, and behind them a railway station.) However, she soon made out that she was in the pool of tears which she had wept when she was nine feet high.
‘I wish I hadn’t cried so much!’ said Alice, as she swam about, trying to find her way out. ‘I shall be punished for it now, I suppose, by being drowned in my own tears! That will be a queer thing, to be sure! However, everything is queer to-day.’
Just then she heard something splashing about in the pool a little way off, and she swam nearer to make out what it was: at first she thought it must be a walrus or hippopotamus, but then she remembered how small she was now, and she soon made out that it was only a mouse that had slipped in like herself.
‘Would it be of any use, now,’ thought Alice, ‘to speak to this mouse? Everything is so out-of-the-way down here, that I should think very likely it can talk: at any rate, there’s no harm in trying.’ So she began: ‘O Mouse, do you know the way out of this pool? I am very tired of swimming about here, O Mouse!’ The Mouse looked at her rather inquisitively, and seemed to her to wink with one of its little eyes, but it said nothing.
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