Identity in Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland is constantly shifting and this creates anxiety and confusion for Alice and the readers of the novel. Throughout the novel, Alice is continually questioning her identity and admits that she is uncertain about who she really is. Several times in the novel she also ordered to identify herself by the creatures she meets, but she has doubts about her identity; so she is not able to do that that.
In the beginning of the novel, Alice believes that she must be someone else because her original sense of self is disturbed. Alice believes that she must be Mabel which is someone that she finds dreadful and ignorant. This false identity of self begins to make her have doubt and feel hopeless; so she decides to stay in the rabbit hole until someone is able to tell her who she is.
This doubt about her identity is further diminished by her physical appearance. Alice grows and shrinks several times and she finds this very confusing. When the Caterpillar questions her about her identity, she replies, “I-I hardly know, Sir, just at present-at least I know who I was when I got up this morning, but I think I must have been changed several times since then.” (83-84) Alice uses the phrase, ” I must have been changed” instead of “I changed” which shows her loss of control over her identity. She is mistaken for a serpent by the pigeon because she admits to eat eggs and because of her long neck. The multiple changes in her physical appearance makes Alice feels in stable because she is constantly changing; and this is making it hard for her to truly learn her identity.
Cheshire Cat questions another part of Alice’s identity, which is her sanity. He believes that she must be “mad” as she enter Wonderland.
As the novel continues, Alice learns to identify with what she is not. She tells the other characters in the novel that she is not mad and not subject to the commands of the king and queen.