The binary that I identified was sense vs. confusion. Alice’s curiosity led her to chase after the Rabbit “down a large rabbit-hole”. As Alice falls down the hole she finds herself wandering off into her thoughts to the point where she isn’t making much sense.(Carroll,1)
“Down, down, down. Would the fall never come to an end? “I wonder how many miles I’ve fallen by this time?” she said aloud. “I must be getting somewhere near the centre of the earth. Let me see: that would be four thousand miles down. I think—” (for, you see, Alice had learnt several things of this sort in her lessons in the schoolroom, and though this was not a very good opportunity for showing off her knowledge, as there was no one to listen to her, still it was good practice to say it over) “—yes, that’s about the right distance—but then I wonder what Latitude or Longitude I’ve got to?” (Alice had no idea what Latitude was, or Longitude either, but thought they were nice grand words to say.)
Presently she began again. “I wonder if I shall fall right through the earth! How funny it’ll seem to come out among the people that walk with their heads downwards! The Antipathies, I think—” (she was rather glad there was no one listening, this time, as it didn’t sound at all the right word) “—but I shall have to ask them what the name of the country is, you know. Please, Ma’am, is this New Zealand or Australia?” (and she tried to curtsey as she spoke—fancycurtseying as you’re falling through the air! Do you think you could manage it?) “And what an ignorant little girl she’ll think me! No, it’ll never do to ask: perhaps I shall see it written up somewhere.””(Carroll,2)
This selection from the beginning of Alice in Wonderland sets the premise for the rest of the story. What normally made perfect sense to Alice becomes removed from rational thinking to confusion as the deeper and deeper she is falls down the rabbit hole. Alice “wonders” if she will fall “through the earth”, she gets confused about calculating distance, and when she says “The Antipathies, I think” (antipathy meansconfirms that her sense and reasonable way of articulating her thoughts has become a place in which she is feeling exactly opposite of herself, hence the confusion.
Dictionary.com. Dictionary.com, n.d. Web. 21 Sept. 2015.
Carroll, Lewis, John Tenniel, and Lewis Carroll. “Down The Rabbit-Hole.”Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass. New York: Grosset & Dunlap, 1946. N. pag. Print