Lewis Carrolls Wonderland is a queer littleuniverse where a not so ordinary girl is facedwith the contradicting nature of the fantasticcreatures who live there. Alices Adventures inWonderland is a childs struggle to survive in thecondescending world of adults. The conflictbetween child and adult gives direction to Alicesadventures and controls all the outstandingfeatures of the work- Alices character, herrelationship with other characters, and thedialogue.
Alice in Wonderland is on one hand sononsensical that children sometimes feel ashamedto have been interested in anything so silly(Masslich 107). The underlying message of AlicesAdventures in Wonderland is a rejection of Thecharacter of Alice is not at all like what youwould find in a typical childrens book. Thecharacter of Alice herself is a bit puzzling, evento the modern child, because it does not fit astereotype.How much more unusual she must haveseemed to Victorian children, used to girl angelsfated for death (in Dickens, Stowe, and others),or to impossibly virtuous little ladies, or tonaughty girls who eventually reform in response toheavy adult pressure… But Alice is neithernaughty nor overly nice.
Her curiosity leads herinto her initial adventure and most of the latterones in the book…
(Leach 119). As Alice makesher way through Wonderland , she is faced withmany pompous personalities that have their ownways of thinking and do not understand why Alicedoes not agree with their views. Alice takes intoconsideration what each character says.Afterbecoming quite confused and disgruntled she learnsthat everyone in Wonderland is in fact mad. Onceshe has learned this she politely rejects alloffers made by characters and tells them howthings are in her mind.
More often than not, sheis chastised for her opinions, but soon learns totake the characters criticisms with stride.Likewise, a child tends to see adults in the samelight. The child know the way that things are intheir own mind, but when they share their ideaswith their parents or other adults they are oftentold that their ideas are childish and wrong justas Alice was. The reader can see that Aliceunderstands that all of the creatures inWonderland are wrong. Nevertheless there is in herworld the underlying joyful certainty that theyare incompetent, absurd, and only a pack of cardsIn Alices Adventures in Wonderland Carroll showsthe ridiculous nature of adults through hisextraordinary characters.The amiable Cheshire Catis the only character to help Alice in herstruggle through Wonderland and admit that he ismad. Oh you cant help that, were all mad here. Immad.
Youre mad (Carroll ). All other charactersare pointlessly didactic and feel the need toconstantly snap at her, preach to her, confuseher, or ignore her. The Duchess, for instance, isinconsistent, unpleasant, pointless, and is of nohelp to Alice in her predicament. flamingoes andmustard both bite.
And the moral of that is Birdsof a feather flock together (Carroll ). Manychildren see adults, especially those that are ofauthority, as having the same nature as theDuchess. The arbitrary , bloody Queen of Hearts isan ineffective, abysmally stupid person..
..sentence first – verdict afterwards (Carroll ).The bustling, spruce, worried Rabbit is at heart apoor, foolish, timid creature. Oh dear! Oh dear! Ishall be too late (Carroll )! No matter how hardAlice tries to talk to the Rabbit he alwaysignores her. Children often feel as though theadults around them simply ignore them also.Throughout the book Carroll sympatheticallydescribes the childs feelings of frustration atthe illogical way of the characters (adults).
…she had quite a long argument with the Lory,who at last turned sulky, and would only say, `Iam older than you, and must know better`.
..(Carroll ).Plain and simple the characters inAlices Adventures in Wonderland are not consistentand they are not fair, but they are in a wordDynamic: creatures not merely of the authorsimagination, but a permanent stimulus toimagination Carroll shows Alices frustration withthe characters puzzling use of language.
This is aheightening of the effect which an adult life musthave on a child like Alice. And the moral of thatis- `Be what you would seem to be` – or if youwould like to put it more simply- ` Never imagineyourself not to be otherwise than what it mightappear to others that what you were or might havebeen was not otherwise than what you had beenwould have appeared to them to be otherwise(Carroll ). As a typical rule, adults tend tospeak in a fancy language all their own not onlyto impress their colleagues but also to inspiretheir children. It comes off, in the eyes of achild, as useless babbling that should be cut outall together. Alice simply chooses to put up withall the commotion put on by the characters aroundher so that she can get out of Wonderland.
AlicesAdventures in Wonderland is a parallel of a childlost in the confusing world of adults. Alicesdilemmas are the same as what most children gothrough each day. Each character in AlicesAdventures in Wonderland illistrates a diffrentcharactristic of an adult and his or her life. Itis hard to really criticize Carrolls work becauseof the world that it is supposed to portray. Thereseems to be a feeling that real criticism wouldinvolve psychoanalysis, and that the results wouldbe so improper as to destroy the atmosphere of thebook altogether (Empson 112). Bibliography: WorksCited 1.Boas, Guy Alice Blackwoods Magazine(1937) 740-46.
Rpt. in Nineteenth-CenturyLiterature Criticisms. Ed. Laurie Harris.
Detroit:Gale Research, 1982.2: 114. 2. Carroll, LewisAlices Adventures in Wonderland London: J. M. Dent& Sons LTD,1865. 3.
Empson, William Alice inWonderland Some Versions of Pastoral (1974).812-14 Rpt. in Nineteenth- Century LiteratureCriticisms. Ed. Laurie Harris. Detroit: GaleResearch, 1982. 2: 112- 14.
4. Harris, Laurie, ed.Nineteenth- Century Literature Criticisms.Detroit: Gale Research, 1982. 76 vols.
5. Hubbell,George Shelton The Sanity of Wonderland TheSewanee Review (1927) 387-98. Rpt.in Nineteenth-Century Literature Criticisms. Ed. Laurie Harris.
Detroit: Gale Research, 1982. 2: 109. 6. Leach,Elsie Alice in Wonderland The Victorian Newsletter(1964) Rpt.in Nineteenth- Century LiteratureCriticisms.
Ed. Laurie Harris. Detroit: GaleResearch, 1982. 2: 119. 7.
Masslich, George B. ABook Within a Book The English Journal (1921)119-29. Rpt. in Nineteenth- Century LiteratureCriticisms.
Ed. Laurie Harris.Detroit: GaleResearch, 1982. 2: 107..