Essay 1 – Question 1
Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, by Lewis Carroll, is a narrative which seeks to react against Didacticism. A didactic novel sets out to emphasize informative and instructional characteristics in Literature. Carroll’s novel is structured with key differences towards didacticism, which are shown in different ways throughout the text. The novels characters are central in playing roles which distinguish the book from being didactic. The atmosphere and imaginative ideas also play a key part in showing this narrative as an alternative kind of fiction. The main character central to the notion of morals is The Duchess. At first she is quite rude to Alice, but later we see friendliness and respect towards her. The Duchess is “inconsistent, unpleasant and pointlessly didactic” (Leach, 92) and her belief is that “Everything’s got a moral, if only you can find it” (Carroll, 106). “Alice, on the other hand, reasserts her innocence and prudence by maintaining that things don't always have morals and should be accepted on face value” (D’Ambrosio, 1075). Alice’s revolt towards the Duchess shows the reaction of didactic ways. Carroll uses the Duchess to introduce all types of nonsense morals, some of which may be his own. But these morals do not get the chance to be instructional or informative as they are not believed or regarded as true. It is the Duchess’ constant change of morals that may have led to this disregard of belief. She adopts morals as she feels appropriate, and she preys on others like Alice to respect her morals and beliefs. Here, we see another way in which this narrative is not didactic. The morals which are delivered by the adults are ridiculed by the younger generation. This leads on to the question of authority in the adult characters of the text. The book, as a whole, has an underlying message which shows the rejection towards authority. This message immediately proves to any reader that this book is reacting to the idea of a...
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