Alice in Wonderland; Feminist Theory

Topics: Tim Burton, Victorian era, Gender role Pages: 1 (379 words) Published: March 7, 2013
Feminism in Alice in Wonderland
During the Victorian Era, women were expected to behave in a very prim and proper manner. Tim Burton’s adaptation of Alice in Wonderland is a tale of Alice’s return to Wonderland, where she saves Wonderland and herself, defying her role as a young woman during the Victorian Era. Alice challenges the feminist theory by defying her social role as a damsel in distress.

A damsel in distress is a stereotype commonly used in literature to describe a young, innocent woman waiting to be saved by her knight in shining armour. In Alice in Wonderland, Alice does not need a hero, simply because she portrays the hero herself. This is shown when Alice slays the jabberwocky, which saves Wonderland and helps her to discover her own destiny because she has now freed everyone in Wonderland, including herself. The hero is the character with good, noble qualities that saves someone (or multiple subjects in this case), which Alice did. The hero is usually a male role, therefore further challenging feminist theory if a female portrays the hero. Alice continues to challenge this stereotype by being her own person. Alice does what she wants, regardless of what society thinks is right. For example, Alice does not wear a corset and stockings to her engagement party; she refuses to be what society calls “proper” after being questioned by her mother about her choice in outfit. Alice continues to challenge this stereotype by creating her own future instead of having everybody else create that for her. Alice chooses her own path and destiny, and she does this through her unconscious (explaining the entire dream), defeating the battle she has created in her mind with all of the characters she has met, which are a reflection of conflict with her inner-self. After this battle is over, Alice is able follow her dreams and desires, without being saved by the hero.

Alice tests and goes against feminist theory by challenging her role socially and...
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