Literary Analysis: Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland
Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland is a popularly known children’s book written by Lewis Carroll, but all is not what it appears. Though the book seems mostly comprised of silliness, random actions and nonsensical fun, that is a common misconception, and it is actually, demonstrating a social relationship. Through the adventures of a little girl named Alice, Carroll echoes his opinions of a government and its society’s relationship.
Throughout the story, Alice’s split personality is reemphasized with every new conflict or encounter. Both personalities work hand in hand, with one being juvenile and the other acting as a scolding conscience. Often, when a government imposes rules, society impulsively mirrors these rules to their own personal values. Carroll references to said concept by showing Alice “scolding” herself for not following the rules she is accustomed to follow, even when she was aware she was in a state of nonsense (Blake 2). Alice also punishes herself for cheating in a croquet game which only involved her, which is Carroll’s way of demonstrating how a government’s morals tend to become the individual of a society’s morals. As highlighted in Kathleen Blake’s article “On Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland,” Alice’s verbal admittance to her double personality is interpreted as her need to please everyone (Carroll 8). In each new situation she encounters, Alice is first subdued in order to observe and, in a way, understand the “rules” of the new environment. After this Alice completely departs from her quiet manner and proceeds with her subconscious intentions to please. This is shown in the scene where Alice is drawn to the tea party and because of her childish personality she stays in order to show respect while her more matured side causes her to become defiant (Blake 3). Carroll compares Alice’s social aching to be accepted – despite the ridiculousness of the group – to many individuals’ need for...
Cited: Blake, Kathleen. “On Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.” Bloom’s Literary Reference Online. Ithaca: Comell V Press, 1974. Web. 21 Nov. 2011. http://ww.fofweb.com
Carroll, Lewis. Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass. New York: Random House Inc., 2002.
D’Ammassa, Don. “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.” Encyclopedia of Adventures Fiction. New York: Facts on File, Inc. 2008. Bloom’s Literary Reference Online. Facts on File, Inc. http://www.fofweb.com
Sova, Dawn B. “Censorship History of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.” Banned Books: Literature Suppresses on Social Grounds, Revised Edition. New York: Facts on File, Inc., 2006. Bloom’s Literary Reference Online. Facts on File, Inc. http://fofweb.com
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