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A Child's Struggle In Alice's Adventures In Wonderland

1147 words - 5 pages

A Child's Struggle in Alice's Adventures in Wonderland

   Lewis Carroll's Wonderland is a queer little universe where a not so ordinary girl is faced with the contradicting nature of the fantastic creatures who live there. Alice's Adventures in Wonderland is a child's struggle to survive in the condescending world of adults. The conflict between child and adult gives direction to Alice's adventures and controls all the outstanding features of the work- Alice's character, her relationship with other characters, and the dialogue. " Alice in Wonderland is on one hand so nonsensical that children sometimes feel ashamed to have been interested in anything so silly (Masslich 107)."

The underlying message of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland is a rejection of adult authority. The character of Alice is not at all like what you would find in a typical children's book. "The character of Alice herself is a bit puzzling, even to the modern child, because it does not fit a stereotype. How much more unusual she must have seemed to Victorian children, used to girl angels fated for death (in Dickens, Stowe, and others), or to impossibly virtuous little ladies, or to naughty girls who eventually reform in response to heavy adult pressure... But Alice is neither naughty nor overly nice. Her curiosity leads her into her initial adventure and most of the latter ones in the book... (Leach 119)."

As Alice makes her way through Wonderland , she is faced with many pompous personalities that have their own ways of thinking and do not understand why Alice does not agree with their views. Alice takes into consideration what each character says. After becoming quite confused and disgruntled she learns that everyone in Wonderland is in fact mad. Once she has learned this she politely rejects all offers made by characters and tells them how things are in her mind. More often than not, she is chastised for her opinions, but Howard 3 soon learns to take the characters criticisms with stride. Likewise, a child tends to see adults in the same light. The child know the way that things are in their own mind, but when they share their ideas with their parents or other adults they are often told that their ideas are childish and wrong just as Alice was. The reader can see that Alice understands that all of the creatures in Wonderland are wrong. "Nevertheless there is in her world the underlying joyful certainty that they are incompetent, absurd, and only a pack of cards after all (Hubbell 109)."

 In Alice's Adventures in Wonderland Carroll shows the ridiculous nature of adults through his extraordinary characters. The amiable Cheshire Cat is the only character to help Alice in her struggle through Wonderland and admit that he is mad. "Oh you can't help that, we're all mad here. I'm mad. You're mad (Carroll )." All other characters are pointlessly didactic and feel the need to constantly snap at her, preach to her, confuse her, or ignore her. The Duchess, for...

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