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Lewis Carroll's Alice In Wonderland Essay

609 words - 2 pages

Did you read and enjoy Lewis Carroll's Alice in Wonderland books as a child?Or better still, did you have someone read them to you? Perhaps youdiscovered them as an adult or, forbid the thought, maybe you haven'tdiscovered them at all! Those who have journeyed Through the Looking Glassgenerally love (or shun) the tales for their unparalleled sense of nonsense .Public interest in the books--from the time they were published more than acentury ago--has almost been matched by curiosity about their author. Manyreaders are surprised to learn that the Mad Hatter, the Cheshire Cat and ahost of other absurd and captivating creatures sprung from the mind ofCharles Lutwidge Dodgson, a shy, stammering Oxford mathematics professor.Dodgson was a deacon in his church, an inventor, and a noted children'sphotographer. Wonderland, and thus the seeds of his unanticipated success asa writer, appeared quite casually one day as he spun an impromptu tale toamuse the daughters of a colleague during a picnic. One of these girls wasAlice Liddell, who insisted that he write the story down for her, and whoserved as the model for the heroine.Dodgson eventually sought to publish the first book on the advice of friendswho had read and loved the little handwritten manuscript he had given toAlice Liddell. He expanded the story considerably and engaged the servicesof John Tenniel, one of the best known artists in England, to provideillustrations. Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and its sequel Through TheLooking Glass were enthusiastically received in their own time, and havesince become landmarks in childrens' literature.What makes these nonsense tales so durable? Aside from the immediate appealof the characters, their colourful language, and the sometimes hilariousverse ('Twas brillig, and the slithy toves/did gyre and gimble in the wabe:')the narrative works on many levels. There is logical structure, in therelationship of Alice's journey to a game of chess. There are problems...

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