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Lewis Carroll's Alice’s Adventures In Wonderland

1294 words - 5 pages

Lewis Carroll's Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland

Philosophy – a subject that had driven people insane for as long as humans know their history. All the time people try to find a meaning, and later controvert it. For example, critics view a novel by Lewis Carroll Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, as a quest for maturity story, Carroll’s view on Victorian Society and even existential meaning on life. All of those interpretations come from philosophical “drive” of the critics. The truth is that anyone can point a finger at the book and come up with their own “deep” meaning of the story, but if one looks at facts, well known, and obvious things – it is clear that the story is simply a children tale intended for entertainment and nothing more.

Of course there is no sure way to prove that Carroll did not intend any deeper meaning into the story, after all, he was a mathematician and a man of great knowledge of children (19th Century Literature Criticism 105), but lets take a look at the most obvious fact – the time, place and audience of the original story of Alice in Wonderland. Here are the words of Lewis Carroll as he recalls that day: Full many a year has slipped away, since that “golden afternoon” that gave thee birth, but I can call it up almost as clearly as if it were yesterday – the cloudless blue above, the watery mirror below, the boat drifting idly on its way, the tinkle of the drops that fell from the oars, as they waved so sleepily to and fro, and (the one bright gleam of life in all the slumberous scene) the three eager faces, hungry for news of fairyland, and who would not he say ‘nay’ to: from whose lips ‘Tell us a story, please,’ had all the stern immutability of Fate!

The “three eager faces” Carroll is talking about are the three Liddell girls – Edith, Alice and Ina. Carroll, the girls and their butler Duckworth were on a boat ride picnic one afternoon when one of the girls, Alice, asked Carroll to tell her the story. And that’s how the story originated. A little girl asked a man to tell her a story during an afternoon boat ride. It is amazing how someone can even attempt to prove this as an existential theory. Duckworth was a person who was there who simply heard the story at the time it was told says, “ it was actually composed and spoken over my shoulder for the benefit of Alice Liddell…”. As you see, the story was told simply to entertain a child.

Critics may argue saying that although it was written for a child, Carroll still had deeper meaning intended when he told it. Now the question that comes to mind is ‘Why?’. Why would Carroll, make up a deep-meaning story over which people are still breaking their minds, while he himself was enjoying a lovely boat ride? The answer is: he would not! And he did not! This answer lies in the first pages of the book…
All in the golden afternoon full leisurely we glide; For both our oars, with little skill, by little arms are piled,

Thus grew the tale...

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