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Myths Surrounding Lewis Carroll Essay

2119 words - 8 pages

Charles Lutwidge Dodgson, Carroll's real name, grew up with seven sisters and three brothers. As a child, Carroll was well known for entertaining other children with puzzles and games. Anita Silvey explains, "He avidly read fairytales and nonsense rhymes and even as a boy had entertained other children with games, stories, puzzles, plays, and drawings. Carroll recognized the child's inner fears, wishes, intelligence, and imaginations and invited them to laugh" (Silvey 123-124). Carroll grew up with stuttering problems, lacking self confidence, and struggled socializing with older individuals his own age. As a result, Anita Silvey states, "More likely, Carroll retained his playful and childlike perspectives as a result of a happy childhood. Apparently he was more comfortable with children because with them he did not stammer, as he did when in company of adults" (Silvey 123). As an adult, Carroll entertained little girls with stories and toys. Carroll cherished his childhood and taught children how to cherish theirs as well. In the Adventure's of Alice in Wonderland, Lewis Carroll uses personification to entertain and teach readers of all ages the values of youth.
Leaving the child world brought Charles Lutwidge Dodgson into a world full of worries and responsibilities. As Dodgson kept a hold of his inner child, it was like having two personalities where he named one, Lewis Carroll. Phyliss Greenacre further explains, His outer life seems to have been impoverished in emotional attachments and in achievements and his reality sense cramped and invaded by the prohibitions invoked against his hostile fantasies which terrified him, until they became masked in humor. He then, even in official life, became more and more two men, Lewis Carroll and Charles Dodgson, sometimes with an imperative need to keep them apart (Greenacre 66).
As a child, Carroll loved puzzles and nonsense. By the time Carroll was eight years old, his father opened Carroll's eyes to the world of nonsense literature. His father often wrote him letters that would only be understood between them. As Paul Schilder states, "Lewis Carroll is considered the master of 'nonsense literature.' One of his biographers even calls him the founder of nonsense literature" (Schilder 41). Having such profession in the world on nonsense literature, Carroll made it seem as though he created the world himself. Carroll continued writing of puzzles and games to entertain children and keep them young.
He knew how the mind of a child worked and what made them smile. Carroll managed to hide his morals of writing about the golden age of childhood behind all the talking rabbits, invisible cats, and soldier playing cards. Even when children who read his books did not notice the hidden morals, Carroll's characters and story lines never fail to put a smile on their faces. Carroll had many faded friendships with children as they grew older and out of their childhood mind. However, one friendship that left an impact...

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