The Feminist And Marxist Interpretations Of Alice's Adventures In Wonderland

1024 words - 4 pages

Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, a popular story among adults and children, first came to this world as a short novel, written by Lewis Carroll in 1865. The novel was written during the Victorian era, during Queen Victoria reign. In this novel, a girl, named Alice, falls down a rabbit hole and discovers a fantasy wonderland of strange creatures. Through the context, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland can be interpreted differently by feminist and Marxist readers since it reflects upon the role of women and social hierarchy that was present in the Victorian era.
In the view of a feminist, one may interpret Alice’s character as a rebel, or a slave. Alice is perceived to be rebellious against the stereotypical women during the Victorian era, when women lacked freedom and rights. Her curiosity breaks free of the common woman into an ideal model, boldly opening themselves to society. Alice shows this curiosity when she “started to her feet […] ran across the field after [the rabbit]”, and jumped into the rabbit hole (Carroll 2). Her actions are sparked by her curious mind. She assumes her right to do anything she pleases without restrictions. Alice shows her freedom through her youthfulness as she is an adolescent. She still has the adventurous mind of a child, allowing her curiosity to take rise in her thoughts and actions. In another perception, however, Alice is seen as a slave, conforming to the traditions of society. She possesses a passive role when she is asked, by the Caterpillar, to eat a mushroom. Knowing that “one side will make [her] grow taller, and the other side will make [her] grow shorter”, Alice doesn’t have a choice as she doesn’t want to shrink to nothingness (Carroll 51). Without knowing what will happen to her, Alice succumbs to the Caterpillar’s control. She is perceived to be a slave because others (mainly men) are taking control of her and her body. Her right to be her own height at her own will is taken away and she is stuck with the height that she gets. These limitations exist because of her lack of knowledge, portraying her as a slave. Contrasting feminist interpretations can be seen though Alice’s character, reflecting upon the society of the Victorian era.
The Queen of Hearts mainly shows a negative view towards feminism. Resembling Queen Victoria, the Queen of Hearts is a female who upholds the highest power in the royal hierarchy. However, the Queen of Hearts is depicted as savage, especially when she says the classic “Off with her head”. She strives to execute anyone lower in the hierarchy who irritates her. This depiction contrasts the King, a passive character who says, “You are all pardoned” to those who have been ordered execution (Carroll 102). The Queen has the ideologies of a cruel ruler who can order around anyone as she pleases. Her savagery implies that women must be domestic, adhering to the stereotypes in the Victorian era; however, feminism advocates that women should be free and open to society. The...

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