Alice's Adventures in Wonderland Essay

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An analysis of language features present in Alice's Adventures in
Wonderland which make it effective for children

"You see, so many out-of-the-way things had happened lately that Alice
had begun to think that very few things were really impossible", and
that is the appeal of "Wonderland"; the confines of reality, which
children are unaware of and adults resent, do not exist. The story is
therefore, for both ages, a form of escapism, however, whereas the
adults' "Wonderland" is limited to the page for a child it is
enchantingly plausible and they are able to enjoy the magical
anticipation of the landscapes and characters that exist beyond the
bounds of the text.

For the aforementioned reason fantasy has been a successful genre of
children's fiction from the beginning of the nineteenth century up to
the present day however, in my opinion, Carroll is truly a master
because within the archetype of the modern fairy tale he speculates
upon the problem of fantasy writing and implies his own somewhat
cynical and macabre views on politics, childhood and the imagination.
This renders "Alice's Adventures in Wonderland" ambiguous and it can
therefore be enjoyed on more than one level and I believe that
"enjoyed" is the correct word because the book does not require the
reader to pick up on the dark undertones for them to appreciate it.
This is essential because children take language on a very literal
level and are therefore unable to understand pragmatics.

However, despite my comments on the subtext Carroll's main motivation
in writing the book was the entertainment of children and not to make
a philosophical point. The fact that "Alice's Adventures in
Wonderland" is predominantly a children's book is explicit...

... middle of paper ...

...roll wrote "Alice's
Adventures in Wonderland" for the purpose of helping children through
the transitional stage of their lives; I think he wrote it to make
children happy. If this was Carroll's objective, he has been
successful due to his clever use of numerous linguistic features.
Firstly he realises that children need to be able to understand the
story and simplifies his structure, lexis, syntax and imagery
accordingly, secondly that an adult is likely to read the book to the
child and therefore they also need to be interested and thirdly, and
possibly most importantly, that children read with all of their senses
and in order to keep interest them and hold their attention a story
must appeal to their sense of hearing through the use of phonetic
effects, sight through illustrations and scent, smell and touch
through the descriptions present in the text.

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