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Essay on Probing Insanity in Alice's Adventures in Wonderland

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Probing Insanity in Alice's Adventures in Wonderland

 
    Everybody dreams during his lifetime. It is a part of human nature that we experience almost everyday. Dreams can be lost memories, past events and even fantasies that we relive during our unconscious hours of the day. As we sleep at night, a new world shifts into focus that seems to erase the physical and moral reality of our own. It is an individual's free mind that is privately exposed, allowing a person to roam freely in his own universe. As we dream, it seems that we cannot distinguish right from wrong or normal from abnormal and, therefore, commit acts that we would not have done in a realistic society. Perhaps Lewis Carroll, author of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, describes the nature of dreams best. He contemplates the definition of insanity by saying, "... May we not then sometimes define insanity as an inability to distinguish which is the waking and which is the sleeping life?" He is suggesting that our dreams display a sense of mindless behavior, and an insane person could be one who does not realize he is awake and thinks he is still dreaming. Alice, the main character in these two books, is caught in her own lapse of reality and sanity. She is engulfed in a mass of items and events that she has experienced in the real world that have conformed to the environment of her own imagination. They are brought to life in a distorted way in her imaginative world of Wonderland. Throughout these stories, Alice encounters characters and landscapes that are created from her own view on nature and the behavior of people as she knows it. Alice dreams of animals taking the roles of adults and a misshapen landscape of unusual foliage and shifting conditions in propo...


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.... "'Alice' Again Awakened." Around Theaters. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1939. 139.

Bloomingdale, Judith. "Alice as Anima: The Image of Woman in Carroll's Classic." Aspects of Alice: Lewis Carroll's Dreamchild as Seen through the Critics' Looking- Glasses. Ed. Robert Phillips. New York: Vanguard Press, Inc., 1971. 378-389.

Carroll, Lewis. Alice's Adventure's in Wonderland. New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1985.

Goldschmidt, A .M. E. "'Alice in Wonderland' Psychoanalyzed." 1933. New York: Vanguard Press, Inc., 1971.

Hubbell, George Shelton. "The Sanity of Wonderland." Rev. of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, by Lewis Carroll. The Sewanee Review XXXV (1927): 393-398.

Hudson, Derek. "Lewis Carroll." British Writers 5 (1982): 265-266.

Leach, Elsie. "'Alice in Wonderland' in Perspective." 1964. New York: Vanguard Press, Inc., 1971.

 


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