Alice : The Lessons Of Wonderland Essay

Alice : The Lessons Of Wonderland Essay

Length: 1365 words (3.9 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Better Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

Most critics agree that Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland is not a frivolous child’s tale born of pure whimsy. Rather, it portrays the problems inherent to the process of growing up and becoming an adult. More specifically, in “Educating Alice: The Lessons of Wonderland”, Jan Susina posits that the novel pertains to the act of conforming and finding one’s place in an existing adult society. He suggests that Alice is generally pleasing and agreeable and even cites Alice’s physical changes in size and shape as metaphors for her desire to fit into the new environment in which she finds herself. One of Susina’s key ideas is that Carroll created Alice as an idealized Victorian girl, and he even suggests that Alice’s various encounters with characters, such as the Duchess, imply that Alice adopted a maternal role, thus fulfilling the upper-middle class ideal of a happy Victorian family (Susina 3-9). However, I find that Alice displays autonomy and aggression in her fantastical journey. The females of Wonderland, including the Duchess, the Cook, and the Queen of Hearts, all display traits that are atypical of the image of the ideal Victorian woman. Thus, rather than teaching Alice to fit into adult society as a maternal figure, the subversion of the ideal Victorian woman in Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland gives voice to the repressed feelings of women who aggressively seek and demonstrate autonomy.
Alice, during her journey through Wonderland, does not behave as stereotypical Victorian girls would behave. In Victorian times, young girls were idealized as obedient, modest, and diligent since their age suggest child-like simplicity and dependence on their parents (Gorham 5). Meanwhile, Alice, despite being frustrated by the creatures and ...

... middle of paper ...

...issive, and some outright hostile creatures. Amongst the inhabitants of Wonderland, the Duchess and the Cook resent their subservient and maternal roles, respectively, and they express this in aggressive and physical manners that are not consistent with the Victorian ideals of women from the “above-world”. The Queen of hearts is similarly aggressive, abusing her power and using violence to solve her problems independent of her husband. Thus, the female presence in Wonderland shows no capability of transforming Alice into the gentle, domestic mother that Victorian society envisions. However, Alice’s triumph in returning to the “above-world” with her assertiveness and independence intact may be a metaphor in which Carroll suggests that repressed women’s feelings, symbolized by the discontented females of Wonderland, may eventually emerge into reality, just as Alice did.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

An Analysis Of Lewis Carroll 's Wonderland And Through The Looking Glass Books Are No Exception

- Some of the most influential art in history can be credited not only to their creator, but to the influence that the work of previous artists had on the piece. Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass books are no exception. His work has inspired the motion adaptation of Alice’s journey in various occasions. Despite the different eras in which each of the films were made, it is evident that the adventure and nonsense that make Carroll’s story so remarkable also make it timeless; his story has been retold with embellished details that captured the audience in their time yet do not diverge from the story’s essence....   [tags: Alice's Adventures in Wonderland]

Better Essays
847 words (2.4 pages)

Alice 's Adventures, Wonderland, By Lewis Carrol Essay

- Growing up is a necessary part of life no matter if one consciously wants it or not. A child’s body will grow and mature even if the mind doesn’t understand why things are happening and the self-doubt it may bring to one’s identity as one tries to adapt to a new development. In “Alice’s Adventure in Wonderland,” Lewis Carrol portrays this difficulty in Alice’s adventures wandering around her dream world. Alice sits by a riverbank, slowly falling asleep by the book her sister is reading to her....   [tags: Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, Lewis Carroll]

Better Essays
942 words (2.7 pages)

Sensible Nonsense in Lewis Carroll's Alice in Wonderland Essay

- Alice in Wonderland has been a beloved children’s classic for over a century and was originally told to entertain a close friend’s child, Alice Liddell; yet, it has now become one of the most analyzed children’s stories with its many paradoxes. While it could be acclaimed to feminism with its many intense female characters that often illustrate poor decisions or historical with its Victorian era time frame, the two that best fit are psychoanalytical and existentialism. Via these schools of literary criticism, one can make a complete picture of a young girl in an irrational adult world....   [tags: Lewis Carroll, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland]

Better Essays
1307 words (3.7 pages)

Essay about Victorian Era and Alice's Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll

- Victorian Era and Alice's Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll Known for its utilitarianist ideals, the education system of the Victorian Era limited the thoughts, speech, and actions of the individual; People were the product of the Victorian society in which they were raised. Many Victorian novelists highlight this mechanization of human beings, as it contributed to the identity crisis epidemic of the Victorian Era in which children were especially affected. In Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, Lewis Carroll uses the emphasis of facts in the Victorian education system, the likeliness of Victorian Society to discourage the use of the imagination, and the importance of ideal male and...   [tags: Alice Wonderland Lewis Carroll Essays]

Better Essays
2512 words (7.2 pages)

The Mathematical Aspects of Lewis Carroll's Alice in Wonderland Essay

- The Mathematical Aspects of Lewis Carroll's Alice in Wonderland The story Alice in Wonderland was written about a little girl named Alice who was a child of the dean of the Church of Christ. Alice Liddell was the one who convinced Charles Dodgson (Lewis Carroll) to write down the verbal story originally known as "Alice's Adventure Underground".Actually, the book is known by several different names, Alice's Hours in Elfand,Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, and Alice in Wonderland.I found it interesting that the Mid-Continent Public Library once listed the book under Lewis Carroll and has recently changed it to Charles L....   [tags: Lewis Carroll Alice Wonderland Math Essays]

Better Essays
1298 words (3.7 pages)

Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass Essay

- Daydreams are not always meaningless, they permit one a chance to create a place where one can rehearse the future and imagine new adventures without risk. Allowing the mind to roam without restrictions can show us who were really are and how we perceive the world around us. Lewis Carroll uses these fantastical thoughts as a foundation for that of Wonderland, a bizarre and seemingly absurd world in which, Alice’s Adventure in Wonderland and the sequel, Through the Looking Glass occur. These novels both depict the journey and adventure of a young girl named Alice....   [tags: Lewis Carroll, Literary Analysis]

Better Essays
2541 words (7.3 pages)

Essay on Alice, God, And A Cat

- Alice, God, and a Cat: Religion in Alice in Wonderland There are some critics that argue that Lewis Carroll wasn’t highly religious if religious at all. A popular topic relating to Lewis Carroll’s religious practices is whether or not he expressed any of his beliefs in his widely known story Alice in Wonderland. Hidden deep in the contexts of Alice in Wonderland, it’s clear that Alice in Wonderland is an allegory to the Christian Bible and contains multiple references to some biblical themes, characters, or events....   [tags: Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, Cheshire Cat]

Better Essays
1248 words (3.6 pages)

Lewis Carroll 's Alice 's Adventures Essay

- Within Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, Carroll utilizes an unique nonsense writing techniques including, poems, motifs, and homonyms puns, doing this Carroll creates humorous situations between Alice and the creatures she encounters. Nonsense literature presents situations and dialect which are not typical for example within, the text Carroll’s characters ask many riddles that are left unanswered, leaving the readers to question even once completed, the most famous, “why is a raven like a writing-desk” (Carroll 60)....   [tags: Alice's Adventures in Wonderland]

Better Essays
1130 words (3.2 pages)

The Themes Of Lewis Carroll 's Wonderland, One Can See About The Real World

- By looking at Alice in Wonderland, one can see that Lewis Carroll included the themes of growing up and life lessons because he was trying to teach the children he watched over real lessons about the real world. He was a man and knew how to communicate with children in a way that made sense to them. we will be looking at what he did and how he is still helping people ahev a great time to this day. Lewis Carroll had 10 siblings almost all of which were female. he was the second oldest in thefamily and took to rugby quite well....   [tags: Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, Cheshire Cat]

Better Essays
1591 words (4.5 pages)

Essay on alice and wonderland

- Finding the Child in Us All Lewis Carroll’s classic Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland has entertained not only children but adults for over one hundred years. The tale has become a treasure of philosophers, literary critics, psychoanalysts, and linguists. It also has attracted Carroll’s fellow mathematicians and logicians. There appears to be something in Alice for everyone, and there are almost as many explanations of the work as there are commentators. It may be perhaps Carroll’s fantastical style of writing that entertains the reader, rather than teaching them a lesson as was customary in his time....   [tags: essays research papers fc]

Better Essays
1869 words (5.3 pages)