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Parodies of Victorian Lifestyle

Powerful Essays
Parodies of Victorian Lifestyle in Adventures in Wonderland, Through the Looking Glass and What Alice Found

"It is no accident that the grotesque style in literature tends to be prevalent in eras marked by radical change and stress. Such was the Victorian period, within which a whirl of social, economic, and religious change took place . . ." (Chang par. 2). This distorted writing can be unquestionably seen in the works of Lewis Carroll, namely his world famous pieces, Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass and What Alice Found There (commonly known as "Alice in Wonderland" and "Through the Looking Glass"). In several instances throughout the Alice books, Carroll mocks Victorian lifestyle. These parodies can be seen in Victorian growth and self-discovery, inventions, education, nutrition and drugs, and social classes.

The Victorian times were that of self-discovery and seeking order in the universe, so naturally it makes sense when Alice is not really sure of who she is. The Caterpillar cannot accept Alice's lack of self-awareness when she states that she is unsure of whom she is.

"Who are you?" said the Caterpillar. This was not an encouraging opening for a conversation. Alice replied, rather shyly, "I -- I hardly know, Sir, just at present -- at least I know who I was when I got up this morning, but I think I must have been changed several times since then." "What do you mean by that?" said the Caterpillar, sternly. "Explain yourself!" "I ca'n't explain myself, I'm afraid, Sir," said Alice, "because I'm not myself you see" (Alice in Wonderland ch. 5).

Alice concurs with several different characters in her two trips to wonderland. "As Alice learns a gre...

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...in Alice's Adventures

in Wonderland." The Victorian Web (1995): four paragraphs. On-line. Internet. 18 April 2002.

Available: http://www.landlow.stg.brown.edu/victorian/carroll/polisner.html

Voughon, Wendy. "Victorian Class Prejudices in the Alice Books."

The Victorian Web (1993): one paragraph. On-line. Internet. 18 April 2002.

Available: http://www.landlow.stg.brown.edu/victorian/carroll/aiwl2.html

Weber, Anya. "Food, Drink, and Public Health in the Alice Books."

The Victorian Web (1995): four paragraphs. On- line. Internet. 18 April 2002.

Available: http://www.landlow.stg.brown.edu/victorian/carroll/weber.html

Wong, Susan. "Class in the Garden of Live Flowers"

The Victorian Web (1995): four paragraphs. On- line. Internet. 18 April 2002.

Available: http://www.home.earthlink.net/~ifdean/carroll/wong1.html
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