Search for Identity in Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Oliver Twist

Search for Identity in Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Oliver Twist

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Alice from Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Oliver from Oliver Twist represent the characteristic Victorian children who are naturally good and appeal to the sentiments of the reader when facing difficult situations that aid in finding who they are. The children are required to decide between two conflicting ideas such as childhood and adulthood in Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and even good versus evil in Oliver Twist while they search to find where they belong in the natural order of society. Death and horrible outcomes hover around Alice and Oliver as they are shoved into different social situations without their approval. Alice and Oliver’s identity crisis, while they are at a stage of limbo, are evident in the obstacles they must face including repressive new secondary environments which parody and mirror real life struggles imposed on them, being vehicles to aid in adult’s favor as they pull the children in varying directions and the inability for Alice and Oliver to take control of their lives their own hands.
In Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, the secondary environment behaves as a parody of Alice’s primary world or the larger, universally known, typical outline for Victorian society. Alice’s concrete perspective of the world clashes against the madness in Wonderland. Alice continues to maintain purity in a corrupt society found in the disturbed natural order of Wonderland when she is challenged by different obstacles that make her question her integrity.

Alice still abides by the typical Victorian ideals she was taught and becomes a surrogate adult in Wonderland. At home, however, she is still considered just a child and behaves as such. This confusion in the role Alice will play within the social hierarchy i...


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...n her dream state showing her mature ideals that should have been accepted by her sister or Lewis Carroll because it exhibits her adult intentions and growth. Oliver is also pushed between two distinct world of good and evil without participating or being fully aware of his surroundings. He allows himself to exist in the limbo between the two opposite principles because he behaves as a submissive child. Significantly, these children behave as pawns in the adult world.



Works Cited

Auerbach, Nina. "Alice and Wonderland: A Curious Child."Indiana University Press. 17.1 (1973): 31-47. Print.
Carroll, Lewis. Alice in Wonderland . 3rd. New York: W.W. Norton & Company, 2013. Print.
Dickens, Charles. Oliver Twist. New York: Random House of Canada, 2006. Print.
Rackin, Donald. "Alice's Journey to the End of Night." Modern Language Association. 81.5 (1966): 313-326. Print

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