Alice, Food, And Inner Desires

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Alice, Food, and Inner Desires Lewis Carroll’s whimsical journey into Wonderland has created a fantasy worlds full of mystery and depth. In this essay I will discuss the links between the consumption of food and the underlying desires behind consuming. In this essay I will argue that food is used as a transformative device to enable Alice to voluntarily explore and involuntarily supress her inner desires. Within the Lewis Carroll texts, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass and What Alice found there, Alice experiences two very different encounters with food. Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland delves into the idea of eating or drinking for pleasure. In contrast, Through the Looking Glass and What Alice Found There…show more content…
There are close links between Alice’s change in size and the gain of power. According to Nicholson, consuming food “is the material means of growth, where growth may be defined as gaining power” (39). This translates to the idea that Alice has power over her surroundings, she desires to be omnipotent and break free of her inhibitions. Nicholson also explains that “What is killed does not die voluntarily. Therefore the creatures man eats must be weaker than he is” (39). Alice supports this idea when she consumes the cake labelled “EAT ME” (Carroll 12). Not only does Alice consume the cake, but she does so to gain the power to transform so that she may carry on with her pursuit of the garden. Alice’s consumption of food in Wonderland not only represents her need for power but also her need to fulfill internal desires. According to Garland, Alice’s “attitude toward food…contrib[utes] to an understanding of the representations of sexuality and subjectivity in Wonderland” (25). This is reflected in Alice’s quick desire’s to eat and drink in the first scene, despite the fact that she does not have any physical hunger. Garland also notes that, “the relationship Carroll presents between sexual females, desire, fear, and death is contrasted strongly with female children, innocence, joy, and life” (27). This suggests that although Alice appears to be an innocent you
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