Alice in Wonderland: A Curious Child

1443 Words Apr 18th, 2004 6 Pages
Alice In Wonderland and a Curious Child

Lewis Carroll's classic Alice in Wonderland has entertained not only children but adults for over one hundred years. The tale has become a treasure of philosophers, literary critics, and psychoanalysts. There appears to be something in Alice for everyone, and there are almost as many explanations of the work as there are commentators. One commentary is A Curious Child by Nina Auerbach. Auerbach discussed how Alice is a representation of a middle class child in Victorian England. Victorian children were expected to be able to recite rules and lessons. Auerbach believed that Alice is a perfect example of the Victorian mindset and a way to see into ones psyche. Who dreamed it shows a part of the
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Alice makes two more changes in size before she enters the magical world of Wonderland. The reader is well aware that Alice is very torn between childhood and adulthood as she begins her journey through the terrifying world of experience. Throughout the rest of the story Alice continues to question her identity. The reader becomes aware that Wonderland attempts to evoke the child back out of Alice, who they know already feels so grown up. Her attitude towards people in Wonderland illustrates her attempt to prove that she is in fact an adult. For example, she fears being Mabel because Mabel lives "in that pokey little house" and has "ever so many lessons to learn!". Later, she feels no remorse in knocking the Rabbit into the cucumber-frame or in kicking Bill out of the chimney. Perhaps the most convincing argument for Alice occurs at the Duchess's house. In her attempt to save the baby from abuse, Alice assumes moral responsibility: "Wouldn't it be murder to leave it behind?" Her compassion here coexists with her adult-like and proper behavior. "Don't grunt. That's not a proper way of expressing yourself." It seems however, in most all of the other instances in the book, Alice appears more piteous than authoritative. Challenged by the Caterpillar's rude questions about her identity, Alice realizes she "knew who she was when she got up this morning, but she seems to think she's changed several times
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