Mimesis in Alice in Wonderland

2678 WordsApr 24, 201211 Pages
Essay on mimesis in Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass A quest in search for the elements which consitute a new notion of mimesis in Carroll's Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking-Glass Mimésis ve světové literatuře/Klára Kolínská, Úterý 10:50 – 12:25 “Who in the world am I?” Ah, that’s the great puzzle.[1] This question, asked by Alice herself at the beginning of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, anticipates the theme of identity and the reflection of mimesis in the literary nonsense and the author develops the subjects to the utmost and deepest experience in the two texts. By setting his main character in the world which creates a…show more content…
In Wonderland and through-the-looking glass world language is not only the means of communication, the characters use it the same way as people use power; to gain superiority upon one another. As Daniel Whiting comments: 'The invention view seems to assume that whether an utterance has meaning and what meaning it has it entirely up to the speaker.'[8] This can been seen especially in the character of Humpty Dumpty, who gives his own meanings to the words. Carroll is toying with the language and communication using its ambiguity and various references to confuse Alice. Moreover, the communication gains a new meaning, its role is no longer to transmit a message to the listener; it is transformed into meta communication. Most of the conversations in the two texts consist of talks on how to communicate, Alice being the one who communicates on a different level than the characters she encounters. As Gabriel Schwab puts it: 'As in a dream, language is both malleable and concrete; words are condensed, dialogues stripped of their pragmatic function, meanings are displaced metonymically, and references are suspended or transformed.'[9] Having pointed out the fact that Alice is copiously being challenged by the language games with the characters, one observes another significant motif in

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