• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Is 'Alice's Adventures in Wonderland' a book for children or adults?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

´╗┐Is Alice?s Adventures in Wonderland a book for children or for adults? You may discuss one or both of the Alice books. ?Alice?s Adventures in Wonderland? is a novel written by the English author Lewis Carroll in 1865, the story tells of a young girl named Alice following a talking white rabbit down a rabbit hole into a fantasy world full of amazing creatures and sights. This premise is very much one which seems typical of a piece of literature aimed at children, with it?s over the top characters and surreal atmosphere it is just as appealing to modern children as it was to the children of 1865. However if one were to look at the sub text, wordplay, philosophical ideas, character allusions or the huge amount of meaning within his story it is clear that Carroll did not just have a child audience in mind. Alice in Wonderland is a book very much about the anxiety of Alice, she is often lost or bewildered trying to get in or out of some place or another. ?There were doors all round the hall, but they were all locked; and when Alice had been all the way down one side and up the other, trying every door, she walked sadly down the middle, wondering how she was ever going to get out again.? (Page 40, Wordsworth Classics Edition, 1992) This sense of anxiety is exciting for both audiences, young and old. ...read more.

Middle

Alice?s Adventures in Wonderland represents the difficulties a child faces in the confusing world of adults. To grasp our world Alice has to move past the open mindedness that is characteristic for children. A younger audience would fail to grasp the social message that Lewis Carroll is putting across. Alice is a bit of a know-it-all in the first book. She?s keen to show off what she knows and is proud of knowing long words. When she is falling down the rabbit hole she wonders if she falling to the centre of the earth and also what latitude and longitude she?s at, ?though it was not a very good opportunity for showing off her knowledge, as there was no one to listen to her? (Page 39, Wordsworth Classics Edition, 1992). The tone of Through the Looking Glass (1871) however is more philosophical with Alice talking to herself more than she did during the first story and also doubting herself more, she often wonders if she is the one in someone else?s dream. Even from the start there are obvious differences: Alice starts of indoors, alone apart from her kitten, it?s winter with snow hitting the window. In Through the Looking glass the men are portrayed as being old and weak with Alice often helping them, there are a few different ways in which this could be interpreted. It was published 6 years after Alice?s Adventures in Wonderland and Carroll had likely grown attached to the idea of Alice?s childhood innocence, which was slipping away with Alice Liddell (Carroll?s inspiration for Alice) ...read more.

Conclusion

If Carroll really intended his books to be primarily read by children why would he have put in so much symbolism. Carroll even went to the trouble to publish a simplified, children?s only version. There are a lot of allusions to growing up, it would make sense to put these in as an author in some form if your audience were children who are slowly growing up. However Carroll does it in such a way that most children would not even understand all the different metaphors used, they would likely realize a difference in Alice over the two books but not much else. In Lewis Carroll?s biography he stated "I'm very much afraid I didn't mean anything but nonsense. Still, you know, words mean more than we mean to express when we use them; so a whole book ought to mean a great deal more than the writer means. So, whatever good meanings are in the book, I'm glad to accept as the meaning of the book." (The Life and Letters of Lewis Carroll, Collingwood, 1898). In this he wasn?t specifically talking about ?Alice?s Adventures in Wonderland? but this comment can be applied to many of his works including his two ?Alice? books. This statement is neither confirming nor denying whether ?Alice?s Adventures in Wonderland? is a book for children or for adults, Carroll likely intended both children and adults to enjoy his book. Some for the fantasy world and magical atmosphere. And others for the sub text and philosophical allusions. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our University Degree Other Authors section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related University Degree Other Authors essays

  1. Fasting, Feasting by Anita Desai; Themes and Characters

    When Mrs. Patton's family no longer needs what she has to offer, she is unfocused and tries to fill the void with daily excursions to the supermarket where she feels most comfortable. Melanie, like Uma, is a tragic character because she is so emotionally fragile.

  2. In what ways, and to what extent, does Mrs Dalloway illustrate Woolfs intention to ...

    But if there is no God, then what to believe? For all the generations before Woolf had believed in the divine right of the monarchy to rule, and that living a just life before God allowed entry to heaven. These solid truths were suddenly ripped away, and the belief in

  1. Great Expectations. The main character I will explore in this essay is the central ...

    Pip's terror represents the stereotypical view of society as his upbringing would have taught him to fear criminals. Initially we see Pip as an innocent child, untainted by others and clearly a child of his environment. Dickens' use of realist techniques encourages the reader to believe in Pip's world by

  2. Discuss the treatment of female alienation as it is presented in The Color Purple ...

    she is and many other subjects, painting herself into the surroundings in new ways. In addition, the letters exchanged between Celie and her sister emphasize the importance of communication between them; it is a sign of female solidarity. They also offer an insight into the role of writing for women more generally as the medium for empowerment.

  1. An Examination of Figurative and Literal Debris in J.G. Ballards "Concrete Island"

    In particular, it provides evidence that Maitland?s manipulation of Jane and Proctor relies on his ability to identify and target the characters? desires. Moreover, regarding Proctor, Maitland uses knowledge of his past experiences to conduct cruel physical treatments such as urinating on Proctor?s face (Ballard, Concrete, 135).

  2. Sorting, Longing, Seeing and Saving: An Analysis of Magical Devices in Harry Potter ...

    The houses are also microchasms of the divisions and alliances in the Wizarding World. More important than this, however, is how Harry?s sorting is crucial to his character. The hat, when placed on his head, is able to read Harry?s thoughts and converse with him, and initially wishes to place Harry in Slytherin.

  1. Comparing Julian Barnes A History of the World in 10 Chapters to Elisabeth ...

    She states: ?the predominance of historical subject matter in postmodernist fictions can be regarded as something of a revival for the historical novel? (2). She distinguishes what she calls the ?postmodernist historical novel,? and explores its relationship to the classical and modern historical novel.

  2. Two different Jamesian heroines: Daisy Miller and Catherine Sloper

    In other words, the narrator is not an absolute authority. In order to reinforce this idea James uses intelligently verbs such as "seem", or "imagine" to talk about Winterbourne's opinions, to emphasize that we are provided all the information through his particular perspective.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work