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Alice Was a Goth

  • Date Submitted: 01/28/2010 02:12 AM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 57.2 
  • Words: 1927
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In Victorian England, society expected children to make the transition into adulthood as soon as possible.   This expectation caused acute mental and emotional stress upon many of the children of this age, as Lewis Carroll shows in the character of Alice in his book, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.   Coming-of-age in the twenty-first century, however, is a longer, more painful journey than it was during the time in which Lewis Carroll lived.   Teenagers must now deal with the emotional aspects of adulthood and formation of personal identity for a greater amount of time, because even the law does not consider one an adult until the age of eighteen.   Children now experience the ambiguous and difficult time of adolescence, where they are neither adult nor child, long past the years of puberty.   Such a period allows the hopelessness and identity issues seen in Alice, and other Victorian children, to develop and to become markedly pronounced in an American adolescent.   Depression among American teenagers often results because of a youth’s inability to answer questions about him or her self.   The creators of American McGee’s Alice videogame amplify the themes of identity loss and of despair present in the original books, because growing up in modern-day America is a more painful and mentally disrupting time for the young than it was in Victorian England.

Carroll recognized the irrationality of society molding children into small adults in his books.   In Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, Alice angrily chastises the Mad Hatter when he offers wine that is not on the table, remarking, “it wasn’t very civil of you to offer it” (Carroll 70).   The Mad Hatter snidely replies to Alice, “it wasn’t very civil of you to sit down without being invited” (Carroll 70).   Carroll places Alice in a typically adult situation- a tea party- to satirically draw upon the Victorian belief that children Alice’s age were expected to communicate easily with calculating adults, whom the Hatter...

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