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Alice in Wonderland: Making Sense of Nonsense

  • Date Submitted: 01/31/2012 10:27 AM
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Making Sense of Nonsense: Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland

Jacquelyn Stewart
English IV Honors
3rd Period
February 25th, 2011

Stewart 1

Jacquelyn Stewart
English IV Honors
3rd Period
February 25th, 2011

Making Sense of Nonsense: Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland
   
    Alice in Wonderland has been a beloved children’s classic for over a century and was originally told to entertain a close friend’s child, Alice Liddell; yet, it has now become one of the most analyzed children’s stories with its many paradoxes. While it could be acclaimed to feminism with its many intense female characters that often illustrate poor decisions or historical with its Victorian era time frame, the two that best fit are psychoanalytical and existentialism. Via these schools of literary criticism, one can make a complete picture of a young girl in an irrational adult world.
Alice in Wonderland is set near a riverbank where her sister is reading a book in which Alice finds extremely tedious as she wonders “what is the use of a book with no pictures or conversations in it?” (Carroll, p9) Alice’s thoughts continue to wander until she notices a peculiar rabbit wearing a waistcoat proclaiming how “very, very late” he is
while wildly waving around his pocket watch. Alice then falls into the rabbit hole, which takes a curiously long time to reach the bottom of. Down in the rabbit hole, she finds a strange irrational world in which everything she has known in adolescence is soon questioned. She meets a Mad Hatter and a March Hare who reluctantly invite her to their
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endless tea party, the caterpillar who vehemently asks her “Who are you?”, a Mock Turtle who tells her the distorted history of Wonderland, the Queen of Hearts whom wishes to have absolutely everyone beheaded, and of course, the Cheshire cat whose grin remains even after he has gone. As she progresses through Wonderland, Alice plays croquet with the queen, saves a baby who turns into a pig,...

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