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"AND""OR"

Lewis Carroll's Brainchild
When a person thinks of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland they immediately think of Cheshire cats, queens, kings, white rabbits, tea parties and many other wonderful childhood fantasies. Lewis Carroll was an amazing writer who brought them back to their own tea parties with their stuffed animals and their dreams of being a princess. He had a knack for being able to make the oldest person feel as if he/she was seven and a half, and following a rabbit, or any other animal that people have such a good time chasing, when they were young. That is what most people think of when they see, or hear the words "Alice's Adventures in Wonderland". What they don't think of are the oddities Lewis Carroll put so much thought into while writing the book. Lewis Carroll was not his real name. Carroll's real name was Charles Lutwidge Dodgson. Lewis Carroll is a mixed up version of Charles and Lutwidge he thought up.(Cyclopedia 325) He was born and raised as Charles Lutwidge Dodgson, and he just used Lewis Carroll as his pseudonym for his later writings. He was born on January 27, 1832 as the eldest of eleven children of Rev. Charles Dodgson and Mary Lutwidge. He grew up with great love and affection for his mother, and some critics believe that relationship is the reason for his not being capable of having mature feelings for any grown woman.(Kelly 2) He had influences of nonsense writing from the time he was eight. His father wrote him letters describing things that would make no sense to anyone, but Carroll and his father. Many of these writings influenced some of the scenes from Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, and Through the Looking Glass.(Kelly 2) As a child Carroll always had a lack self confidence, and many think was this brought about because of his stammering, and his parents trying to correct his left- handedness. In his later years he was greatly disturbed by his lack self confidence and tried to get help from a professional. This did not help him, and he had to live with his stammer for the rest of his life. During his later years he became a teacher at Oxford. He spent many years here, but never thought of it like he did of his house when he was growing up. There are many known experiences when he was younger where he and his sisters and brothers would play train, and he would make up many nonsense rules like those when Alice is in the train and trying to get to the eighth square. He also wrote many mathematical books. These books were always signed Charles Lutwidge Dodgson because these books were very boring and not at all like his other writings. He never signed these Lewis Carroll. This is how Lewis Carroll grew up and started his life. When an adult thinks of children's stories, Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass may be two of the books that they would read to their children at night before bed, or just to read a book to get their concept of reading across. It was written like this for a purpose, to prove that children have thought as complicated and even more so than adults. This book was written for, about, and in the minds of children. He had a special affection for children and many of his best friends were children, and that is who Lewis Carroll wrote for. He thought about children all the time and since he had none of his own he became very attached to three young girls; Lorina, Edith, and Alice Liddell. Alice Liddell was the namesake for the book. He first wrote this book for them and they were the first to hear it. He read it to them on a boat ride around a small lake and this was the first reading of The Adventures of Alice Underground. While writing these books he put himself in the place of a seven year old girl. The little girl in the book is said to be Alice Liddell because Carroll had a great affection for her. He loved her dearly so he wrote about her, and this was not the only time that he wrote about her. He also wrote about her in his other works. By putting himself in the place of Alice he thought he knew what to write so that the book would be adored by children everywhere, especially the Liddell sisters. Even though he was writing these books for children they were so complicated that many children did not understand them. Critics believe that there is a lot of hidden meaning in these books, and what Carroll is saying is not exactly what he means. This is why many critics say that Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass are not necessarily children books. Many critics feel that if children read these books they may get trapped in the story and never realize love, relations, space, time and words(Krutch NP). As noted by one critic, "The books are not books for children, but books where we become children"(Rackin 266). Critics feel that as an analytic interpretation is developed in Alice's Adventures in Wonderland the question of Carroll's values for the mental health or education of children is meaningless(Grotjahn 41). Many people do not agree with this statement and think that what Carroll was writing for was to give children the rights and the attention that they believe. During these times children were thought of as mostly decoration to show off their parents' wealth. They were also being forgot about with all the use a opium and the effects that the drug had on the children of the time. Drug use is prevalent in the different scenes of the book. The caterpillar smoking the hook, and the baby turning into a pig and running away is one example of drug use in the books. In Carroll's time five out of six families used opium as a mind altering drug, and many experiences in Alice's Adventures In Wonderland could have resulted from opium use. It has been proven opium would cause babies to shrivel up like old men, and is shown when Alice and the baby are walking through the woods, and the baby turns into a pig(Connell www). It has also been said Carroll might have used other examples of drug use in the book . When Alice eats and drinks all the different substances, and she doesn't know what they are, and they don't make her feel very well, these may also represent mind altering experiences. Some people also feel, if Carroll did use opium use in the book, then he was just using it to show the effects it had on children. They say he was trying to help the children. It might have affected the way people thought about opium and may have helped with its decline in popularity(Connel www). As if the book was not already confusing enough Lewis Carroll put in many odd reversals, puns, and mirror writings. These were his favorite ways to get the attention of readers. Many critics have said since Carroll was backwards he liked to get revenge by doing some reversals of his own(Kelly 2). The idea of Through the Looking Glass might have come from his fascination of the reversals and such. The puns show how the conversations were set up, and the nonsense thought that went into the books. He also liked mirror writings [evil:live]. They are very prevalent in his writings. He had many different puns such as when the flowers are talking about the bark on a dog and trees. They say something like "bow-wow", "bough-wough" and "Jam every other day means no jam today for, today isn't any other day". Puns were used to confuse the readers, and many critics feel that this is one reason Alice's Adventures Underground is not really a book for children. One of the biggest questions that children are forever asking parents are also the hardest for parents to come up with answers to. Such questions are where do babies come from and why are my sister and I different from each other. Part of the answers to those questions might be helpfully answered in Alice's Adventures Underground and Through the Looking Glass. This is why many critics say that these children books are not really for children, because of the prevalence of the sexually symbolism. Many feel the books represent a trip back into the mother's womb. An example of this is found when the White Rabbit leads Alice down the rabbit hole, and the descent is very slow. Also many of the characters represent the sexual feelings of Charles Lutwidge Dodgson. The Queen of Hearts is seen as "uncontrolled animal passion seen through the clear but blank eyes of sexlessness."(Rakin 241) The writing of Otto Fenichel said Alice can be compared to a phallus. He said the equation "Girl-Phallus" represents what Carroll fantasized about. To fully understand what Carroll talks about in the book the reader must be aware the phallus can only be represented by a young sexually undifferentiated girl, not a boy(Grotjahn 36). There are many places in the book where Alice gets upset and angers very easily. There is then a sudden deflation that has "good, physical erotic, climatic patterns"(Rakin 320) After these explosions by Alice many of the characters are for some reason afraid of Alice as if she were destructive in some way. When Alice first grows to be ten feet tall in the beginning of the of her journey, when she is trapped in the little room with all the doors, she says that she wants to "shut up like a telescope: and with the help of some magic fluid she is only ten inches"(Grotjahn 38). Because of her ever changing body size she became overly frustrated with herself, and she never ate a whole magic cake, or drank a whole bottle of the magic fluids. This made her orally frustrated, and more excitable and nervous. All this sexual symbolism can make one wonder what the book is really about and if it is really for children or not. Some people may think that it is not, and others think that this symbolism is all just to put one other great children's author to shame. This research paper showed that there are some doctors, and critics who read way too far into pieces of literature that are for children and aren't supposed to have all this double meanings. When Lewis Carroll wrote this book he wrote it to entertain the three Liddell sisters. That was his main purpose, and he did accomplish that while he also accomplished making many other children happy and making them have an imagination during a time when imagination was something that was looked down upon. Carroll's brothers and sisters were taken aback by all the talk of the double meaning and they said that Carroll would be taken aback also. This is nonsense and that these critics should look at some of the real garbage that is written in toady's society. That is what really needs to be criticized and not Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. That is a harmless children's book that is beautifully written, illustrated, and the language makes it that more mysterious in the meaning. Many beliefs on the book is that it does have some sort of double meaning, but none that the critics are discussing in the different books today. It has some other meaning which would only be understood by a child , and not an adult. It is one of the greatest books of all times and I think that is what people should think of when they read this book, and not sex, and drugs. This book is obviously a daydream of Charles Lutwidge Dodgson, and as many other people would like to he wrote about it, and made his dreams a reality

"For complete summary and analysis of literary works, please visit NovelGuide.com

 



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