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Alice's Adventure in Wonderland

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Douglas Bruce

Alice’s Adventure in Wonderland - Lewis Carroll o Never married o Had no children but fond of children o Until the 1920s, seen almost exclusively as Children’s Literature o Taught morals, standards of behaviour, manners, punished the bad, praised the good, presented children as role models to look up to - Alice began to get tired sitting beside her sister o Would peek in at the book she was reading every so often o Had no pictures or conversations; saw no use of that book o Victorian age said that everything needs to have a use - Structure o Reads for the pleasure of reading o Uses cards and chests as organizing mechanisms o Rules and systems constructed (rules of the game) - Taught in class, the surface (the rules and manners) o Underground, you go deeper and see the madness, craziness, and unruliness of the world o Unveils another truth - Our constructed universe is undermined o Underneath, there is no room for our usual way of thinking (our logic or social conventions or any other rule)  Metamorphosis everywhere (changing size) o Everything is absurd underground Chapter 1 - Alice, 7 years old - Middle class girl - Journey begins because she is curious (and becomes more curious over time) o Brings her to fall down the hole - Experiences one adventure after another - Psychological nature of these books is seen as very important o Adventure story on one level (surface level) o Psychoanalyst  Freud and others revealed  Dream or not?  Fantasies  Jokes o All jokes of the repressed o Victorian age was a time of repression o Reflected the author’s own repression of adventure - Pg. 20 o Alice falling down the hole  Understanding cause and relations  Jar of marmalade (picks up the jar and places it in a cupboard because she’s scared of killing someone below)  Believes in what she was told to believe  Doesn’t understand why but just does  Eg. multiplication table (memorized without reason) o Alice is very literal minded  Tail and tale  Metaphorical meanings of words confuse her  Meaning works on different levels  Gets confused over and over again  Test to shake her up and make her not as certain as she was with what she was told to believe  Very confident and internalized about certain notions about the world  There are questions and there are answers  There are questions without answers (hasn’t discovered this kind of world before) - Some things do still remain the same o Being big vs. being small o First experience going down the hole is her first experience experiencing an unstructured type of world o Very different world from what she was molded to be - Pool of tears o Question of identity o Pg. 28  “dear dear. How queer everything is today...” o Tries to find a reason or just cause for what is happening to her  “who in the world am i?”  Thinks she must have done something to
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