Carroll Lewis

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27 Mar 2011
Department
Course
Professor
Carroll Lewis
Down the Rabbi Hole: Fantasy-Dream or Nightmare
-1832-1898
-Darwin dethroned man, judge-christ image that humans are created from man, Bible
word of God, but Victorians started to ask questions, started debating accepted thought
-they began questioning what they were taught
-after Darwin theory, Victorians started to question the Bible
-social life was affected and hierarchies changed
-idea of mass production stem from Victorian period
-this working class was a wage earning class
-Karl Marxx, who recognized this working class and noticed the shock that was
happening to the social system once Darwin’s theory became prevalent
-optimism turned into uncertainty and fear
-pollution became a great disease (idea that the Victorian childhood is a reaction to this
reality, this uncertainty associated with a rapid/unchanging world
-they saw childhood/adulthood as a linear progression: “childhood is an image of man
-Victorians had the issue of smog of pollution crowding this romantic period, they
wanted to create barriers between childhood and adulthood, to build a wall: a separation
of two worlds
-it was the idea of “nastaltia” is the great barrier from adult adjustment to
childhood, a certain regression, denial of responsibility, a means of separation which we
refused to believe
-nastaltia made things simplar, for the child
Lewis Carroll saw childhood as a “bright summer day”, and as the child ages this
summer day” becomes darker. As we read Alice we see this change from happy
childhood of innocence to slow adulthood
-he saw childhood as the perfect, idol time before bad and difficult and unnecessary
adulthood
Alice in Wonderland
-1865
-Alice Little was the little girl he wrote Alice in Wonderland for, he was funny, happy,
cheerful with kids
-Alice was the daughter of the Oxford president
-he was a formal professor, heart of intellectual ideal, he was 1 of 11 children, he liked
puppets, built puppets and puzzles
-for half a century he studied at Oxford, he had a stammer in his speech, but never had a
stutter when talking to children
-he was snobbish to those of lower rank, he was shy in social gatherings
-his stutter and shyness left when he was with children
-he did not like little boys, he would take gifts for the little girls but as soon as the girls
hit puberty he would stop hanging around them
1. writes for the market
2. writes specific story for specific child
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