'I had sent my heroine straight down a rabbit-hole without the least idea what was to happen afterwards,' wrote Dodgson, describing how Alice was conjured up one 'golden afternoon' in 1862 to entertain his child-friend Alice Liddell. In the nonsensical Wonderland and the back-to-front Looking-Glass kingdom, order is turned upside-down: a baby ...
'I had sent my heroine straight down a rabbit-hole without the least idea what was to happen afterwards,' wrote Dodgson, describing how Alice was conjured up one 'golden afternoon' in 1862 to entertain his child-friend Alice Liddell. In the nonsensical Wonderland and the back-to-front Looking-Glass kingdom, order is turned upside-down: a baby turns into a pig; time is abandoned at a tea-party; and, a chaotic game of chess makes 7-year-old a Queen.
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Written in 1865, Lewis Carroll's Alice's Adventures in Wonderland is an entertaining yet intellectually stimulating story for children. Alice falls into a hole and ends up in Wonderland. She encounters the White Rabbit, the Caterpillar, the grinning Cheshire Cat, the Mad Hatter, the March Hare, the Mock Turtle, the Queen of Hearts, and several other memorable characters. Carroll makes excellent use of word play and challenging vocabulary in the story. Carroll's mathematical background is also evident in the narrative; he makes it a point to be precise with measurements and raises the question as to which side of a circle is the left or right side. Thus, there is much more to this story than just a girl exploring a magical place filled with characters that tell her what to do. Children will like the unique characters in the book and adults will enjoy the intellectually challenging vocabulary. In sum, this is a great classic of English literature.
Jun 10, 2007
Recipe for a Child Classic: A Journey into Wonderl
Mix together one screaming queen, a dash of grinning cat, a time pressed white rabbit, and a host of other equally, if no more, loony characters and what do you get? An entertaining portal into the imagination of Lewis Carroll called Alice?s Adventures in Wonderland. A white rabbit hurries by, and pulls a watch out, saying to itself, ?Oh dear! Oh dear! I shall be too late!? So begins Alice?s ?curiouser and curiouser? adventure into a bizarre, topsy-turvy land where she can?t ?keep the same size of ten minutes?. Every page is filled with the most entertaining nonsense as Alice faces many a dilemma. Finding her way, Alice almost drowns in her own tears, meets a caterpillar that doesn?t give straight answers, a cat whose smile disappears last, a mad tea party, an animal jury, and a crazy queen. Alice?s Adventures in Wonderland was actually written by Charles Lutwidge Dodgson, a distinguished scholar, mathematician, and author who used the pseudonym of Lewis Carroll. It is similar to The Wizard of Oz in the fact that a girl is thrown into a journey, which ends with waking up from ?a curious dream?, and reminiscent of the trip into fairy world from Barrie?s Peter Pan. This fanciful fable, written for children and young adults, and was credited for liberating children?s literature from its didactic constraints, but can also be enjoyed by anyone who loves nonsense. Lewis Carroll?s work has been called many things, a political allegory, an oddity of Victorian children?s literature, even a reflection of modern clerical history. Possibly, as Carroll might have said, Alice?s Adventures in Wonderland is only an illusion, a fairy tale about the trial and tribulations of growing up- and down, and turned around- all seen through a child?s expert eyes.
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