“Alice in Wonderland” by Lewis Carroll is one of the most significant provocative works in world literature. It is an unusual fairy tale that does not leave either adults or children indifferent. On the beautiful summer day on July 4, 1862, the English writer traveled on the River Thames in the company of little girls. Carroll is an excellent inventor and storyteller; he told them a story about the “real” adventures of one of the sisters – Alice Liddell, thereby having all the attention. Thus, a well-known story about a mysterious, magical country inhabited by strange anthropomorphic creatures appeared. In the 19th century, Alice’s adventures became known to every English person, and the book itself has become a cult classic for all time. Lewis Carroll has inspired the creation of many films, theater productions, ballets, and scientific works.
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The plot and the basis of the work
“Alice in Wonderland” is the story of the fantastic adventures of a little girl Alice in a magical land inhabited by funny creatures. On a sunny summer day, Alice noticed a white rabbit hurrying somewhere with a clock. Following him, she crawled through a deep hole and found herself at the beginning of the journey. Alice found herself in a magical land, where she met with residents, each of whom had their oddities and quirks. On her way, the heroine constantly finds herself involved in ridiculous, awkward situations with other characters of the story (Hintz and Tribunella). The story ends with another chaotic and ridiculous experience, after which she woke up in the same green clearing where her adventures began. The most remarkable thing is that the work’s plot plays out the characteristic signs of England’s life of the XIX century. Besides, the river of tears, along which the main character traveled, references the event of 1862.
The writer understood the work of the child’s mind and their logic. Having a rich imagination, he was able to combine the incomparable and show childlike spontaneity skillfully. Alice has not yet become prim and practical, has not lost faith in magic, and is open-minded to the madness that is happening around her. In addition, Carroll introduced many phenomena that were played out in a fairy-tale plot and existed in English life at that time. As for the humorous side of the work, the leading role is assigned to jokes and allusions based on Carroll’s knowledge of mathematics, philosophy, and linguistics.
The main characters of the story
Alice is the main character in the story when many secondary and episodic characters are in it. Alice is a little girl, clever beyond her years; she is curious, kind, well-mannered. The most crucial thing in Alice is the vivacity of her mind, unconventional thinking, imagination, and spontaneity. Everyone has their important role in the book; they guide Alice on the “right” path and give advice, talk with her on the essential topics. Consequently, each character personifies English phenomena and prototypes among real people in that era. The March Hare, Mad Hatter, and the Dormouse are personalities of famous philosophers, and the Dodo bird is the author of the work himself. There are several other main characters, which have outstanding personalities and memorable characters. For example, the White Rabbit from the beginning, Caterpillar, Mock Turtle, Griffin, Cheshire Cat, and the Duchess. The Queen of Hearts, who is currently demanding executions, and her “chess pieces” are in the Chess Kingdom.
Hintz, Carrie, and Eric Tribunella. Reading Children’s Literature: A Critical Introduction. 2nd ed., Broadview Press, 2019.