People Turning Alice’s Adventures In Wonderland

Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland is not a story to be analyzed.

I agree with Gilbert K. Chesterton when he voiced his opinion about the propensity to turn Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland into a life lesson. He believes this children’s fantasy has been overanalyzed. In his writings, he comments “She has not only been caught and made to do lessons; she has been forced to inflict lessons on others.” People often turn fantasy stories into meaningful life lessons for which they were not meant to be.

Like many authors, Lewis Carroll was fascinated with psychic phenomena and automatic writing. He was not trying to send a message about human nature or the structure of society. He did not intend for readers to glean a specific lesson from Alice and her story. On an individual basis, the story lends itself to many analytical interpretations, but these are the works of the reader. If the author were present today, these interpretations simply would not matter. The fact is that Carroll was writing an imaginative story for Alice Liddell. Children’s fantasy books are not filled with as much meaningful psychoanalytical insight as people reckon them to be.

Contrary to many reviewers, the innocence of children’s stories should not be underestimated.

I do not argue the fact that Carroll was sending out small messages to adult readers. However, he is not the only author who does this, so it should not alter the basic purpose of the writing.

For example, the fact that Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland contains hidden references to death and drug influences meant for adults does not alter its primary intent. Even with subtle adult messages, the fact remains that this is a children’s story. Simply stated, children do not understand such messages in their innocence. Adults often seem bent on finding powerful messages within stories designed to affect the minds of their children. They just have to understand that children simply do not understand.

To the extent that they are successful in turning  Alice’s and other children’s stories into something bad, then it will ruin them for what they are truly meant to be.

Published in: on November 3, 2009 at 19:53  Comments (3)  

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  1. Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland is by all means a story to be analyzed. You cannot just say all the implied subject matter and symbolism is purely coincidental. It was written by Carroll to mean something. If it were just a few times, I would agree with you and say it just ended up that way, no real meaning. But mature, often dark, mature themes keep recurring throughout the story.

    There is no way it is just chance that the same adult themes appear throughout the whole story so far. Would if the childish nature of the story is just a front, if the story is actually intended for mature audiences? It is hard to believe that the jokes and puns about death and other subjects that only an adult would understand, were accidentally written in to the this so called “children’s story”. Many jokes in the story are totally over the heads of children.

    The story does not have to mean something to you when you read it, but you can not deny that there is a meaning if you want to look for it. To you it may be just an innocent story written for a little girl, but if you really look hard at it, there is, in fact something more to the story.

  2. Hello, my name is Onyi Ibeziako and I am a high school student attending Gilmour Academy. In our religion class, we are doing a project similar to your but instead of using the Annotated Alice we will base our blog on a specific gospel assigned to us by our teacher. When I read this ( we were told to read these as examples) I was surprised to see how detailed the blogs were. In some aspects I find this a little over analyzed but when reading this as an outsider we have to acknowledge that this was based off of the Annotated Alice

    • It is very cool that you were told to look at our entries as examples for your project. To respond to your thoughts on the interpretation and analysis of the text I would like to say that we are simply trying to explore every “rabbit hole”, if you will. We realize that some of our connections to other thoughts may be a stretch but the fact that we are making those connections is what matters. We are simply trying to expand our thought process and open our eyes to what Carroll may have truly meant in the story. We are also provided with ample knowledge to make these various tangential connections through the Annotated Alice, as you pointed out. On the other hand, I agree with you that we are over analyzing Alice, and therefore losing the initial magic and imagination tied to Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.


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