Family Matters

In my previous post (“Apathy”) I talked a little about what I believe Carroll’s spin on families is.

In that post I stated that “maybe he did not have the best family life and he wanted a daughter (maybe it was the real-life Alice).”

Was Carroll’s family life bad?

It is apparent in the book because he mentions nothing of family except a cat and a sister. The sister which is only talked about in the beginning, and she is not even described. Maybe Carroll believes that pets are more important than family, and that is why Dinah is constantly talked about. It could just be because Dinah causes so much controversy because she is a cat. Ultimately I think that Carroll had issues with his family. Family is one of the most important things in life, and is usually always mentioned in some way or another in a story.

Lord of the Flies, one of the books that my class has most recently read, is one story which family is talked about in a great deal.

The boys find themselves lost on an island with no adults.  In the opening chapter, the two first characters (Ralph and Piggy) both speak of their family.  On the other hand, Alice gets “lost” in a wonderland and never once thinks of her actual family. She may be in a dream, but in the beginning it is supposed to seem like reality. Wouldn’t most girls around the age we presume Alice to be want their mothers or fathers? I know that I would and I am sixteen, so why wouldn’t Alice?

I think it has something to do with the author, more specifically-Carroll.

What do you, the reader of this blog, think? Is Carroll insecure about his earlier or more latter family life? I think the answer is yes, but you could have insight that I overlooked. Maybe it is simple and Carroll just left out family matters…or maybe not.

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Published in: on December 1, 2009 at 10:28  Comments (4)  

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  1. It’s debatable. The main purpose of the book is to be a children’s story although it has hidden meanings strung throughout. So, as a child reading a book we want nothing to do with adults or parents. I agree with your thoughts on Lord of the Flies and how the boys wanted their family yet Alice did not. We have to remember though that Alice’s Adventures In Wonderland follow no rules whatsoever and therefore it’s difficult to compare situations between the two. It’s odd that Carroll never mentioned Alice’s family. I’ve thought that Carroll’s family life was far from stellar. He liked spending time with younger girls and his book is very strange so his life was definitely not normal. So I agree with you, I think that he had a not so great family life and that’s why he felt like leaving Alice’s out, it just wasn’t something that he thought was important or worth mentioning.

  2. Great idea, family seems to serve an important role in stories and real life. Alice in wonderland is no exception. Due to the absence of references to family. We can assume that Alice wasn’t attached to her family or Carroll did not wish to put her family in the book. He may have only liked Alice and didn’t like the rest of her family, so he left them out of the book. Lewis Carroll may have not seen the importance of family, if he had a bad childhood. Which caused him to leave out family in the story and treat it as a trivial thing.

  3. When I was writing my first blog The Origin I talked about Carroll’s history. While constructing this blog I discovered that Carroll did not get married or have any children of his own. I believe that this story lacks family references because Carroll himself lacked a family. Of course he had his mom and dad but he didn’t have the experience bringing up his own family. I believe this is one of the reasons why Carroll is so attached to children.

    I don’t think Carroll is insecure about family his family life, I just think he lacks experience in this subject. If you want to look further into my beliefs in this subject or comment on my beliefs please take a look at my blog, team 13, titled Where is the family?

  4. Yes, there could be a reason as to why Carroll completely left out family, and I agree with your hypothesis that he didn’t have much of a family. Maybe he did. or perhaps there was a lot of pain in that area. When using any search engine of his early biography, his parents are mentioned, but nothing traumatic like death. Many biographies speak highly of his mother as being gentle, and his father being stern, yet tutoring all of his children. Maybe, he just didn’t feel the need to state anything much about family, or maybe he did it accidentally on purpose.


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