Introduction to Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland AP English 2nd Period
Victorian values • What do we remember about the Victorian period from The Importance of Being Earnest? • How were children viewed and treated during this time? • What was children’s literature like in the Victorian period?
Children’s literature • Fairy Tales • Considered an innovation to children’s literature because of how it empathized with children • Victorian era- child labor, compulsory education • Peter Pan, The Jungle Book, Treasure Island, Winnie-the-Pooh • Little Women, Tom Sawyer • What commonalities do you see in these books? • How are they different from adult texts?
Lewis Carroll (1832-1898) • Lewis Carroll is the pseudonym for Charles Dodgson, a lecturer in mathematics at Christ Church, Oxford, and one of the most beloved children’s authors of all time. • Carroll had many physical deformities, including partial deafness and an irrepressible stammer, which made him uneasy around other adults. • Carroll felt shy and reserved around adults but became animated and lively around children, to whom he told wildly imaginative stories.
Lewis Carroll • Carroll’s keen grasp of mathematics and logic inspired the linguistic humor and witty wordplay in his stories. • Additionally, his unique understanding of children’s minds allowed him to compose imaginative fiction that appealed to young people. • As an adult, Carroll continued to prefer the companionship of children to adults and tended to favor little girls. (More on this later)
The Real Alice • In 1856, Carroll became close with the Liddell children and met the girl who would become the inspiration for Alice, the protagonist of his two most famous books. • It was in that year that classics scholar Henry George Liddell accepted an appointment as Dean of Christ Church, one of the colleges that comprise Oxford University, and brought his numerous children to live with him at Oxford.
The Real Alice • Lorina, Alice, and Edith Liddell quickly became Carroll’s favorite companions and photographic subjects. During their frequent afternoon boat trips on the river, Carroll told the Liddells fanciful tales. • Alice, the fourth of ten, quickly became Carroll’s favorite of the girls, and he made her the subject of the stories that would later became Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking-Glass. Almost ten years after first meeting the Liddells, Carroll compiled the stories and submitted the completed manuscript for publication.
Myths about the text • All about drugs or can only be understood on drugs • Lewis Carroll was a pedophile
Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland • Young girl falls down a rabbit hole and goes on an adventure through the magical world known as Wonderland. • Encounters many mystical animals and characters • Must face challenges • Nonsense literature • http://www.unc.edu/~lavesk/index.html • Besides TIoBE, what nonsense literature can you think of?
Adaptations • 17 movie/video game/television series adaptations • Doesn’t always follow the story; sometimes not even close
Jabberwocky • Written by Lewis in 1871 as part of the sequel to Alice in Wonderland, Through the Looking-Glass and What Alice Found There • Considered one of the greatest nonsense poems in the history of the world • Has inspired numerous interpretations and adaptations