Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland
Some of the most lastingly delightful children’s books in English are “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland” and “Through the Looking-Glass”. Here are what Albert Baugh write about them in “A Literary History of England”:
“Written by an eccentric Oxford don to amuse his little girlfriends, these two world-famous books are the best of all memorials of the Victorian love of nonsense. In them are elements of satire and parody which connect them with a long tradition, but they shot through with a quality distorted logic (for their author was a professional mathematician and logician) which is inimitable and unique.”
A story may be told either by one of the characters, or by an external narrator. To define by whom the narration is made is to define the point of view that the author has chosen for his story.
In “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland” the narrator does not introduce himself as a character. Lewis Carroll uses 3rd person narrative. Yet, everything in the story is seen, heard or thought happens which she cannot sense, or in places where she is not present. This kind of point of view is called selective omniscience, that is the author knows everything, but only through one character’s consciousness. Other books in which author uses the same point of view are “Amintiri din copilarie” and other novels written by the romanian writer Ion Creanga.
In the end reader is told that everything has been a dream. There are a lot of elements which make up the dreamlike atmosphere.
One of Carroll’s favourite devices is the pun (play upon words) that is the humorous use of the same word in more than one sense, or of two different words similarly pronounced. For instance “Mine is a long tale!” said the Mouse. “It is a long tail, certainly”, said Alice, looking down with wonder at the Mouse’s tail.
If we read the story as an allegory we can find several hints regarding the society in Carroll’s time, especially its political and legal systems.