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Alice's adventures in wonderland
     

Alice's adventures in wonderland

3.8 527
by Lewis Carroll
 

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Begin at the beginning, and go on till you come to the end: then stop.'. So many readers were to take the advice of the King of Hearts that by the end of the nineteenth century Alice had acquired a pre-eminent and unassailable position in children's literature. Lewis Carroll's use of logic, by which the ordinary is translated into the extraordinary in an entirely

Overview

Begin at the beginning, and go on till you come to the end: then stop.'. So many readers were to take the advice of the King of Hearts that by the end of the nineteenth century Alice had acquired a pre-eminent and unassailable position in children's literature. Lewis Carroll's use of logic, by which the ordinary is translated into the extraordinary in an entirely plausible way, is delightfully combined with an exceptional knowledge and understanding of the mind of the child. Satire, allusion, and symbolism weave deeper and mysterious meanings, lending a measure of immortality to Carroll's remarkable fantasy.

Product Details

BN ID:
2940017261880
Publisher:
London : MacMillan
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
File size:
160 KB

Read an Excerpt

From Tan Lin's Introduction to Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking-Glass

Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass and What Alice Found There pursue what lies beyond and down rabbit holes and on reverse sides of mirrors. But mainly their subject is what comes after, and in this sense the books are allegories about what a child can know and come to know. This quest, as in many great works of literature, unwinds against a larger backdrop: what can and what cannot be known at a particular historical moment, a moment that in Lewis Carroll's case preceded both Freud's speculations on the unconscious and Heisenberg's formulation of the uncertainty principle. Yet because the books were written by a teacher of mathematics who was also a reverend, they are also concerned with what can and cannot be taught to a child who has an infinite faith in the goodness and good sense of the world. But Alice's quest for knowledge, her desire to become something (a grown-up) she is not, is inverted. The books are not conventional quest romances in which Alice matures, overcomes obstacles, and eventually gains wisdom. For when Alice arrives in Wonderland, she is already the most reasonable creature there. She is wiser than any lesson books are able to teach her to be. More important, she is eminently more reasonable than her own feelings will allow her to express. What comes after for Alice? Near the end of Through the Looking Glass, the White Queen tells Alice, "Something's going to happen!"

Quests for mastery are continually frustrated in the Alice books. In comparison with the ever—sane Alice, it is the various Wonderland creatures who appear to be ridiculous, coiners of abstract word games. Yet Carroll also frustrates, with equal precision, Alice's more reasonable human desires. Why, after all, cannot Alice know why the Mad Hatter is mad? Or why will Alice never get to 20 in her multiplication tables? In Carroll, the logic of mathematical proofs runs counter to the logic of reasonable human desire—and neither logic is easily mastered. To his radical epistemological doubt, Carroll added a healthy dose of skepticism for the conventional children's story—a story that in his day came packaged with a moral aim and treated the child as an innocent or tabula rasa upon which the morals and knowledge of the adult could be tidily imprinted.

Alice embodies an idea Freud would later develop at length: What Alice the child already knows, the adult has yet to learn. Or to be more precise, what Alice has not yet forgotten, the adult has yet to remember as something that is by nature unforgettable. In other words, in Alice childhood fantasy meets the reality of adulthood, which to the child looks as unreal and unreasonable as a Cheshire Cat's grin or a Queen who yells "Off with her head!" But even as she calls adult reality unreal, Alice, as the most reasonable creature in her unreasonable dreams, doesn't quite yet realize that the adult's sense of reality has already taken up residence in her. The principal dream of most children—the dream within the dream, as it were—is the dream of not dreaming any longer, the dream of growing up. For the adult, the outlook is reversed. The adult's quest is an inverted one: to find those desires again, in more reasonable forms—and this involves forgetting the original childhood desires (to become an adult) in order to remember them as an adult. The psychoanalyst Adam Phillips notes: "Freud is not really saying that we are really children, but that the sensual intensities of childhood cannot be abolished, that our ideals are transformed versions of childhood pleasures. Looking forward . . . is a paradoxical form of looking back. The future is where one retrieves the pleasures, the bodily pleasures of the past."1 The Alice books manage to show both these quests—that of the child to look forward, and of the adult to look back—simultaneously, as mirror logics of each other.

Like both Freud and the surrealists, Carroll implicitly understood that a child's emotions and desires appear omnipotent and boundless to the child—and thus make the adult's forgetting of them difficult if not illogical. Growing up poses psychological and logical absurdities. The quandary of a logically grounded knowledge constituted out of an illogical universe pervades both books. The questions that Alice asks are not answered by the animals in Wonderland nor by anyone after she wakens. It is likely that her questions don't have answers or that there are no right questions to ask. Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass remain the most prophetic of the nineteenth century's anti-narratives, inverted quest romances, circular mathematical treatises on the illogical logic of forgetting one's desires. They display a logic that the child must master in order to grow up. As the White Queen remarks of the Red Queen: "She's in that state of mind . . . that she wants to deny something—only she doesn't know what to deny!"

Meet the Author

Lewis Carroll (the pseudonym of the Rev. Charles Lutwidge Dodgson) was a mathematics lecturer at Oxford University, but he is better known to the world as the author of "Alice's Adventures in Wonderland" (1865) and "Through the Looking-glass" (1871), as well as "The Hunting of the Snark "(1876).

Brief Biography

Date of Birth:
January 27, 1832
Date of Death:
January 14, 1898
Place of Birth:
Daresbury, Cheshire, England
Place of Death:
Guildford, Surrey, England
Education:
Richmond School, Christ Church College, Oxford University, B.A., 1854; M.A., 1857
Website:
http://www.lewis-carroll-birthplace.org.uk/

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Alice's Adventures In Wonderland 3.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 527 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The misspelled words in this version can be distracting. Also, the line breaks are awkward. Some sentences stop halfway across the page and begin again two lines down. (distracting isn't it?)It takes a lot away from an otherwise great book. Ex: Pm instead of I'm Ahce instead of Alice
DeanGibson More than 1 year ago
Scanned copy w/ no proofreading.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I really like this book. The author does a good job describing how the main character is feeling and thinking.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I honestly love this book
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great book. Its in very good detail, and nice characters, to. Though mind that its a very, very, strange book. But its still good. Diserves five stars
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I've got absolutely no idea why, but suddenly I have been completely drawn to and facinated with this book. It's totally amazing and full of fantasy and humor! There is definately nothing like it. Lewis Carrol, you are a genius! Xoxo to all, -E
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Lots of growing and shrinking Fanntasy All in all a good book
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Ths book is wonderful. Definitly buy it. There are 181 pages and I think the sample is 55. BUY IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Very interesting book but all the typos make it very hard to read. Takes a lot of personal creativity to work around.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Who cares if there are mistakes? I KNOW i dont. :)
PJMendoza More than 1 year ago
I know it's a free book, and that is probably why the format is so horrible. But after 2 or 3 chapters, the screen only showed sporadic words about the screen and you couldn't read it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It is great for anyone over the age of about 8
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Good book
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Very long, but it's a good book. Love the way the things in the book come together and stick like glue to form a book!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Its a good book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The letters where scatterd EVERY WHERE!!!!! But besides that it was a really good book. I rate it five stars!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Good. Slightly boring. Bit good.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Its not the full story. The full story is some what longer than 140 pgs. This is only 55. But from what is there ,it is good.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is great. It is a classic! It somehow just draws you into the story. There is a few spelling mistakes but it is such a great book it makes up for that. It is one of or possibly my favorite book. It is also such a steal for inly one dollar. Great book overall.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I totally LOVE these books by Disney!!!:D They r sooo awesome!!! U have to read the second one if you totally LOVE them!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
If you have seen the Alice in Wonderland movie, starring Jonny Depp as the Mad Hatter, circa 2010, do not expect this book to be anything like the movie. Yes, there are some similarities, but the movie is actually a blend of the 1st & 2nd Alice books- this one, and the second novel, which is called Through the Looking Glass. However, even though this novel was not what i was expecting after watchimg the movie, I still enjoyed it anf highly recommend it to anyone who is looking for a good classic novel to read. <3 the_book_worm
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
You should rally read this the sample its self is amazing
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I take that back this one is terrible!!!!!!!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I am a ten-year-old and I hate boring books. This one is not boring at all and whoever says so is a blockhead. As a six-year-old Alice is a little annoying but seriously get over it. The book is better that way with her like that. Oh my god, you have to watch the movie Alice in Wonderland it is great and is a mixture of this book and Through the Looking Glass. :3 I LIKE KITTIES