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Alice's adventures in Wonderland
     

Alice's adventures in Wonderland

3.9 347
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:
2940017261897
Publisher:
New York : Lovell, Coryell & Co.
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
File size:
325 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 3.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 347 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book was fun and easy to read. It's a nice break from the real world and very imaginative. I read it because my geometry book was based on some of the puns.
PhilMarlowe More than 1 year ago
The formatting makes it impossible to read.
civilwargirl More than 1 year ago
Lewis Carroll's Alice's Adventures in Wonderland is the classic story of a young girl adventures in an imaginative world were nothing is at it should be. Adventures in Wonderland changed children's literature forever, before this book came out story's for children had to be instructive with a moral lesson. Now children's books could just be fun, we all owe a debt to Lewis Carroll who changed what we read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A wonderfully hilarious book about the adventures of a little girl, Alice, and her exploits in the outrageous world of Wonderland. Alice is a simple 7-and-a-half-year-old that falls down a rabbit hole, and into a land of wonder, filled to the brim with hilarious and quirky characters. As she meanders around wonderland, she meets many a strange character. A condescending caterpillar and a magnificent mad hatter are just some of the people Alice has the pleasure of making the acquaintance. This is a book about the fun a merriment a child’s imagination holds. This is my all time favorite book. There are numerous clever little jokes that only a very learned person may catch. If you are looking for a side-splitting read full of child-like innocence, this is the book for you. This isn’t a book about action, it’s about fun. Trust me, this book will make you relive the days when you were a child, and your imagination was as big as the sky. Note: this book is quite old and contains a lot of archaic terms; it can get a little confusing.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Alice in Wonderland is an imaginative satire on the British education system of the nineteenth century. The unreasonable environment in which the story takes place exemplifies all the shortcomings of the British education system as seen by Lewis Carroll, evident in the often inverted situations Alice constantly encounters throughout the course of the story. It is clearly evident in this story that Lewis Carroll questioned the worth of British education. Pandemonium seems to omnipresent throughout the entire story. The fantastic qualities of the setting in conjunction with Alice¿s character traits allow for the most unreasonable events to occur. Thus, the conditions favor events that are more bizarre. Had the principles of a more solid education been engrained in Alice, the story would probably have ended abruptly as soon as she realized the ridiculousness of it all. However, because she was not adequately educated, the British education reflected in her actions and speech. Oftentimes, she refers to knowledge of subjects that she learns in school, but it would all come out wrong. Her knowledge of science is obviously incorrect and the verses she recites have substituted words that completely distort the verse. Yet through her warped reasoning and the aid of the chaotic environment, she is somehow able to make sense of it all! Clearly, these anomalies suggest that the British education system was far from useful and adequate during the nineteenth century. Although presented in the imaginative manner of a children¿s book, the message embedded within Alice in Wonderland is still clear. Only with British education of the nineteenth century can people go through an experience like that of Alice, unable to realize the ridiculousness surrounding them.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Very witty alice would have to be my favorite storybook charecter
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Good book I liked the Cat. :)
Destiny_Murillo More than 1 year ago
Well, Alice Adventure's in Wonderland is an amazing book to read. The plot of the story is amazing. It has a climax and rising action. The problem of the story is that Alice ends up in the world of Wonderland where fantasy and imagination control the land. The problem of the story is that Alice can't find her way to the real world. She comes into many problems with different people or animals. Example: Like when the caterpillar gave her a mushroom to eat. I enjoyed the novel because of talking animals and how Lewis Carroll used his imagination with the story. I loved how all the characters are different with different personalities. None of the characters are the same. The characters in this novel are animals that talk. Alice is an English child who is very wise, confident , and intelligent. the Queen of Hearts is an evil person in this novel, she is the villan. The King of Hearts is even scared of her. Hatter is one of the people who is at the tea party with Alice. March Hare was also with Alice through the story. The Dormouse was a mouse who was always around with everyone. The Duchess were part of the Tea party as well. And Cheshire Cat is also an evil animal. He likes to disappear and reappear. He is an animal who always loves to grin. Well hope that you guys enjoy reading this novel. (:
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This truley an awesome book -Adele
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I dont know what else to say besides that i freaking love it
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love it
amin119 More than 1 year ago
Great Book !!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Bad book random lines from random pages too many mistakes I tell you its BAD
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
My brothers and sisters don't like Alice in Wonderland but I've wached the movie and Iove it!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
No story, just pics and odd lines from random pages
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love the book and the movie.
Lily Johnson More than 1 year ago
Its hard to understand!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A classic for any age. ~*~LEB~*~
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love this book and the nookbut self
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Alice through the looking glass is a great movie my friend told me i will see it someday
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I live this book!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
She wore a black suit and a wolf mask. She kept a hand on a small knife just in case
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Walks in wearing long black dress her hair curled still covering half of her face she is wearing heeled boots light black makeup
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Cool i love it
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It was such a bad way to tell the story of Alice in Wonderland.