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Lewis Carroll

This study will provide a critical analysis of three works by Lewis Carroll: Alice in Wonderland, Through the Looking-Glass and the poem "A Sea Dirge." In the two fantasy novels, Carroll depicts young Alice and her loss of contact with the commonplace reality to which she was accustomed. Alice finds the world of nature not as reliable as she had once believed and yet discovers that she can act with adaptability and courage in that strange world. The poem, conversely, shows the poet's hatred toward the sea and his inability to adapt to what he sees as its threat to his reality or even sanity. Unlike Alice who is constantly besieged with new and startling realities, the poet assumes that he knows all there is to know about the milieu of the sea, and there is nothing about it which strikes his fancy. Nevertheless, the poem is meant to be humorous, as are the two fantasy novels. Alice may stumble into a bewildering realm and the poet may despise the sea, but in the end Carroll means to entertain, to lighten the heart of his readers rather than add to their burden with a pessimistic or anarchic vision of the world.

Lewis Carroll was born Charles Lutwidge Dodgson on January 27, 1832 at Daresbury, Cheshire in England. In his teens he contributed pose, poetry and drawings to various periodicals, entered Oxford at 18, graduated with a B.A. four years later, and lectured in mathematics for the next 16 years. He lived at Oxford for most of his life, where he wrote technical mathematical works as well as the highly imaginative works which are the subject of this study. He died on January 14, 1898 (Kelly ix-xi).

The laws of reason and the natural world do not hold in the adventures of Alice. Because one's sense of reality is based on a trust that logic and physical laws will hold true, Alice's very sense of reality is undone. However, for the most part, what marks Alice as a heroine is that she is both highly adaptable and exceptionally go...

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Lewis Carroll. (1969, December 31). In LotsofEssays.com. Retrieved 00:22, October 20, 2014, from http://www.lotsofessays.com/viewpaper/1707821.html