Alice in Wonderland

Alice Coming Into Her Own: The Importance of Societal Rules in Her Identity and the Identities of Carroll's Readers College

Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland purposefully highlights the confusion of identity, including the distinction between adults and children, and poses important questions about childhood and growth. As the child reader explores this novel, they also explore the depths of their identity and as the adult reader explores, they rediscover a nostalgia for childhood. Through mid-19th century-normative social mannerisms, Carroll shows two Alices: the Alice that is being preened for coming up in society and the Alice that is a fully formed person outside the demands of the external world. Carroll’s maneuvers between England and Wonderland are subtle, cheeky, and poignant, causing the reader to question what it means to be a child in a society where they are groomed to be proper. In Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, Alice’s identity, as well as that of the reader, is questioned and challenged in various nonsensical and reasonable social settings.

Mid-nineteenth century England fills the mind with many pictures of a world post-Industrial Revolution and full of tumultuous changes for society. In the midst of these changes, people still held close to the formalities of social behavior, impending them on the next...

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