Through the Looking Glass

Alice as Innocence and Temptation College

Although there is much controversy surrounding Lewis Carroll’s relationships with and feelings towards little girls, it is a simple fact that his works “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland” and “Through The Looking-Glass and What Alice Found There” have been widely revered for their comedic and imaginative natures. His photography, however, (which is often under his real name, Charles Lutwidge Dodgson) while technically and aesthetically masterful, is more criticized and certainly less widely appreciated than his writing. At first glance, it can seem as if Carroll’s different mediums convey in him dual personalities and objectives, even in terms of a single muse; Alice’s stories are whimsical and playful accounts of a young “maiden[‘s]” adventures, while the photographs of her are often seen as eroticized images depicting a vulnerable child in sometimes downright compromising positions, with the purpose of serving a perverse male gaze. This misconception cannot be maintained at a closer glance, because upon examining certain scenes and motifs in the Alice texts, it is clear that Alice Liddell’s written counterpart is every bit as eroticized as her photographic form. The scene in which Alice’s body is stretched and she encounters a...

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