Book Review: Alice's Adventures in Wonderland
The Title's Origin
Alice's Adventures in Wonderland derives its names from the name one of the girls to hear the earliest Wonderland stories. Alice Liddel, daughter of Henry Liddel, was one of three girls who heard the first Wonderland stories that draw from real personalities known by Reverend Charles Dodgson (Lewis Carroll).
Synopsis of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland
Alice's Adventures in Wonderland chronicles a bored little girl's adventures on a boring hot summer day. Alice, a bit bored, begins to chase down a rabbit and falls herself falling through a rabbit hole and into the world of Wonderland. Here, things are very strange and peculiar, and Alic has no idea how to deal with it all. She meets many anthropomorphic creatures along the way. That is, these creatures are more like humans than creatures.
Alice has issues with discerning the truth about matters. Being so young, she often confused by the nonsense given to her by the creatures and realizes that some of which she says is nonsense. This children's tale is funny at times and draws on the innocence of children.
Alice's Adventures in Wonderland is about Alice and the things she must learn as a child, Also, the the things she must carry with her into adulthood.
About Lewis Carrol
Lewis Carroll is actually not the real name of the author. This work was written by Reverend Charles Lutwidge Dodgson who wrote under the pseudonym "Lewis Carroll". He was a man of many professions including writing, photography, and mathematician. The "Reverend" portion of the name supports his other profession as a Deacon at Christ Church.
Charles Dodgson was born of English and Irish descent. He was a sickly child and sustained damage to his body that led into adulthood. He was tall, lanky, and awkward among adults, sustaining a stammer in their presence. However, with children, Dodgson seemed more comfortable. He a brilliant mathematician and gained awards for his logistical prowess.
Review of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland
As a writer, I must say, Alice's Adventures in Wonderland is exactly what it says. It is "literary nonsense". I, unfortunately had difficulty connecting with the characters, story, and interesting dialogue. I was, however, able to ascertain works that have come after Alice's Adventures in Wonderland that could have been influenced by Lewis Carroll's work. In fact, I was reminded of C.S. Lewis himself and how he writes with a storytelling voice and places his characters in awkward conversations. That, was something to revel. My issue with the writing is that, unfortunately, I'm not smart enough to understand.
With Lewis, being the logician and mathematician that he is, I was unable to understand the clear ideals of limit and notations. Yes, there were some brilliant ideas and speculation in the work, however my expertise and understand them hindered my enjoyment of the work. I know that's not entirely fair, but ever reader has his or her own opinion. I also didn't care for the Alice character a lot. Perhaps it is more about me being an adult that about her character.
I did enjoy several moments of funny conversation between Alice and many of the creatures. Some of which tended to be irresistibly dry or, in some cases, facetious. There wasn't much of a plot to follow, but I was able to find a central point of the story closer to the end. It is, in essence, a story exploring the innocence of childhood. In this aspect, it does a wonderful job of assessing the curiosities of the young and heart. I understood better once I got towards the end.
With the confusing dialogue and stories that didn't make sense at times, Lewis Carroll is a genius for "Literary Nonsense" and I see his style replicated in other writings. That is definitely an accomplishment. Is this work had appeared in our day and time, it would not have done very well. But of course, English writers just a special way with words.
It's very clear why this work is a classic, and I'm glad I finally got the opportunity to read it.
Alice's Adventures in Wonderland has seen very many adaptations since its publication in 1865. The most notable to date would be Walt Disney's retelling of the story using animation (Alice in Wonderland, 1951). Even by that time, Alice's Adventures in Wonderland had already seen a slew of movies and even a musical adapted from the work. As a children's tale, this work has been shared in so many formats. It's even hard to discern which is which at times. Even after Walt Disney took on the story, we still saw adaptations being created and envisioned by those who adapted it. The latest adaptation was just last year (ABC's Once Upon A Time in Wonderland).
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Other Works By Lewis Carrol
The sequel to Alice's Adventures in Wonderland
Another Work by Lewis Carroll
© 2014 A.E. Williams