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Why have the Alice Novels remained so Popular?

By: Ahmad Syamil Adzman (z5021721)

My first thought once finished reading Alices Adventure in Wonderland was the book completely unnatural. The story line seems not associated in a sequence. It was 149 years since a girl named Alice was first introduced in this world until almost everyone aware of her existence today (does not matter if they had read the book or not). The thing that remains puzzle is what does make this book remains popular among children and adult until today? It is a broad question which everyone has their thought within different understanding. In this essay, I will first clarify about inverted fantasy world that was created by Caroll. Then, I try to relate with Carolls intention to reveal Victorian state of mind during his age. Lastly, I will elucidate Carolls potency to elaborate his story with countless of fascinating wordplays that are fabulous and controversial. Caroll created unnatural concept of fantasy that surprise most of readers. While fantasy usually refers to the world where people always fond of nobody can stop you doing right or wrong thing, Caroll otherwise created a lot of displeasure event towards Alice. Rackin (1982, p. 17) depicted the animals in Wonderland, the creatures she [Alice] meets will always go round and round their mad tea tables and pointless caucus rings, with no possible rationale or goal, no final end to their circles I find that madness and weirdness in Wonderland was mesmerizing people to find out what was Caroll intention in building such annoying world. No wonders there are too much perspectives, responses and even critiques to Carolls writing. Therefore, contrary concept of fantasy world that was created by Caroll was successful to attract a bunch of readers attention. Due this attention, the readers can relate it to the state of mind of Victorian during Carolls age. Wood (1960, p. 256) interpreted Victorian state of mind, pleasure was wicked; social conformity and hard work were the ideals of everyday life. Moreover, he mentioned, religious propriety was the standard by which all action was to be judged (1960, p. 256). In my humble opinion, a man will feel secure and safe if polite people and trustworthy rules surround him. Until then, there exists a ! "!

person who keep questioning upon inequalities of the rules. Afterwards, people will start broadening their mind and judging whether to accept or refuse the new unruly idea. Similarly, Alice was symbolic of unruly girl that always dissatisfied of things that surrounded her. Nevertheless, the animals in Wonderland bowed to the wicked beheaded queen instead of Alice herself. If the readers manage to relate those ideas of Victorian state of mind, they realise of some important message that Caroll tried to deliver. Thus, people keep contemplating upon Wonderland until today. Apart from that, I believe that another significant reason of Alices popularity is because of Carolls potential in manipulating countless of fascinating wordplays. Wise wordplays and puzzles burn people with curiosity to investigate its implicit meaning. Clark (1987, p. 130) stated, it has become convenient to refer offhand to most of the verse in Alice books as parodies. One of Carolls parodies was How doth the little crocodile (Caroll 1865, p. 9) that undermined Isaac Wattss preaching, How doth the little busy bee. He then analysed that the crocodile presented for our emulation, far from skilfully building a cell or neatly spreading wax (1987, p. 131). Furthermore, it was fun; rather that just write curious, Caroll in other way twisted it to curiouser and curiouser (1865, p. 8). In my view, he delivered his story in very humorous and absurd way every so often I needed a stop and pondered over what he was trying to say. Hence, I am certain that Caroll managed to capture our attention in the way of his tricky wordplays, but yet contained innumerable implicit critiques. To conclude, there are many contradict perspectives on how do Alice become so popular. I keen to quote Marilyn Monroe, a fame actor: I think when you are famous every weakness is exaggerated. We need to bear in mind that fame not just likely that we are being praised because Caroll not just receives praise, but condemnation as well. Since nobody can judge which angles are right or wrong, I try to figure out upon Carolls unnatural concept in creating fantasy world. From this weirdness, readers are aware of Victorian state of mind during Carolls age. Lastly, Carolls ability to manipulate words has made this story succeed in arousing people.


Caroll, L 1865, Alices Adventure in Wonderland, Boson Books, North California. Clark, BL 1987, Carolls well-versed narrative: through the looking glass, in H Bloom (ed.), Lewis Caroll, Chelsea House Publishers, New York, pp. 129-139. Rackin, D 1982, Blessed rage: Lewis Caroll and the modern quest for order, in E Guiliano (ed.), Lewis Caroll: a celebration, Crown Publishers, United States, pp. 15-25. Wood, A 1960, Nineteenth century Britain 1815-1914, Longmans, Britain.