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Fantasy and Reality in Alice in Wonderland

2021-05-20 来源: 51Due教员组 类别: Essay范文

The novel Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll includes a lot of elements of wonderful fantasy that an adventure fairy tale should have. Also, the allusion to the real world is an important aspect of the novel. Therefore, it is argued that in the nove of Alice in Wonderland, the fantasy world is in a close connection with the real world.

Although the depiction of imagined world by Lewis Carroll seems to be in a sharp contrast to reality, it is a reasonable response to the needs of readers in the Victorian era. The world under the rabbit hole is very different from the real world, and all the laws that work in the real world do not apply here. Whenever Alice wants to use these rules, she will fail. The absurd plot in Alice in Wonderland is not all nonsense. By contrast, Alice in Wonderland is grown out of readers''' needs at that time. In the Victorian era, fantasy flourished with a high acceptance by the public (Lim 123). The Victorian period when Alice in Wonderland was published experienced a period of explosive growth of the middle class driven by technological advancement in British history. The middle class began to develop a culture and collective consciousness of their own group, and entertaining reading began to become more and more popular. Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland uses multiple absurd plots and amusing elements in his works to meet such a need. There is the rabbit hole that is endless, and an underground world ruled by a poker card, but no one resists. All of those reveal absurdity. Readers think it ’s incredible, but it ’s not necessarily totally unreasonable. It is logic in the fantasy world.That's part of the reason why adults like this book.

In Alice in Wonderland, the real world and the fantasy world respectively correspond to the world dominated by adults and the world desired by children. In the real world, Alice, 19 years old, lives in a magnificent and rich manor, influenced by the social atmosphere, gradually grew into the kind of noble girl that the family expects. This is a world dominated by adult , as children are usually regarded as immature individuals both physically and psychologically and raised with social expectations. But Alice, like most children, is anxious to grow up and anxious to see the world with the eyes of adults. So in the fairyland where Alice entered, all the characters and scenes are of smaller size. It seems that when the children are in the same size of characters and scenes as themselves, they seem to have a sense of belonging and freedom of expression. And in dreams, they can be treated as adults, without certain taboo or restrictions. There are no rules for Alice’s change of size in the fantasy world. She can become smaller by drinking saliva, larger by eating a piece of cake, and smaller by eating snacks. Alice’s transformation is completely arbitrary, which also stands for the children’s call for freedom. Although it is not logic in reality, it is also a kind of logic. Alice's experiences are depiction of key aspect of adolescent development (Lough 305). In the minds of a lot of children, dreams are also a part of reality, and even dreams are more intimate than reality.

In addition, in Alice in Wonderland, the fantasy world and the reality world are not completely separated in terms of characters and Alice’s finding of her identity. The characters in the fantasy world have distinctive characteristics, and there are many similarities with those in real life. Everyone in the fantasy world speaks in an arrogant way, and they use self-righteous logical thinking, and therefore impose it to others. Those figures allude to a type of adult person in society. In reality, everyone has different ideas, and when they do not understand or conflict with each other, people often impose their own ideas on others. Like Alice in the story, those children who are forced to accept it are generally at a loss, and are confused. This may lead to a crisis of identity of children in reality. The battle between those two sides is inevitable as Alice grows stronger and stronger. All stupid, brutal and meaningless constraints disappear like cards. In the final trial, the story reached its climax, which symbolizes the fierce struggle between rational Alice and irrational Red Queen. This may be a victory of maturity and reason. Once the victory is over, the dream will also end, and Alice will never go back. Alice's identity crisis is related to the nature of childhood and growing up in the Victorian era (Flegar and Wertag 213). At the end of the story, Alice woke up as if she had gained her identity overnight. Being innocent and kind, she was a girl full of curiosity, advocating freedom, rebellious spirit, strong courage, loyalty, and so on. Those stand for advanced ideological elements advocated in the society.

Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland describes both the real world and the fantasy world in a truly profound way. His careful and delicate observation of the society of Alice allows him to present some of the imaginative elements most deeply rooted in the cultural genes that resonate with readers. This is making Alice's story become popular in the period of material civilization during the industrial revolution of Victorian era. 

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