Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking-Glass

Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking-Glass - Lewis Carroll Originally written off as unintelligent nonsense, Carroll's "Alice" books have entertained generations of adults and children alike. Starring the young Alice, created based on the young Alice Liddell, a child Carroll met at a picnic in July of 1862, where he began to tell the little girl a story of her following a white rabbit down his rabbit hole and onto this remarkable adventure that he writes down and eventually publishes in 1865, as the insistence of the girl's family. Marketed as a children's book when it was first written, Carroll was able to mock every aspect of Victorian English society in the seemingly innocent dream sequences of a seven-year old girl. Renowned for its eccentric and colorful cast of characters and nonsense conversations, researchers and literary experts are still discovering potential meanings in Carroll's works, revealing the author's true opinions of the social and political world he was born into.

In the novels, the White Rabbit is believed to represent a petty bureaucrat, constantly concerned with his own image and schedule, with little to no concern for the problems of others. The author also uses well-known nursery rhyme characters, Humpty Dumpty for example, to emphasize and tap into the familiar childhood fantasy of all readers familiar with this rhyme. Another character-type he utilizes in this humorous hodge-podge is the brave, noble knight archetype. Putting his own bias into the character, he made him slow, clumsy, and barely able to stay on his horse- a bit of a blow to the idea of the flawless White Knight come to save the day. Among these are the universally well-know Cheshire Cat, "Mad" Hatter, the March Hare, and the outspoken Dormouse.

All in all, it's quite easy to see how the "Alice" books have become classics- the uniqueness and child-like humor camouflaging adult undertones of political and social opinions and mockery would have made a much bigger impact in the late-1800s had readers at the time saw past the silliness and into the heart of the work. Presently, upon further researching and extensive searches for deeper meanings, we can now appreciate Carroll as a respectable writer instead of as the creator of sheer nonsense to entertain the fantasies of children. I gave it four out of five stars.