Alice Question #19 ~ Digging Deeper

by Lewis Carroll

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DeppInTheHeartOfTexas
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Alice Question #19 ~ Digging Deeper

Unread postby DeppInTheHeartOfTexas » Fri Feb 19, 2010 11:06 am

Is there a deeper meaning to each story than just a fanciful children’s tale?
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming -
Wow! What a ride!

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Re: Alice Question #19 ~ Digging Deeper

Unread postby stroch » Fri Feb 19, 2010 5:07 pm

As with any work of art, you make the meaning yourself, depending on your own knowledge and life experiences. The interpretations can be endless. I don't know what Carroll intended, or if any of the many glosses of the work are "accurate." I only know the passages and episodes that resonate with me, my emotional responses to them, and the meaning I ascribe to them.

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Re: Alice Question #19 ~ Digging Deeper

Unread postby gemini » Fri Feb 19, 2010 5:46 pm

Since I really don't know. I am going to cheat here a bit, and go with something I read. I read somewhere that Carroll actually made fun of other writers for writing children's stories that always have a lesson in them or a moral to the story. To be honest, I missed where he poked fun about it when I read the stories, but I did find it interesting that he just wanted to write for pure entertainment.

Edit to add
I found where I read this. It was wiki answers to questions does Alice have a moral?

I also found this article from Carrolls writings.

Carroll encouraged imagination and was quite determined that Alice's Adventure's in Wonderland would not have a moral purpose.


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Re: Alice Question #19 ~ Digging Deeper

Unread postby deppaura » Fri Feb 19, 2010 6:44 pm

He seemed earnest in writing against the times, the victorian times. I think most of the children's books preached a bit more, before Carroll's contribution. But the stages and experiences of childhood to adulthood seemed prevelant in the telling of the stories.

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Re: Alice Question #19 ~ Digging Deeper

Unread postby fansmom » Fri Feb 19, 2010 8:37 pm

deppaura wrote: I think most of the children's books preached a bit more, before Carroll's contribution.
Like the original version of How Doth the Little Busy Bee. So preachy. :yuck:

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Re: Alice Question #19 ~ Digging Deeper

Unread postby Liz » Fri Feb 19, 2010 11:48 pm

I think that maybe his writing was a reaction to the preaching, which is, in a way, a form of preaching.
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Re: Alice Question #19 ~ Digging Deeper

Unread postby Buster » Sat Feb 20, 2010 2:46 am

Post Posted: Fri Feb 19, 2010 10:48 pm

Maybe...
Sometimes I see much of Alice as an extended "in-joke", the kind of mind games and tinkering about that happens when people think congruently. It wasn't originally intended for general consumption.

Are there deeper meanings? Of course.
The best puzzles, and finest humor, are all responses to the current environment. It is easy to lose context - the place and time Carroll was writing - and interpret his words from a modern point of view.

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Re: Alice Question #19 ~ Digging Deeper

Unread postby nebraska » Sat Feb 20, 2010 11:42 am

Obviously some folks think so or a man like Gardner wouldn't devote all the time and effort to write a book like the Annotated Alice! While I a big part of the book explains a bit about the times, there is also a lot of speculation about what Carroll meant or didn't mean on a personal/emotional/spiritual level. Who really knows! Maybe Carroll himself didn't know. And as has already been pointed out, the story was not originally made up for public consumption.

On some level, I think we all inject our own thoughts and beliefs into what we say and what we write if only on an unconscious level. It is part of who we are and naturally colors our viewpoint, so a bit of deeper meaning could have seeped through accidentally.

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Re: Alice Question #19 ~ Digging Deeper

Unread postby DeppInTheHeartOfTexas » Sat Feb 20, 2010 2:37 pm

I was thinking along the same lines as many of you. I think an author leaves something of themselves behind in their work, intentionally or not. I do think he was enjoying poking fun at some of the things going on at the time, politics, societal convention and cultural passtimes.
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming -

Wow! What a ride!


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