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

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

by Lewis Carroll

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

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

Symbolism, Imagery, Allegory

Going "down the rabbit hole" has become a common metaphor in popular culture, symbolizing everything from exploring a new world to taking drugs to delving into something unknown. (Think The Matrix,...

Setting

EnglandIn each of the Alice books, we begin with a brief glimpse of the "real world" where Alice lives a humdrum domestic life with her older sister, nurse, and other family members. It's important...

Narrator Point of View

The narrator of the Alice books hovers at a distance from the action of the story, a disembodied figure who sees all. However, there are limitations on this impersonal storytelling voice. The narra...

Genre

The Alice books are children's literature by the strict definition – that is, they are literature originally intended for child readers and listeners. Of course, that doesn't mean that adults...

Tone

Above all, the narrator's tone in the Alice books is playful – taking up jokes and kicking them around until they go somewhere absolutely crazy. We get the feeling that this narrator would do...

Writing Style

Although the Alice books are stories for children, they're probably above the reading level of children of Alice's own age (seven in Through the Looking-Glass). The introduction of longer vocabular...

What's Up With the Title?

Let's be really clear about this – there are two titles here, since there are two books. The first is Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, which is exactly what it sounds like – a series o...

What's Up With the Epigraph?

All in the golden afternoonFull leisurely we glide;For both our oars, with little skill,By little hands are plied,While little hands make vain pretenceOur wanderings to guide.Ah, cruel Three! In su...

What's Up With the Ending?

At the end of both of the Alice books, we awake with a start from the fantasy world and find ourselves dropped back into "real life" with a solid thump. Well, OK, there's not a literal thump –...

Plot Analysis

Alice is bored. She's lying on the riverbank while her sister reads and she's feeling too lazy even to pick daisies.Here's where it all begins. Alice is drowsy and can't decide what to do, and an a...

Trivia

In popular culture, it's often suggested that Lewis Carroll, like his character the Caterpillar, was "on drugs" and that the stories in the Alice books developed out of drug-induced hallucinations....

Steaminess Rating

Shmoop approves Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking-Glass for all audiences. There's nothing racy or sexy here. Of course, there's also nothing morally improving, but that was...

Allusions

Isaac Watts, "How doth the little busy Bee" (Wonderland 2.8)Robert Southey, "The Old Man's Comforts" (Wonderland 5.26)Jane Taylor, "Twinkle, twinkle, little star!" (Wonderland 7.47)Mary Howitt, "'W...
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