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Research Article

Imagining the World through Alice’s Eyes

The Adventures of Lewis Carroll’s Alice as Bildungsroman

Alessandra Avanzini    Università degli Studi di Milano, Italia    



In this paper, I would like to discuss how Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s adventures in Wonderland (1865) can be considered to be a Bildungsroman. I will also affirm my idea that Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland is actually the first novel of a trilogy which comprises also Through the Looking-Glass (1871) and Sylvie and Bruno (1889-1893). In this trilogy Wonderland represents the first fundamental stage of Alice’s formative journey. I will therefore analyse the world as seen through Alice’s eyes, observing her first journey as a constructive one which gives both Alice and the reader the opportunity to change and become more self-aware and responsible. Looking at the world through Alice’s eyes makes Wonderland appear absurd, with nonsense seeming to be its main characteristic: at the start of her journey Alice does not have the cognitive tools to understand this new world and so it appears nonsensical. Finally, I’ll look at the cognitive tools Carroll gives us to build a new perspective and possibly a new logic. These are: ‘relationalism’, ‘plural identities’ and finally, ‘conventionality’.

Keywords: Alice’s adventures in Wonderland. Through the Looking Glass. Sylvie and Bruno. Children and young adults literature.

Language: en

Published: Sept. 1, 2015  

permalink: http://doi.org/10.14277/2499-1562/AnnOC-49-15-5

Creative Commons License This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License