Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and the Victorian Age
The so-called Victorian Age, the years from the reign of Queen Victoria (1837) and the end of the Boer War (1902), is the time in which the author of “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland”, Lewis Carroll, lived. For this reason we can find some references to this period in his book concerning to British policy, Victorian morality, habits and traditions. Carroll satirized his society through the eyes of a child, Alice, attempting to come to terms with the world around her.
Starting to talk about the allusions to English policy, a perfect example in which it compares in the romance is the “Race Caucus”. For this competition the participants, in this case are some animals and Alice, have to run around and start and stop whenever they like. It seems no real order and no real winner, because it’s impossible to find it out, it’s too confusing. To simplify matters everybody is the winner of the race. Maybe, Carroll wanted to point out the confusion in the politics during the Victorian Age, because of several new reforms, like the three Reform Bill (1832,1867,1884): the first one extended the right to vote to much of male middle class, the second one to all working men in the towns and finally the third one to all male workers; the Factory Act, limiting working hours and child labour; Slavery Abolition Act (1833); the Education Act (1870), which made elementary education compulsory.
Lewis Carroll is one of the most well known Nonsense Writers. Though using nonsense in poetry has been dismissed as simply 'for entertainment purposes', most nonsensical poetry acts as an allegory, has deep symbolism and leaves the door wide open for varying interpretations. Lewis Carroll has utilized this sense with nonsense through his poems and prose found in his novels Alice in Wonderland and ...
Another example is concerning to the court of justice which is very chaotic. There are stupid jurors, who are putting down their own names in order not to forget them before the end of the trial, and there is the judge, represented by the King of Hearts, who doesn’t really know what he has to do, in fact he is advised by the White Rabbit. He judges with prejudices and without having any proofs. Also the crowd has nothing to say, the guinea-pig cheers and is suppressed in the same moment. Carroll criticized the whole system of laws and their enforcement. Even though the parliament was supposed to take a big part in the government and be consulted about important decisions during that time, the monarchy had the unrestricted power.
The last example is pertains to the Queen of Hearts, who wants to chop off everybody´s head most of the time for no real reason, this can be interpreted as a criticism of Queen Victoria (1819-1901).
She came to the throne in 1837, when she was eighteen, and she was helped in politics by Lord Melbourne, the Prime Minister. In the first years of her government an episode, later published on a newspaper, decreased her popularity among the British public. It told of when Victoria saw Lady Flora Hastings, of her ladies-in-waiting, getting into a carriage with Sir John Conroy. A few months later, Victoria noticed that Lady Hastings appeared to be pregnant, so, when she discuss with Lady Hastings about this, the latter exclaimed that she was still virgin and she had no sexual relationship with Conroy. Victoria, not believing her, submitted her to a medical examination, but the queen discovered that the girl was right and her swelling was caused by a cancer on her liver. As a consequence of this, there took place some assassination attempts to Victoria in different years (1842, 1849, 1850, 1872, and 1882).
In 1840 the queen married her cousin Albert, who influenced her politics more than Lord Melbourne. She soon won the nation’s heart with her modesty and practically, representing not the intellectual and the aristocrats, but her mentality was near to the common men in the streets. Returning to Queen of Hearts, the fact that she never succeeds in executing Alice or other creatures shows that she isn’t a person who really is cruel and likes seeing other people suffer, but that she only wants to shock and warn the people to have a nation without crime.
1. Understand how the social, economic and cultural environment can impact on the outcomes of life chances of children and young people 1.1. Describe the social, economic and cultural factors that will impact on the lives of children and young people. There is a chart on page 186 of your text book with outlines all the factors and the possible effect on the lives of children. When you read through ...
In the novel it is also important the satire about education, which has as his emblem the scene of the Duchess who is nursing a baby and doesn’t care about its safety and when she gives it to Alice, it turns into a pig. Carroll criticized how parents treated their children, namely like animals. It is as if babies were able to care for themselves, like the pig which runs away and can eat alone, and the parents forgot that children also need love in their life.
Victorians believed that a child must know the difference between right and wrong in order to become a moral adult. Consequently, when a child did something wrong it would be punished for its own good. A common saying of that time was “Spare the rod and spoil the child”, that do means a child can only become a good and morals adult and it receives punishment, physically or otherwise for any wrongdoing. In a family the father was the head of the family and he was mostly strict. The children didn’t dare to talk back to him; they always spoke politely and respected the father by calling him ‘Sir’. When the father demanded peace and quiet time, he retreated to his study and the rest of the family wasn’t allowed to disturb him without permission. The mother would spend her time planning dinner, parties, visiting or calling friends. The children didn’t often see their parents, because they spent most of their time with the nursery.
The education was very important in the Victorian society. Alice is very proud to have learnt so much and shows it, but only to herself, when she is alone and talking to herself. Moreover it was important to be polite. <<You were not supposed to speak unless someone asked you a question, and you have a keep the temper>>, sever people tell Alice this in the book.
The Victorian Age is characterized by a strict moral code and by numerous rules that people have to follow. From childhood people move so as to maintain a correct behavior, such as Alice often shows her knowledge of what is and isn’t proper when she converses with the inhabitants of Wonderland: “<<Don’t grunt>>, said Alice; <<that’s not at all a proper way of expressing yourself>>”. Carroll even pokes fun at the Victorian obsession with morality in Alice’s garden conversation with the Duchess: “<<How fond she is of finding morals in things! >> Alice though to herself”. The Victorians found morals in everything and their morals often includes the view that what you saw is what you get: “…Maybe it’s always pepper that makes people hot-temperate>>, she went on, very much pleased at having found out a new kind of rule, <<and vinegar that makes them sour –and chamomile that makes them bitter — and — and barley – sugar and such things that make children sweet – temperate>>. In fact, Alice beliefs that it is what you eat or see that makes a person acts as they do are often seen something in Victorian beliefs. Victorians are convinced that “a book really could be judged by its cover”. They are conditioned by stereotypes: a short, ugly or malformed person is cruel, corrupt and violent while a tall, beautiful and perfectly formed person is smart, kind and good. An optimal example that shows the way in which people are forced to act, because of strong laws, is the scene in which three gardeners, fearing to be beheaded therefore to have planted white roses instead of red ones, are painting white roses in red one, as a consequence of their mistake.
The time when children with disabilities could legally be prevented from attending public schools is long past. A series of federal laws has guaranteed children with disabilities an education in the public school. But while it is against the law to discriminate those who are disabled, it is very hard to adopt the mentality of the population and to make them see disabled as equals. Raising a child ...
In according to this strict moral code and to utilitarian ideals, developed by Jeremy Bentham and with the beliefs that men could be happy having employment, being food, housed, avoiding physical pains, the education system of the Victorian Age limits the thoughts, speech and actions of the individual: people are the product of the Victorian society.
A criticism to Victorian habits can be found in the Mad Tea Party. Here the time is stopped at 6 o’clock in the evening, so it is always tea time. In this party there are the March Hare, the Mad Hatter and the Dormouse who are very impolite and don’t want Alice to sit down at the big table, which has enough seats more than three persons. With this episode, Carroll wanted to mock to be always on time and have a regular order in own everyday life, where every day is like the other. It doesn’t matter how ridiculous the themes are, that you are talking about, important is that you have a tea time, whatever will happen. The author criticized the need to have tea and through the three characters we get the impression that they don’t care about anything except their tea. He hinted at a class society, because not everyone was able to have a tea time, like the working class. The Dormouse, the Mad Hatter and the March Hare don’t want Alice to take part, which is another hint at that.
The four pillars of life include staying connected, motion, nutrition and reduction of stress. In the novel, Beka Lamb, by Zee Edge ll, these pillars are examined. A novel about the upbringing and changes a young girl goes through. She makes some mistakes throughout her life but she soon realizes that she needs to alter her ways. With the help of a close friend, considered to be like a sister, she ...
Every inhabitants of Wonderland is mad, and this insanity can link Wonderland with the Victorian Age. For instance, it is curious how the character Mad Hatter is born. His birth is connected with the Victorian way of saying “mad as a hatter”. This derives from the use of mercury, which was employed in making of hats in the factories by haberdashers on pelts and felt. Overexposure to this substance caused serious mental problems in long term to the haberdashers, such as muscular tremors, twitching limbs or mood-swings, that would make them appear ‘mad’ to others, other symptoms included distorted vision and confused speech. Advancing in the time, the mercury caused hallucinations and other psychotic symptoms. Moreover the origin of the Mad Hatter is linked to Theophilus Carter, a furniture dealer, who was known locally as the Mad Hatter, partly because he always wore a top hat and partly because he was quite an eccentric and produced some wacky inventions. Makers of felt hats would indeed often drool, talk to themselves and have bouts of severe paranoia, for reason that only became clear later, that their behaviour was cause by intoxication of mercury.