Although Carroll invented Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland for the entertainment of children, many scholars have thought to discover various underlying influences in his work. The books have been explained from all kinds of viewpoints, like drug use, Freudian influences, mathematics, political satire, sex and pedophilia, nonsense, etc.
On this page you can find a collection of articles that deal about those underlying meanings that Carroll is supposed to have added (consciously or not) in the Alice books.
Please mind that these texts were not written by me personally. References to the author and publication details can be found on the page itself. The articles are reproduced on this site with permission from the authors.
“If any one of them can explain it,” said Alice, “I’ll give him sixpence. I don’t believe there’s an atom of meaning in it.”
General discussion of the ‘Alice’ books
Discussion of Lewis Carroll, the author, in relation to Alice
- “Lewis Carroll”: A Myth in the Making
– about the tendency to create a myth around the name “Lewis Carroll”, in stead on focusing on who Charles Dodgson really was.
- The Man Who Loved Little Girls
– should we really frown upon Dodgson’s nude photographs of children?
- The Liddell Riddle
– about the missing pages in Dodgsons diary and his break with the Liddell family
What/who influenced Carroll while writing the story
Drugs and hallucinations
- The truth about “Alice”
– how Alice in Wonderland can be seen as a political satire about the Wars of the Roses
- Diluted and ineffectual violence in the ‘Alice’ books
- How little girls are like serpents, or, food and power in Lewis Carroll’s Alice books
– About the role of food in the ‘Alice’ books and how it relates to class differences
- A short list of other possible explanations
- On the Lewis Carroll section of the Victorian web, you can find many more interesting essays about a.o. the social and political, religious and philosophical, economic, science and technological, and many other themes and contexts in the Alice books.
- Read about Carroll’s relations to Victorian art and his use of fantasy.
- In an article in Knight Letter nr. 79, Alison Tannenbaum analyses what species of plants appear in Lewis Carroll’s and John Tenniel’s illustrations, and argues that they do not cary much symbolism in the story.