Miscellaneous Alice > You seem to get it all wrong

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alzamiento
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You seem to get it all wrong

Postby alzamiento » Fri Mar 12, 2010 3:54 am

You seem to get it all wrong

First of all: excuse me for my poor english :(


Now, I have read a lot of justifications and "defenses" to make Carroll look like he WASN'T a paedophile. A lot of people who like him try to think in that way, that he was a completely heterosexual man.

I have read his biography by Cohen and I'm personally a fan of Lewis Carroll, not much for his literature (in fact I haven't read any of his book), but because of his love towards little girls. And I'm REALLY bothered by the people who try to "defend" Carroll from the "evil" of paedophilia.

First of all, most people confuse paedophile with child molester. People think that Carroll wasn't a pedophile (which isn't true) because he didn't molest any little girl (which is completely true). Carroll didn't do anything sexual with a little girl, we all know that. Now, that means that he wasn't sexually attracted to them? No, they are two very different things. Carroll knew how to behave, knew how to control his sexual orientation. That made him a GREAT man. He was brave in controlling his sexual urges which HE HAD. It's ABSURD to think that that poor man didn't have any sexual thoughts. That's simply absurd.


Second, it bothers me because the people who try to make Carroll look like an heterosexual attracted to grown-up woman are missing the point. They are messing with one of the most profound and personal aspect of a human being: his sexuality. They have no right to say that Carroll was better or worse just because of his sexual orientation. My personal view is this: he liked little girls, SO WHAT? He didn't molest any. I don't think that having a different sexual orientation is bad. Carroll knew how to restrain his urges. You wouldn't bothering him if he was "suspected" to be homosexual, would you?


I don't see it like he was a bad person for being a pedophile. A lot of good persons are pedophiles and don't have sex with any child and have positive and constructive lives. A lot of pedophiles truly love children. Carroll was one of them. I don't think we should say he was "better" or "worse" for what was in his mind. He loved little girls, maybe that love was a romantic love, with a sexual component. But that doesn't make him any worse or better. That's at least my view.

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Lenny
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Postby Lenny » Fri Mar 12, 2010 8:50 am

I moved your topic from the Jabberwocky subforum to the Misc Alice subforum.

First of all: who are you to tell us that we're all wrong? ;) Unfortunately Charles Dodgson is dead, so no one will know the exact truth about his personality.

You say you read the biography by Cohen, a book that is, well... slightly debated.
I'd advise you to read Jenny Woolf's new biography. I think she makes a very valid point in it: Carroll was very religious and did not want to be tempted sexually. In the Victorian age, little children were considered to be innocent and sexless. So there would be no harm in him spending much time with children. It would be like reclaiming his own innocense.

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NeVaR aSk
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Postby NeVaR aSk » Fri Mar 12, 2010 3:54 pm

I respect Cohen but his bio is dated on this subject. There is new info that give light on this.

I don't care if he was or wasn't... but I just follow the facts/evidence to support my comments... wich in this case he wasn't... not even a closet pedophile or a emotional restrain man.

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Lael
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Postby Lael » Sun Mar 14, 2010 10:04 pm

I respect Cohen but his bio is dated on this subject. There is new info that give light on this.
Nevertheless, it's a very good biography written in a pleasant, engaging fashion. Though Cohen does say Carroll/Charles liked little girls, I don't remember him saying that Carroll was also physically attrackted to them. And I agree; if he was, what does it matter? He never did any harm. In fact, a lot of children say they benefited from his friendship. Carroll was a real entertainer and gave those children the time of their lives.

The only thing I think is suspicious is the sudden break between Carroll and the Liddell family. Something happened to cause that break, but we can only speculate on what that was. Carroll probably recorded it in his diary a few days after the incident took place, but that page unfortunatelly has been cut out and (most likely) destroyed. Cohen suggests a marriage proposal to Alice, but that sounds more like a silly fanfiction to me. :)

I wonder if we'll ever find out what happened. Maybe it is better left untouched. Carroll wanted his privacy and I can imagine him turning over in his grave if he knew we're talking about him like this...

I feel so bad for reading his diaries! AIW:'-(

Justin

Postby Justin » Mon Mar 15, 2010 9:46 am

Lael, you really need to read 'In the Shadow of the Dreamchild' by Karoline Leach, first or second edition - it's amazing how many people with an interest in Carroll never seem to have come across this work. For one thing, she was the one who found the bit of paper where the Dodgsons had written down what was on the page they cut out of the diary (sounds odd, I know, but they really did) - it was nothing to do with Alice, btw. For another, she does a brilliant job of showing how all the myths about psedophilia and general weirdness came into being - and myths is what they are. Obviously the first correspondent on this thread hasn't got much idea wht evidence is and can only think in terms of agendas, but all you others who're replying are just playing this guy's game foir him when you talk about whetehr Carroll ever 'harmed' children. The real point is that according to the actual first-hand eveidence there was never any reason to suppose he might have wanted to.
Oh, and Cohen does say that 'Charles' was attracted to children - what else do you think he means by 'differing sexual appetites?'

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Lael
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Postby Lael » Tue Mar 16, 2010 10:39 am

Thank you for your recommendation, Justin! I will go and get my hands on a copy right now. Leach's bio clearly views matters from a different perspective - just the thing I need for my BA thesis. I mean, staying objective is very important and in order to do so you should try and see things from multiple perspectives before coming to a conclusion. Right? ^^

And I'm just dying to know what was on that page! :D

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Nixie_Knox
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Postby Nixie_Knox » Fri Apr 30, 2010 12:15 am

I know I’m a little bit late posting here - my sense of time is a lot like The White Rabbit's - but I’d like to comment a little if I may.

First of all, I have not yet completely read any biographies on Carroll, but am in the process of reading Jenny Woolf’s biography and would one day like to read others as well, even if I may disagree with the theories put forth. Whether true or false, I would still like to know what theories there are about him, why they are believed, and what evidence is used to support such claims.

So far, Woolf commented that the theories revealed more about the author than Carroll himself, and I am wondering if this is not also true of the author’s time and culture. For example, this popular opinion regarding Carroll and child molestation is occurring during a time when many are coming forward with allegations about religious leaders such as Catholic priests.

Even though I do not yet have an opinion about whether or not Carroll really did have a sexual attraction to children, I agree with alzamiento’s statement regarding the difference between one’s desires and actions. I believe that one characteristic of love is wanting what is best for the loved one, even if this means sacrificing the relationship with the loved one. So, when it comes to adults with a sexual attraction to children, I would suggest that if such a person truly loved a child and could see that having relations with the child could be harmful to him/her, than the adult would refrain from making sexual advances toward the child out of love. Though tragic, it would be the love for the child that would drive the adult not to act out his/her desires.

This idea is basically the theme of the book Lolita – coincidentally, the author of Lolita – Vladmir Nabokov – seemed to firmly believe that Carroll was a child molester.

I’d like to end this post with an interesting thought. When studying the Alice books in university, my professor argued that the theme of the books was, “In every exchange between 2 people, there is usually 1 person with an advantage in society over the other, and the individual with the advantage has a responsibility to the individual with the disadvantage not to hurt or take advantage of him/her.” I don’t know if I agree completely that this is the theme, and I should note that this professor did not do justice to the books and actually caused me to hate them for a while, but I can see how this does have a place in the books and how it is an important lesson to learn in growing up and interacting with people. I am mentioning it because I think it is an interesting concept when considering whether or not Carroll could have had a sexual attraction to children. And if he was not attracted to children, perhaps he simply incorporated this theme into his work because he believed that children were innocent and required protection like others in the Victorian era.

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NeVaR aSk
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Postby NeVaR aSk » Fri Apr 30, 2010 1:26 pm

^ Jenny's book may clarify some of this.

Guest

Postby Guest » Sun Oct 24, 2010 5:30 pm

Lael, you really need to read 'In the Shadow of the Dreamchild' by Karoline Leach, first or second edition - it's amazing how many people with an interest in Carroll never seem to have come across this work. For one thing, she was the one who found the bit of paper where the Dodgsons had written down what was on the page they cut out of the diary (sounds odd, I know, but they really did) - it was nothing to do with Alice, btw. For another, she does a brilliant job of showing how all the myths about psedophilia and general weirdness came into being - and myths is what they are. Obviously the first correspondent on this thread hasn't got much idea wht evidence is and can only think in terms of agendas, but all you others who're replying are just playing this guy's game foir him when you talk about whetehr Carroll ever 'harmed' children. The real point is that according to the actual first-hand eveidence there was never any reason to suppose he might have wanted to.
Oh, and Cohen does say that 'Charles' was attracted to children - what else do you think he means by 'differing sexual appetites?'
CRAP!! CRAPOLA!!!!

Leach has harmed Carroll with her ridiculous book more than anyone...
Carroll WAS attracted romantically with Alice, and he tried to reclaim that love with the countless child friends after her...

It is SO CLEAR and in black and white in Carroll's OWN WORDS that any one who denies it is burying their heads in the sand.

Now I agree that Carroll never "molested" children, and sexuality was not his primary motivation. He needed the devotion, and company of little girls and became in many cases (not all) romantically attached to them. his diaries and letters prove this.
As far as Leach and the cut diary notation, read my review which is also posted in another thread....but I will re-post here for those too lazy to surf for it...

What an Embarrassment!!!, June 1, 2008

This review is from: In the Shadow of the Dreamchild: A New Understanding of Lewis Carroll (Hardcover)
I cannot believe that many take this book seriously when it is based on such scanty. flimsy "evidence" which calls for HUGE assumptions by the author. You also don't write a historical theses by picking and choosing what facts to include or ignore. I will now, in a very short comment, blow her thesis out of the water....Nothing in the diary page that Ms. Leach quotes from proves anything, and is greatly taken out of context. She totally ignores more obvious evidence to the contrary, other letters, diary entries, and the words of Carroll himself! While it is nice that she jumps off the Carroll as pedophile band-wagon, it is not enough to, under the guise of scholarship, make so much from so little...

While many people in Oxford thought Carroll's attentions to be for the governess, this was understandable because to think of a grown Oxford don in love with the Dean's daughter was more far fetched.

However, Mrs. Liddell and Carroll himself didn't think so....

Carroll in his later diaries mentioned a long talk with Mrs. Liddell after Alice's marriage, where he admits to his "foolish" ways (toward Alice) in the past, and his subsequent estrangement from the Deanery. During that talk, Mrs. Liddell forgives him. (note: that with Alice's marriage, she didn't view Carroll as the "threat" he once was)

Ina, Alice's sister in letters to Alice before her death , mentions that she always thought Dodgson was in love with her sister, and when Alice denies this, Ina points out the many times she had been sitting inappropriately on Dodgson's lap and alludes to other incidents.

Then, there is the letter to Carroll's uncle, where he is upset at the news that his brother wants to marry 14 year old Alice Jane Donkin.
Carroll alludes to the similar problems he himself had gone through with "AL"..now..who could THAT be??

And why DID Alice's mother burn all of Carroll's letter to her daughter?

Because of his love for the governess?

I think not.

and:


As to Alice...YES, he was in love with her (NOT THE GOVERNESS, NOT ALICE'S MOTHER, NOT LORINA) and did want to marry her.

There is undeniable proof.

First..he mentioned in a letter to his uncle Skeffington, concerning the romantic attachment of his brother to another Alice...Alice Donkin who was just 14. (They eventually DID marry when she turned 18)

In the letter,he mentions that he didn't want his brother to share the same pain that he went through under similar conditions with "A.L" (now who could THAT be?)

Again, other letters and diary accounts, we learn that later in life, after Alice was married, both he and Alice's mother had a long talk about those times..and they reconciled their differences...

He referred to his "attachment" to Alice as his "foolishness" and now that Alice was a married woman, Alice's mother no longer felt Dodgson a threat to her ambitions for her daughter's future.

THIS is why she had burned his letters to Alice when she was a child, and what caused the rift..

Also, why did Carroll continue to dedicate all editions of Alice, and present her (Alice) with EVERY copy of every major edition until the day he died, yet years after Alice had grown up, while sending a token gift, was invited, but did not attend Alice's wedding?

Surely, even as a once close family friend to say the least, it would have been the proper thing to do. But...he could not bring himself to attend. Maybe...because the finality marriage was too much for a man who had devoted 1/2 his life to his singular dreamchild??

In true Victorian fashion, he had meekly, and informally confessed to Alice's mother, his growing feelings for Alice, and the possibility of marriage to Alice in the future if they both felt the same way towards each other.

Alice's mother of course refused..not that she didn't like Dodgson, or thought him a pervert, but most likely because she thought Dodgson not ambitious enough for her daughter.
Even after he became famous for writing the Alice books, he still did not have the taste for the aristocracy that Alice's mother sought (remember, Alice was distantly related to Queen Victoria,and subsequent royalty including the Queen Mother of Elizabeth II.) As well as having hopes of Alice marring Prince Leopold, Victoria's son)

The real insight here is that she would have just laughed off his proposals if he alone had those feelings...but because her daughter Alice also probably had expressed a likewise unique fondness for "Mr. Dodgson"..she considered it a true threat, and subsequently banning Dodgson from seeing Alice, and burning his letters to her which surely must have had a romantic aspect. (Or why burn them?)

Nearing the end of their lives, the two surviving Liddell sisters, Alice and Lorina had a correspondence concerning a biographer's attempt to find out about the "romantic" nature of Alice's relationship with Dodgson. While not knowing how to answer the biographer, she made a non committed reply, but went on in her letters to remind Alice of the closeness, and physicality between herself I(Alice) and Dodgson.

The main issue with the "cut-diary" papers, concerning the famous 1863 break with the Liddell family "discovered by Leach, is not what they say, but her flimsy interpretation of them.

Quote:

... this page states that Mrs. Liddell told Dodgson there was gossip circulating about him and the Liddell family's governess, as well as about his relationship with "Ina", presumably Alice's older sister, Lorina Liddell. The "break" with the Liddell family that occurred soon after was presumably in response to this gossip.[43][44] An alternate interpretation has been made regarding Carroll's rumored involvement with "Ina": Lorina was also the name of Alice Liddell's mother

So..Leach believes that Dodgson was possibly in love with either of the three, Mother, older sister, or governess...but the truth, which she cannot see is staring her right in the face.

It is pretty obvious what really happened...

When being confronted by Alice's mother concerning these rumors.....and possibly being told that he should not frequent the deanery so often (until the rumors died down) Dodson who during the almost rapture-like account of taking Alice ALONE un-chaperoned, to see the fireworks in celebration of the royal marriage, if he did not directly propose to Alice herself that night, may have felt that his hand was being forced, and broke down and told Alice's mother his true feelings for young Alice.

This makes perfect sense because Alice herself said in an interview when visiting New York to receive an honorary degree fro Columbia, that her mother had destroyed all the letters Dodson had written her.

So...why would a little girl be saving all those letters, and what would make her mother throw them into the fire (not just merely tossing them away) unless the unsettling business WAS ALL about Alice???

Certainly, she wouldn't have thought to remove all traces of what most likely was thinly veiled love letters to a little girl, if she thought all the fuss was about the governess, herself (a happily married woman by the way) or her eldest daughter.

I sure would like Ms. Leach to comment on THAT!!

To those still skeptical, I should only ask them to revisit the poems Dodgson wrote framing the two Alice books...the true answers are there.

PostPosted: Sun Oct 24, 2010 3:47 pm Post subject: Reply with quote Edit/Delete this post

Oh, I forgot to sum up...

It seems pretty obvious that Carrol DID "love" Alice Liddell and whether or not he wanted to marry her, there WAS a romantic attraction.
(2) Carroll spent his whole life seeking the company, writing about, writing to, collecting art, photographing inc. nude studies of little girls....

If you want to deny it fine, but Carroll, though a man of his times, had a very strong attraction to children.

I am NOT, nor does M. Cohen say that Carroll was an active pedophile, nor was sexual attraction his prime motivation...but to sweep it all under the rug and say "Whew"!! when idiots like Ms. Leach try to infer that Carroll was not attracted to children, but to mature women in a SEXUAL WAY is patently absurd.....
And those of you who choose to believe that are living in your own illogical wonderland!!!



I hope this answers your questions!!

Guest

Postby Guest » Sun Oct 24, 2010 11:57 pm

But there's no such creature, because all pedophiles harm kids.
So, either Carroll was (and he's a criminal) or he wasn't (and people should get off his back).


Being a pedophile doesn't harm kids any more than a person coveting a an expensive watch in a jewelry store window he can't afford is jewel thief.

Pedophilia is an attraction. By def. to children by an adult, usually sexual, but not always.
However, it is NOT equatable to child molester. It is a state of mind, and only anti-social actions can bare harm to others.

Since we cannot be sure that Dodgson had a conscious sexual attraction to children, we cannot with certainty, label him a child molester/pedophile.
There are many adults that love children, and spend a great deal of time with them. Parents aside, teachers, coaches, tutors, counselors etc. all surround themselves and even make a vocation of being close to children. Of course there are always the one rotten apple, but here we are talking about most of the time.

Not only did Dodgson befriend children for his own needs, what ever the motivation, but besides being their friend, and not in any way acting improper towards them, he enriched their lives.

He took them on outings, helped them with school work, educated, and widened their perspectives, but he also provided them with school tuition, took them to the dentist when they couldn't afford to go, and many other acts of kindness..

In the more than a century since his death, every account and remembrance of his child friends over the years, painted a picture of a giving, kindly man, who was very special in their lives. Not once, in all that time did any of them hint of a darker motivation.

So IF Carroll was a pedophile, and he undoubtedly was attracted to pubescent children, then his affliction did only good for the children he loved, and therefore your statement is a fallacy.
Last edited by Guest on Fri Oct 29, 2010 12:13 pm, edited 5 times in total.

3rdpoliceman

Postby 3rdpoliceman » Mon Oct 25, 2010 12:33 am

Fair point. I for one, am divided on this whole thing. Every time I try to get something right, someone else tries to prove me wrong.

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Alyss
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Postby Alyss » Fri Oct 29, 2010 8:24 am

I would like to know why, I'll call you Mr. Guest since you won't use an actual name, you are so ADAMENT about calling Dodgson a pedophile. Why do you care so much about the personal life of someone that died over a century ago and what PHYSICAL proof besides biased biographies do you have to base your claims. Everything about him tells me he was just a guy who liked kids who couldn't have his own. Disprove that? You can't. Prove that? You can't.

Does it really matter? This world is a screwed up place. I have had a lot happen to me that I cannot explain or wish upon others. The word pedophile, like a lot of English words, has changed definitions, and can no longer be used to label Dodgson.

Have you actually ever MET a pedophile? I recently had the displeasure a month ago.... at a PLAYGROUND, NO LESS! How this guy is able to live near a playground, I don't know, but I was unaware. He was taking pictures of children, and tried to get some of my daughter. Do you know what they do with those pictures? They post them on the internet for other pedophiles to use for sexual gratification. I, personally, would consider that molesting a child, even if they didn't physically harm the child themselves, the kid's picture will be forever used somewhere.

There's a reason I don't get into these trivial discussions about Dodgson: IT DOESN'T MATTER ANYMORE. He is gone. Alice is gone. No matter what happened in his personal life, it is all here say, and he left us some pretty awesome books that impacted the hearts and childhoods of everyone on this forum.

Can't it just rest on that?

ornery

Postby ornery » Fri Oct 29, 2010 12:24 pm

Guest, you can think and say what you want about Dodgson (it's a free forum) but DON'T erase my posts and DON'T use my name to spread your ideas! DIS>:-(

ERASE YOUR POST?? Pray tell, how can I do THAT??
Last edited by ornery on Sat Oct 30, 2010 7:11 pm, edited 1 time in total.

3rdpoliceman

Postby 3rdpoliceman » Fri Oct 29, 2010 3:58 pm

I would like to know why, I'll call you Mr. Guest since you won't use an actual name, you are so ADAMENT about calling Dodgson a pedophile. Why do you care so much about the personal life of someone that died over a century ago and what PHYSICAL proof besides biased biographies do you have to base your claims. Everything about him tells me he was just a guy who liked kids who couldn't have his own. Disprove that? You can't. Prove that? You can't.

Does it really matter? This world is a screwed up place. I have had a lot happen to me that I cannot explain or wish upon others. The word pedophile, like a lot of English words, has changed definitions, and can no longer be used to label Dodgson.

Have you actually ever MET a pedophile? I recently had the displeasure a month ago.... at a PLAYGROUND, NO LESS! How this guy is able to live near a playground, I don't know, but I was unaware. He was taking pictures of children, and tried to get some of my daughter. Do you know what they do with those pictures? They post them on the internet for other pedophiles to use for sexual gratification. I, personally, would consider that molesting a child, even if they didn't physically harm the child themselves, the kid's picture will be forever used somewhere.

There's a reason I don't get into these trivial discussions about Dodgson: IT DOESN'T MATTER ANYMORE. He is gone. Alice is gone. No matter what happened in his personal life, it is all here say, and he left us some pretty awesome books that impacted the hearts and childhoods of everyone on this forum.

Can't it just rest on that?
I hope you ripped that pedophile's adam's apple out.

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Postby Justin » Fri Oct 29, 2010 6:12 pm

Is Guest's massive, semi-literate, 100% untruthful screed actually intended seriously? Can anyone really be that utterly and abysmally ignorant of the very thing he's setting out to criticise?
You could go through it line by line saying 'No he didn't', 'no she doesn't', 'that's a gross misrepresentation', 'that's an outright lie' but I really don't have the time. But pretty well all of it comes into one or other of those categories.
And he is apparently under the serious impression that Karoline Leach believes Dodgson to have been in love with Miss Prickett. Hilarious.
Sadly there are a lot of these creeps around, the ones who see themselves as the acceptable face of child abuse and like to parade Dodgson as their flagship. A few of them have infested the Contrariwise blog as well. They do seem terribly threatened by the new scholarship, even if they're not quite up to reading it before shooting their mouths off.


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