The moral in the ‘Alice’ books
Like the Duchess, we are very keen on finding morals in everything. In the Victorian age, children’s stories were full of morals. The general idea was that stories were meant to educate, not entertain.
The story of Alice in Wonderland originally was not intended to be a book. It was told to the real Alice while she was on a boat trip with her sisters. Only because Alice demanded it, it was written down afterwards. And it took even longer before Lewis Carroll decided to publish it.
Therefore, it was never intended to have a moral. Lewis Carroll told it solely for the amusement of his child friends.
Although the story was expanded for publication, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, the author never changed his intentions and it became actually the first children’s book without a moral.
Through the Looking-Glass is comparable to Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland when it comes to the lack of a moral.
In many editions, however, Lewis Carroll included an Easter Greeting. Strangely enough, this poem is very different from the Alice stories. In this poem Lewis Carroll, who was an ordained deacon, encourages children to enjoy life and incorporate God into their daily lives.
I can’t tell you just now what the moral of that is, but I shall remember it in a bit.’
‘Perhaps it hasn’t one,’ Alice ventured to remark.
‘Tut, tut, child!’ said the Duchess. ‘Everything’s got a moral, if only you can find it.’