Why Not?


Is Alice a Children’s Book? by Katie R
November 28, 2009, 1:20 am
Filed under: Katie

I believe that when Carroll first wrote this book, he may not have intended it to be a children’s book. Many of the topics in the book do relate to adult matter in society. Everything seems to be geared in the direction of a fairy tale, but with hidden undertones. The White Rabbit encounter could really represent how adults have to rush through their lives to reach their goals. They have to work, they have to take care of business, and they are always late. There is so much to do, and so little time to do it that their lives become very stressful. The White Rabbit represents that stress. The caterpillar represents perhaps individuals in society who are more dependent on society taking care of them. They choose not to accept the responsibilities that society puts on them. These individuals want to be like Peter Pan. They never want to grow up because growing up means having more weight on their shoulders.

Children in general are oblivious in knowing how stressful adult life can be. When they are young, they believe that their parents will do everything for them, and they won’t have to worry about anything. However, when they start to grow up and mature, they begin to grasp the stress put onto a parent. They also realize all of the challenges that adults face daily. While Carroll uses child-like symbols to represent daily activities, is he really talking about it from the perspective of a child? Is he really using a childhood story to “mock” the daily grind of adult life? I believe that Carroll intended this book to be more of a social commentary, and not a children’s book. By writing it as a children’s book, he could get by with making fun of, perhaps the issues that were present during his lifetime.


2 Comments so far
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I think as time has passed it has become the case that people can see the book as less of children’s book than in the past, particularly when some of the ‘wackier’ elements are emphasised which can hint at madness, drug taking or violence. Many interpretations have taken this in quite extreme directions so that it has become almost a horror story of sorts.

Comment by Drew Buddie

First of all Carroll did intend this book to be a children’s book because he wrote it for a child so he could read it to her. Although you have good points on how Carroll wrote this book about adult life. I also believe that Carroll wrote this as a sort of a way for him to laugh at the typical society and how people are always on the go. Personnally though I think that this isn’t a children’s book with all of the adult references even though he technically wrote it for a child. I like your Peter Pan reference and I understand why you think of the characters like this. By the way I like your writing style. It is easy to understand and I like it because some of the other blogs I have read use big words that I don’t understand.

Comment by Lindsay R.




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