Why Not?

Hidden Meaning Is Required by Katie R
December 1, 2009, 5:01 am
Filed under: Katie

This post is in response to Erin M.’s post, “Hidden Meaning Is Not Required”.

I pose the premise that perhaps the opposite is the purpose of Carroll’s novel….hidden meanings are indeed required.  It is possible that Carroll used the idea of using a nonsensical “children’s” book to write a commentary on the social issues of his times.  The annotated discussions are basically a guide to let us, the reader, become aware of what political and moral issues were present in Carroll’s lifetime.  By using these comments, we may then be able to make some sense out of the often “nonsense” found in his writing. They give us a clearer picture into the era from which the story draws its background.  I feel safe in assuming that the people who are giving their opinion have studied Carroll’s life and other works of literature and can therefore make the assumptions into what Carroll may have been implying.  While we may indeed not know with absolute certainty the true reason behind his characterizations I can only guess that in writing as he did he may have been safe from political reprisals.

It is not uncommon for a writer to be ostracized by the world at large for writing literature that represents society’s status quo in an unfavorable light.  I pose the theory that Carroll stated that Alice was written for children in an attempt to divert attention to his real reasoning.  What better method of criticizing not only the common people in society but reaching up to the highest levels, the monarchy. It is much easier to make comparisons by using symbolism and leaving it up to the reader to decipher what each one represents.  By making a children’s book, initially there may not be much thought given to looking past the nonsense for deeper meanings.  It is upon closer scrutiny that one begins to think that perhaps there is more to the story than meets the eye.  So, maybe looking deeper and tearing the story apart is exactly what Carroll intended the reader to do.

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