Lewis Carroll, "Alice in Wonderland" as a Work of Nonsense Fiction by Christin Maier Summary
Bachelor Thesis from the year 2010 in the subject English Language and Literature Studies - Literature, grade: 1.0, University of Vechta (IKG), language: English, abstract: The following thesis is about “Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland as a Work of Nonsense Fiction”. Carroll’s masterpiece Alice in Wonderland, which includes both books, namely Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and its sequel Through the Looking-Glass and What Alice Found There, does not only belong to the most popular English children’s books, but it is also regarded as a classic around the world. Especially in English-speaking countries, lines from the Alice books have been as often cited as lines from Shakespeare or the bible. Charles Lutwidge Dodgson, who used the pseudonym “Lewis Carroll” for his writings, made up the tale Alice in Wonderland for his most-loved child-friend and muse Alice Liddell and her sisters during a boat trip on the River Thames. Lewis Carroll is known, next to Edward Lear, as one of the most famous Nonsense poets and writers. Moreover, it is claimed that he was the first author to introduce Nonsense into children’s literature, and as result, had a huge impact with his Alice books on English children’s literature. The split between the two personalities, namely the Victorian author Carroll and the Reverend and mathematician Dodgson, who taught at Christ Church, Oxford, has to be considered in order to get a better understanding of the Alice books as a Nonsense Work. This is exactly what will be done in this thesis. Firstly, there will be given a general overview on the author’s life. Secondly, the boat trip itself and with it the genesis of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking-Glass and What Alice Found There will be discussed. After that, a closer examination of the plot and its construction in both books will be given. In addition, similarities and differences will be shown between the construction of the plot of the first and the second Alice book. Furthermore, the characterization of the eponymous heroine “Alice” will be analyzed and will be regarded under Alice’s ability of imagination. A special focus will be on the Nonsense fiction as such. A definition of Literary Nonsense will be given and varieties of Literary Nonsense will be examined on the basis of the two Alice books. Additionally, Lewis Carroll’s well-known poem “Jabberwocky” in Through the Looking-Glass and What Alice Found There will be analyzed as an example of Nonsense Fiction. In the context of the poem “Jabberwocky”, there has also to be looked on the still ubiquitous Humpty Dumpty, who is next to the Duchess, March Hare...