Saturday, April 10, 2010

Mr. Dodgson's intersection with Alice

I think Lewis Carroll can be read quite a bit into the story of Alice in Wonderland. Firstly the choice and subject of the book coincides with his preoccupation with young girls as friends and companions. This development is particularly striking because of his friendship and proposal to an eleven year old girl named Alice. Carroll had many other hobbies that work their way into his occupation as an author. His pastime as an early photographer became evident in his preoccupation with the illustrations in the original work. He gave his illustrator John Tenniel incredibly detailed instructions on how to complete the illustrations. He also picked one of his young female companions as the model for Alice and sent Tenniel pictures of that girl. Because of these developments I believe that we are able to assume that the drawings are very close to Carroll's  vision of Wonderland and its inhabitants. In the course of my research for my presentation I found a database of Carroll's photographs, found below:

I also have a webpage that give information about the history of illustration surrounding John Tenniel:

The illustration of Alice is of interest for two reasons in particular I believe. First, because of the closeness of vision that we can assume and second because of the popularity of the story. It has been a story told and retold and in it a significant morphing of Alice in particular has happened that has made her older and a more acceptable object of the thinly veiled sexual images that run throughout the book.

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