Satirical Social Construct Theories in Carolls Won Essay

This essay has a total of 1291 words and 5 pages.

Satirical Social Construct Theories in Carolls Wonderland

The Victorian Era held many common beliefs that contrast to everything modern society
holds as true.These beliefs ecompassed such areas as social theory, class differences,
racial prejudices, the effect of capitalism in society, and the role and extent of
education Lewis Carroll challenges and satirizes these social constructs in his novels
Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass by the use of fantasy characters and
settings. He confronts the reader indirectly through Alice; as the fantasy world of
Wonderland disobeys Alice's established views, so does it disobey the reader's views.

Throughout Alice in Wonderland, Alice interacts with things that are commonly seen in her
Victorian world. Throught out the majority of both novel the inhabitants of Wonderland ,
who all have distinct personalities and the ability to communicate, dictate Alice's
behavior. However, in the final scene of Wonderland Alice turns the table on the citizens
of Wonderland. Rather than continuing to accept and comply with their behavior, she
recognizes that they do not behave as they should in Victorian society. When she shouts to
the army of cards that they are in fact nothing more than a mere pack of cards Alice
immediately wakes up to find that she has returned from Wonderland. Once she treats the
cards as she should in her own society, simply as objects, then Alice is allowed to return
to her own world . She has learned the lesson that a girl in Victorian England must
control the objects around her, rather than be controlled by them.

The actions of Alice at the end of Through the Looking Glass and Alice Wonderland
references Carroll's views of Victorian education. Education plays a large role in the
Alice books, contributing both to Carroll's characterization of Alice and of his
perceptions of the common Victorian English citizen. Throughout the Alice books Alice
alludes to her lessons and her education, usually very proud of all that she knows..
However, most of the time the information that she spurts out is either useless or absurd,
for when she can recite exactly how many miles it is to the center of the earth she
follows up with the comment of how funny it will be when she comes to the other side of
the world and everything is upside down. She is quite often aware of her folly but her
mistakes almost always go unnoticed by those around her and are always left uncorrected.
Rather than emphasizing academic studies by having the event that enables Alice's return
to England involve correcting her scholarly errors, Alice's return is initiated by a
change in her attitude towards her material surroundings. Such a concious decision on
Carroll's part satirizes his idea of education in Victorian society of the day. Carroll
was some what amusemed at the trivial fashion of English education.

Traditional public schools in Victorian England emphasized Greek and Latin, house systems,
school spirit, improving character, and that the goal of education was to mold the student
into a young Christian gentleman. This approach can be seen in Alice, since her knowledge
seems to consist mainly of maxims and morals about obedience and safety. In his satirical
characterization of the Duchess in Alice in Wonderland Carroll once again mocks this
system. Alice's experience with her makes the reader laugh at the absurdity of such a
character. Carroll certainly made a conscious decision to make morals and tales of
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