Title

Who is Alice?: Parody, Education, and Identity in Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland

Presenter Information

Cameron Sedlacek

Document Type

Oral Presentation

Location

SURC Room 135

Start Date

15-5-2014

End Date

15-5-2014

Keywords

Menippean satire, Bakhtinian parody, Victorian education

Abstract

This essay frames Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland as a Menippean satire, according to Mikhail Bakhtin's theories regarding parody, and describes the extent that this text parodies the Victorian education system. This parody responds directly to specific tendencies and laws of the Victorian education system and is reflected in what many modern scholars have described as an empowering children’s novel. Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland relies heavily on language, specifically on the difference between knowledge and understanding, and characterization, through caricature and stereotype, to develop a parody of the adult world in nineteenth century England while at the same time providing a means for a young girl, Alice, to create her own identity.

Faculty Mentor(s)

Abdalla, Laila

Additional Mentoring Department

World Languages

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May 15th, 12:20 PM May 15th, 12:40 PM

Who is Alice?: Parody, Education, and Identity in Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland

SURC Room 135

This essay frames Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland as a Menippean satire, according to Mikhail Bakhtin's theories regarding parody, and describes the extent that this text parodies the Victorian education system. This parody responds directly to specific tendencies and laws of the Victorian education system and is reflected in what many modern scholars have described as an empowering children’s novel. Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland relies heavily on language, specifically on the difference between knowledge and understanding, and characterization, through caricature and stereotype, to develop a parody of the adult world in nineteenth century England while at the same time providing a means for a young girl, Alice, to create her own identity.