Engaging the young minds: Lewis Carrol’s Alice in Wonderland (Children’s literature)
Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carrol has been loved by both children and grown ups. The novel however, is mainly meant for the young audience. The characters, settings and events in the novel were all created keeping in mind the juniors. Lewis Carrol was writing mainly for the kids and something that could entertain and excite their imaginations. Several of the characters in the novel are born of pure fantasy which may look like nonsense to grownups. However, the author knew the world the kids loved to remain in. The characters and events in the novel are a lot like the ones found in the nursery rhymes like Humpty Dumpty or Jack and Jill.
Carrol did not write purely to entertain. His motive was also to educate and engage the young imagination. The wonderland sequence that starts soon after the novel begins is like a labyrinth. The wonderland was full of adventures that appeared like a puzzle and that Alice solved with wisdom and courage. The basis of Carrol’s work is childhood psychology and despite the world in the wonderland not being like the real world, it is symmetrical in various ways. There are both good and bad characters in it as are there in the real world except that most of them are either animals or a pack of cards. Alice’s journey down the rabbit hole is like a roller coaster. She shrinks and grows up. The soldiers in the wonderland are a pack of cards. A caterpillar can talk and smoke and there is plenty of other nonsense that the mad hatter utters. All these things are possible in the wonderland only. The entire journey is like a puzzle right from the beginning where Alice intelligently solves it part by part.
Children like a journey down the fantasy land where the things are more beautiful than the real world; where the rainbow is closer and the flowers are bigger and brighter. However, the wonderland is full of dangers and unexpected things can happen any second. It is Alice’s responsibility to defeat the Queen of Red and free the citizens of wonderland from her oppression. The Queen of Red is a memorable character in whom children can see all the bad of the world. Carrol added good and bad characters to increase the level of excitement in the novel. The level of thrill and adventure in the novel made it one of the most loved books for children. Simultaneously, the comic events and characters in the novel both amuse and delight. Apart from the queen, there are two other memorable characters in the novel – the Mad Hatter and the Cheshire cat. A grinning cat that can vanish was something children had never heard of and which they loved too much. Alice and friends represent the good side and the Queen and her army the bad. Carrol has also used the character of Alice to teach the children goodness and courage. The entire novel is full of interesting and engaging events that keep the children engaged till the end. The entire wonderland journey is an experience that children long for. Overall, by using an engaging combination of characters and events, Carrol created a world that could both amuse and teach the kids.