Abstract illustration of the silhouettte of Alice falling, a white rabbit, and a red mushroom

Alice's Adventures in Wonderland

by Lewis Carroll

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In Alice's Adventures in Wonderland,why would Carroll frame the story as a dream that might not be a dream to present his overall message? Think about what adults do and say that seem to be “nonsense” to children even though adults often see what children do as “nonsense.”

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There are several reasons why Carroll might frame his story this way. One is formal: it fits with many of the themes in the story, such as mistaking appearance for reality, words for physical reality, and so on. This is one more occasion of mirroring/doubling in the work.

Another major reason is psychological. Any apparent social critiques in the work can be dismissed as wisps of a dream. It is a way to say difficult or painful things and taking the sting away, like saying, "Just kidding!"

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