How is the reader oriented in Alice's Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll?

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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Carroll's style and his thematic development help to orient the reader to experience what Alice is experiencing, to a great extent.  It is a very strong stylistic move.  Carroll understands that the protagonist is entering into a realm vastly different from her own existence and that this world carries with it a sense of the absurd that cannot be fully appropriated, an element that is not present in Alice's Victorian setting.  In order to fully convey this to the reader, Carroll is able to compel the reader the feel the same way.  For example, when the Mad Hatter poses his questions to Alice, she, and the reader, try to figure out, when in reality the question is absurd.  Both the reader and Alice feel that the world has changed and that something in it has fundamentally shifted from the world previously known.  In these moments where the reader's experience's and Alice's are similar, Carroll has been able to make the reader identify with Alice in a stronger and more meaningful manner.