Lewis Carroll himself identified his purpose as simply to entertain a young girl, Alice Liddell who was the daughter of the Dean of Christ Church College. He told this story to Alice and her two sisters during an outing, and for years later, Alice begged him to write it down. Others read it, and encouraged him to publish the fairy tale.
Since that time, critics have analyzed and re-analyzed Carroll's fantastical creatures, plot, and language, and have develop multiple meanings. Many critics agree that the story is a subconcious reaction to the strict Victorian time period.