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Alice's Adventures in Wonderland

by Lewis Carroll
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What is the most important literary element in Alice's Adventures in Wonderland?

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It seems to me that the most important literary element in Alice's Adventures in Wonderland is fantasy. Lewis Carroll made up the story to entertain a little girl named Alice, and he felt free to let his imagination run wild. He invented some characters who are so unusual and yet somehow so right that they still delight children and a lot of adults in countries and languages all over the world, ever since the book was published in 1865, almost 150 years ago. These characters include all those at the Mad Hatter's tea party and most of those at the croquet game. Carroll took some settings that would be familiar to a little Victorian girl, such as tea parties and croquet games, and made them utterly fantastic, as he also did with a common deck of cards and some white rose bushes that had to be painted red--or else.

In addition to the fantastic characters, there is fantastic poetry, including the immortal "Jabberwocky." Other writers have tried writing fantasy stories for children, including Frank L. Baum, who created the early Oz books and A. A. Milne who created Winnie the Pooh; but no one has matched the logical madness and total escapism of Lewis Carroll. Everyone who remembers Alice's Adventures in Wonderland with affection will be remembering the zany characters encountered by a very practical minded little girl named Alice who got herself lost in a place called Wonderland.

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