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Alices Adventures in Won Derland

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ALICE'S ADVENTURES IN WON DERLAND (published 1865), by Charles Lut widge Dodgson ("LEWIS grew out of a story which the author told the three little daughters of Dean Liddell —one of them the original Alice — while boating on the Thames near Oxford. Its success led him to write the Looking Glass and What Alice Found There' (1871). Both are dream tales of exquisite nonsense. The earlier is the looser and more desultory, matching the incoherence of dreams and the inconsequential narrative processes of a child's mind; it is generally thought to be preferred by children. The later story has a definite structure, following the moves of a chess-problem; it reiterates, how ever lightly, that " We are such stuff As dreams are made on;" and it employs frequently the motif of topsy turvydom,— everything in Looking Glass Land being, of the reverse of ordinary ex perience. Though 'Wonderland,' like 'The Looking Glass,' appeals strongly to adults as well as to children, yet 'The Looking Glass,' by reason of the traits just noted, is to the mature mind more openly suggestive of philos ophy and satire. In the Red Queen's topsy turvey remark, "Now here, you see, it takes all the running you can do to keep in the same place,* children see only admirable fooling, while their elders perceive, besides, a keen para dox upon the hustling society of to-day.

In the range of this double appeal there is little to choose between the books. 'Wonder land) excels, perhaps, in invention of person ages and incidents — the Duchess, the Cheshire Cat, the Mock-Turtle, the Mad Tea-Party, the Lobster Quadrille, and the Trial — the last often cited as an anticipation of the Dreyfus affair. 'The Looking Glass) probably excels in the richer and more sustained nonsense of its verses— 'Jabberwocky,' 'The Walrus and the Carpenter,' Sent a Message to the Fish,' and 'Haddock's Eyes' ; but it can match its White Knight and Humpty-Dumpty against any of the characters in 'Wonderland.) Both books

abound in parody; the present generation may need a reminder that Father William first be longed to Southey, and that Wordsworth's Leech Gatherer is the original of the Old Man on the Gate. Both books abound in puns and verbal quips; the curriculum of Reeling and Writhing, Laughing and Grief, Drawling, Stretching, and Fainting in Coils, and the re vised proverb "Take care of the sense, and the sounds will take care of themselves' ((Wonderland') are household words; while human speech in general is the richer by galumphing, frumious, frabfous, uffish, chortle, and the other "portmanteau words° of 'The Looking Glass.' Though each volume thus has its excellences, the two merge in memory into a single 'Alice.' The illustrations by John Tenniel have made the "hard words" and the strange creatures real; no artist ever shared more fully with an author the labor and the success of creation. 'Alice) has been dramatized and has been translated into French and German — Jabber wocky) into Latin elegiacs as well. Growing out of the author's delight in telling stories to children, 'Alice has remained to delight all the young in heart, has placed the "sense of second only to the sense of humor and has added permanently to the gaiety of nations. Consult Collingwood, Stuart Dodgson, 'Life and Letters of Lewis Carroll) (London and New York 1889).