Should We Analyze Alice?
In the introduction, Gilvert K. Chesterton says that Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland was not meant to be analyzed, that the story was not meant to be in the hands of scholars and analysts. According to him the story is meant for innocent children and the thoughts behind the text should not be considered.
This makes sense if you consider that Dodgson created this story on the spot and could not possibly have had time to say anything worth analyzing. But then you must take into consideration that when writing the story he added ideas and the story grew from there. In that case there is something worth analyzing. The story may have begun as something not meant to be analyzed, something only children should read. But as the story expanded and the meaning of the words grew deeper, it would seem that the story transformed from a story for the innocent into a story for the educated.
There’s also a line in the introduction that says, “No joke is funny unless you see the point of it, and sometimes a point has to be explained.”
Children may comprehend the surface of the story, the very obvious jokes that are presented, but there are jokes and ideas behind the text that are meant for adults. Only adults can be expected to be able to explain these ideas. Therefore, it is expected for the story to be analyzed. It would seem that the story has almost dual purposes. One is to entertain the innocent minds of children and the other is some deeper meaning that I have yet to explore. In the end, it seems as if Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland can either be a story of a place where the mind can escape or a story of a place that symbolizes the things in life that should be analyzed but aren’t.