Is Lewis Carroll Actually Wonderland?
We know that Carroll loved Alice and wished to give her this story as a present. We know he loved children and had show sorrow at them growing up and changing. Now thanks to Vivian’s entry, “And Up We Grow”, I have come to adopt her opinion of Wonderland being a place of innocence. If that is so, then it seems reasonable to me that Carroll would have based Wonderland and its characters off of himself.
He didn’t want to see his friends grow up and change and he created a world where Alice literally couldn’t grow up. As Vivian said “Alice also thinks “at least there’s no room to grow up any more here.” this might also imply that she can retain her innocence in this world, while in the world she left, sooner or later she would have to face the realities of growing up.” If he could have, he might have made himself a barrier for their growth. Very similar to how Wonderland restrains Alice after she has reached a certain height.
The characters also resemble him because they are a part of the world that he has made to function as himself and his wishes; that is to keeping Alice young. The Cheshire Cat seems to be her guide throughout Wonderland and curiously he doesn’t tell her how to get out of Wonderland, just what paths there are for her to take in wonderland. The Queen seems to be the one who presents her with the most realistic mature situation such as killing, and yet she never actually kills anyone and Alice remains innocent. The Dodo, we know from the annotated notes, is intended to be a caricature of himself. The White Rabbit could represent Carroll’s wish to lead Alice into a world where she wouldn’t be able to change. The Caterpillar with his hookah may have been meant to symbolize Carroll’s own unintentional but inevitable influence as an adult over Alice. The Mad Hatter, March Hare, and the Duchess being adults seem to resemble how mad adults become from being ‘corrupted’ or ‘changed’ by reality and loss of innocence. The Gryphon and Mock Turtle having gone to school and saying their lessons could resemble Carroll’s education and his mathematical skills. The Cards could all resemble the things we believe when we are young because before she leaves wonderland she doesn’t believe in them anymore. She shows adult logic at this point in refusing to think what cards have to say is important, meaning that she matures too much and hence wakes up or ‘leaves wonderland’ escaping from Carroll to become a grown woman.