Essay, Research Paper
Events or people in their lives inspire many authors. It is reflected in their writing. Lewis Carroll was inspired to write Alice in Wonderland by the real-life relationship with an Alice and his other child-friends.
Lewis Carroll was born Charles Lutwidge Dodgson in Danbury, Cheshire, on January 27, 1832 (Gatt?gno, 1976, p. xi). He was the son of a clergyman and the first born of eleven children. Carroll was educated at Rugby from 1846 to 1850 and at Christ Church College, University of Oxford, where he graduated from in 1854. He became a member of the faculty of mathematics at Oxford. He was the author of several mathematical treatises, including Euclid and His Modern Rivals (1879) (Gray, 1997). Under the pseudonym Lewis Carroll, Alice?s Adventures in Wonderland (1865) and Alice Through the Looking-Glass and what Alice Found There (1871) were written. Carroll also wrote Phantasmagoria and Other Poems (1869) and The Hunting of the Snark (1869) (http://landow.stg.brown.edu/victorian/carroll/carrollov.html). Lewis Carroll died at Guildford, Surrey, on January 14, 1898.
The main character of, Alice?s Adventures in Wonderland is Alice. Alice is based upon a real-life person named Alice Liddell. She was the daughter of George Liddell the dean of the Christ Church College, at which Carroll worked. She was one of three children. His favorite of the three was the second daughter, Alice, who was by all accounts an attractive girl (http://www.sparknotes.com/lit/alice). Alice was one of Carroll?s child-friends he had as an adult. It is speculated that Carroll was ?in love? with the real-life Alice (Gardner, 1990, p xi). They were known to be in company of each other many times. They, along with other children, were known to take boat rides down a river near their homes. Alice is the only child he singled out and created a story about. She, at the time of the writing of the novels, was a child the age of nine or so. It is also know that she was given the original version of the story Alice?s Adventures in Wonderland, which was then, called Alice?s Adventures Underground (Gardner, 1990, p x). Carroll?s diary also speaks of his obsession with the little girl.
Carroll?s child-friendships also played part in his writing. ?The beautiful side of Lewis Carroll?s character whish afterwards was to be, next to his fame as an author, the one for which he was best known?his attitude towards children, and the strong attraction they had for him? (Gatt?gno, 1976, p80). Other children mentioned in Alice?s Adventures in Wonderland are Lorina and Edith, Alice?s sisters, and Duckworth, a friend of all of theirs, including Carroll. The girls were favorite photographic subjects of his, and he often took them on outings and boating trips on the Thames River (http://www.sparknotes.com/lit/alice). Lorina is identified as Lory. Duckworth is identified as Duck. Edith is identified as Eaglet. Dodson (Carroll) Is identified as the Dodo. These are Alice?s companions in the pool of tears as well as Alice?s companions during the boatride when the story was narrated to her. These children were such inspirations to Carroll that he made them characters in his book.
These children which he associated himself with and made characters of were the inspiration to write his stories. He wrote and made up these stories to amuse the children. He spent so much time with them that it would be hard for him not to include these children in his writing. He created many extemporaneous fairy stories to entertain the three girls; the Alice books grew out of one of these stories, which Carroll wrote down at Alice’s request (http://www.sparknotes.com/lit/alice). That story is Alice?s Adventures in Wonderland.
Gardner, M. (1990). More annotated alice. New York: Random House.
Gatt?gno, J. (1976). Lewis carroll: fragments of a looking-glass from alice to zeno. London, England: George Allen & Unwin.
Gray, D. (1997). Carroll, Lewis. In 1998 Grolier Multimedia Encyclopedia. (Version 10). Grolier Interactive, Inc.