Wonderland Imperialism

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How did the historical setting of the early nineteenth century influence Charles Dodgson, better known as Lewis Carroll, while writing “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland?” British colonialism was at an all-time high during the publication of this classic story due to Britain’s imperial century (Larson 185). The expansion of the British Empire influenced the societal views of many, including Lewis Carroll. “Alice's Adventures in Wonderland” is Carroll's allegory for British colonization as seen through Alice's inability to understand the “native” culture and her persistent desire to gain recognition for her cultural norms makes Alice a child imperialist. Carroll believed that all children needed to learn how to “properly” behave in society and then pass the knowledge onto other children that…show more content…
Upon entry into Wonderland’s society Alice assumes that the language used by the “creatures” has the same connotation as back in England. Alice does not stop to consider that this new society may have their own unique definitions. This is the most evident during the Queen’s croquet match. Alice assumes that the game of croquet must be the same for both societies, but is frustrated when the game appears to be the most curious croquet game that she has ever seen in her life (Carroll 66). Alice shows confidence that the objective of the game must be the same as English croquet but instead of using balls and mallets they use hedgehogs and flamingos. Alice becomes frustrated because Wonderland’s version of croquet doesn’t “seem to have any rules,” (Carroll 68) and without rules she assumes that the game has no purpose. Due to Alice’s ethnocentrism she cannot comprehend that this new society may have a different motive behind their version of croquet. With the Queen of Hearts constantly yelling “Off with his head!” (Carroll 67) but no talk of anyone actually being beheaded it can be deduced that in Wonderland the real purpose of croquet is
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