If you all know me personally, you’ll know that I adore Alice in Wonderland and her adventures. The reason I connect to Alice so much is because the way Lewis Carroll has written these stories are so relatable to my life and it feels like Lewis has just taken my life and put it into a book.
Lewis Carroll told this story about a little girl called Alice who he related to one of the sisters he told this story to. These sisters were known as the Liddell sisters and when they were told this story they were on a boat trip with Lewis. Ten-year-old Alice Liddell, delighted by the tale, asked him for a written copy of the story.
So, how did Lewis come up with all these odd characters in the book like my favourite, the mad hatter. Well, the little girl that Lewis was looking after told him about people in her life that gave him ideas for these fascinating characters.
In one Wonderland scene, Alice runs a race in circles with a dodo and a flock of other birds and animals. The dodo is supposed to be Carroll, whom everyone knew as Mr. Dodgson. He had a stammer, and sometimes haltingly introduced himself as "Dodo-Dodgson,"
My personal favourite scene in the book is when Alice meets the mad hatter and the marched-heir at a tea party they are having. The table they are sitting is so long a whole class of children could sit around it and enjoy a cup of tea!
Oddly, Adlice joins them for a cup of tea but then she doesn’t know what kind of party she is in for. The mad hatter and marched-heir begin to sing a song to Alice about her ‘Unbirthday’. An unbirthday is the days your birthday isn’t on. So the mad hatter and marched-heir have a unbirthday party everyday mostly.
Wonderland may be an absurd place, but it's surprisingly logical at times. Perhaps that's because Carroll, who taught mathematics for 26 years at Christ Church at the University of Oxford, infused logic into his writing and games.
In "Syzygies," a game Carroll created, players change letters in one word to make another. For example, walrus; peruse; harper; carpenter. The story Lewis came up with was so unique because many children's books in the 1800s taught morals or lessons. Not Alice.
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