Alice in Wonderland:
Child Fable or Secretly Sublime?
By Dorothy Gilbert
Reverend Charles Lutwidge Dodgen published The Adventures of Alice in
Wonderland in 1865. This children's book, thought notorious through the
years, seems oddly sublime to some.
Many assumptions have been made about Dodgen, presuming he was high or
in a drunken stupor when writing the fable. Perhaps, with it being the
1800's, he was simply blind with ignorance and innocence.
Several symbols in the book have been noted inappropriate. For example,
the caterpillar mentioned in chapter five is found smoking a hookah, a
pipe used for smoking tobacco, sitting upon a mushroom. Alice
experiments with this mushroom, making her grow and shrink. Some
believe this symbolizes uppers and downers. Throughout the story Alice
also exercises poor judgment by eating and drinking items and not
knowing what they are.
The question now posed to you, is who to blame? Reverend Dodgen for
writing a story in the 1800's, seemingly harmless but today's society
accusing him of hidden inappropriate messages because of what we have
grown accustomed to. Or is Reverend Dodgen to blame for intentionally
inserting these innuendos? No one can decipher the truth considering he
died over 100 years ago.
All we are left with are our assumptions.