Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and the Victorian Age
The so-called Victorian Age, the years from the reign of Queen Victoria (1837) and the end of the Boer War (1902), is the time in which the author of “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland”, Lewis Carroll, lived. For this reason we can find some references to this period in his book concerning to British policy, Victorian morality, habits and traditions. Carroll satirized his society through the eyes of a child, Alice, attempting to come to terms with the world around her.
Starting to talk about the allusions to English policy, a perfect example in which it compares in the romance is the “Race Caucus”. For this competition the ...view middle of the document...
Carroll criticized the whole system of laws and their enforcement. Even though the parliament was supposed to take a big part in the government and be consulted about important decisions during that time, the monarchy had the unrestricted power.
The last example is pertains to the Queen of Hearts, who wants to chop off everybody´s head most of the time for no real reason, this can be interpreted as a criticism of Queen Victoria (1819-1901). She came to the throne in 1837, when she was eighteen, and she was helped in politics by Lord Melbourne, the Prime Minister. In the first years of her government an episode, later published on a newspaper, decreased her popularity among the British public. It told of when Victoria saw Lady Flora Hastings, of her ladies-in-waiting, getting into a carriage with Sir John Conroy. A few months later, Victoria noticed that Lady Hastings appeared to be pregnant, so, when she discuss with Lady Hastings about this, the latter exclaimed that she was still virgin and she had no sexual relationship with Conroy. Victoria, not believing her, submitted her to a medical examination, but the queen discovered that the girl was right and her swelling was caused by a cancer on her liver. As a consequence of this, there took place some assassination attempts to Victoria in different years (1842, 1849, 1850, 1872, and 1882). In 1840 the queen married her cousin Albert, who influenced her politics more than Lord Melbourne. She soon won the nation’s heart with her modesty and practically, representing not the intellectual and the aristocrats, but her mentality was near to the common men in the streets. Returning to Queen of Hearts, the fact that she never succeeds in executing Alice or other creatures shows that she isn’t a person who really is cruel and likes seeing other people suffer, but that she only wants to shock and warn the people to have a nation without crime.
In the novel it is also important the satire about education, which has as his emblem the scene of the Duchess who is nursing a baby and doesn’t care about its safety and when she gives it to Alice, it turns into a pig. Carroll criticized how parents treated their children, namely like animals. It is as if babies were able to care for themselves, like the pig which runs away and can eat alone, and the parents forgot that children also need love in their life.
Victorians believed that a child must know the difference between right and wrong in order to become a moral adult. Consequently, when a child did something wrong it would be punished for its own good. A common saying of that time was “Spare the rod and spoil the child”, that do means a child can only become a good and morals adult and it receives punishment, physically or otherwise for any wrongdoing. In a family the father was the head of the family and he was mostly strict. The children didn’t dare to talk back to him; they always spoke politely and respected the father by calling him ‘Sir’. When the...