Essay on Mimesis in Alice in Wonderland

2685 Words Apr 10th, 2012 11 Pages
Essay on mimesis in Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass

A quest in search for the elements which consitute a new notion of mimesis in Carroll's Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking-Glass

Mimésis ve světové literatuře/Klára Kolínská, Úterý 10:50 – 12:25

“Who in the world am I?” Ah, that’s the great puzzle.[1] This question, asked by Alice herself at the beginning of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, anticipates the theme of identity and the reflection of mimesis in the literary nonsense and the author develops the subjects to the utmost and deepest experience in the two texts. By setting his main character in the world which creates a
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Language gains a much more significant meaning in Carroll's texts; it looses its mimetic function as a means to represent reality. The characters of Wonderland and through-the-looking glass world mean literally what they say, as the March Hare puts it: 'Then you should say what you mean.' Every word is significant in its meaning, which is either literal or personified. As Gabriel Schwab puts it: 'The caterpillar's laconical answer “I don't see” is characteristic in its insistence on a literality which is, of course, nonsensical, given the familiar rhetorical use of “I see.”'[6] As to personification, Gabriel Schwab comments: 'Time, personified and treated as a bodily creature, may simply stop moving.' Thus, Alice dazzled by the importance of language that prevails among the characters often finds herself powerless. Consequently, every time the young lady tries to achieve a reasonable conversation with someone, she does not succeed: she is confused, the co-existing with the alternative nature is too difficult and at times she finds herself at a loss. Nevertheless, gripped by her childlike curiosity she continues to compete with the characters. However, unaware of the order in the new world, she engages in rather nonsensical conversations, the nonsense of which she creates herself by employing the rules she was taught at school. As Gabriel Schwab puts it: 'Alice's precocious

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