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Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland

Lewis Carroll
Main Ideas

Key Facts

Main Ideas Key Facts

full title Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland

author Lewis Carroll

type of work Novella

genre Fairy tale; children’s fiction; satire; allegory

language English

time and place written 1862–1863, Oxford

date of first publication 1865

publisher Macmillan & Co.

narrator The narrator is anonymous and does not use many words to describe events in the story.

point of view The narrator speaks in third person, though occasionally in first and second person. The narrative follows Alice around on her travels, voicing her thoughts and feelings.

tone Straightforward; avuncular

tense Past

setting (time) Victorian era, circa publication date

setting (place) England, Wonderland

protagonist Alice

major conflict Alice attempts to come to terms with the puzzle of Wonderland as she undergoes great individual changes while entrenched in Wonderland.

rising action Alice follows the White Rabbit down a well and pursues him through Wonderland.

climax Alice gains control over her size and enters the garden, where she participates in the trial of the Knave of Hearts.

falling action Alice realizes that Wonderland is a sham and knocks over the playing card court, causing her to wake up and dispel the dream of Wonderland.

themes The tragic and inevitable loss of childhood innocence; Life as a meaningless puzzle; Death as a constant and underlying menace

motifs Dream; subversion; language; “curious,” “nonsense,” and “confusing”

symbols The garden; the mushroom

foreshadowing The Mouse’s history about Fury and the Mouse foreshadows the trial at the end of the story.