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Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland

Lewis Carroll

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.