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Creative Curiosity: Study of Alice Character in Lewis Caroll's Adventures of Alice in Wonderland

Sungran Cho 1

1경희대학교

Accredited

ABSTRACT

Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland expands scope of Children’s Literature genre by introducing the discourse of pleasure as opposed to that of didactic discipline. Carroll’s narrative is important, not only for children’s literature, but also as a forerunner of post/modernism of James Joyce with its language play and linguistic invention. Its treatment of Alice’s body change follows the motif of body transformation in myth and literature. Comparing “stasis” of Susan Sontag’s character Alice (James) in her play Alice in Bed and “movement” of Carroll’s Alice, this study explores the issues of woman’s alienation and the dichotomy of mobility/immobility in reality and in their literary representations. Focusing on a female child’s double alienation as woman and child, I argue Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland is a counter-narrative of alternative bildungsroman. Alice gains her subjectivity through her adventure by power of language and story-telling. Through representation of the dream/adventure of two desiring sisters, Carroll’s narrative exhibits subversion of social order and emergence of new order of “chaosmos” out of chaos. As a method of study, this study traces genealogy of “curiosity” in myth and literature as a motivating force that triggers adventure and argues “creative curiosity” is a dynamic energy propelling Alice’s adventure.

Citation status

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