Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, a Trigger to the Nonsense
Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland written by Carroll and published in 1865 is claimed as the trigger to the genre of nonsense literature. There are literary works that brought the mood of nonsensical environment. Carroll’s work is considered one of the greatest ones, which is proven by its big name that lasts even after more than a century after the book was first published.
Nonsense literary works started to emerge widely in the nineteenth century and mostly were tales for children, which therefore were highly imaginative. Its original source was taken from the oral folk tradition such as games, songs, drama, and rhymes. Those always become amusements for the community at that time. As nonsense became a certain literature commodity, intellectuals including poets, scholars, and scientists started to show their interest in it. They, afterwards, wrote stories and other nonsense forms in such a sophisticated way inserting scientific terms, historical background, prosperity parody, religious travesties, political satire, and other issues with certain purposes. Nonsense stories written by intellectuals then became somewhat hard to make sense of, not only by the readers but seemingly also to its own characters. This phenomena occurs to Alice in the book Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland written by a mathematician and puzzle devotee, Carroll. Alice, a little girl trapped in Wonderland, craves for explanations regarding the nonsensical situations in the illogical world. Explanation perceiving from the nonsense is important to decide how Alice should react towards things that confuse her.
After a thorough reading through Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, I found that the book has two main settings of place. They are the real world and the dream world. In the beginning of the book, it is told that Alice is sitting on the bank with her sister. She says, then, that as a child she gets bored with the common things she gets to do. Afterwards, suddenly she sees a rabbit with a waistcoat-pocket and a watch, then decides to follow it to Wonderland. Starting from this part of the story, Alice enters the dream world in which the nonsensical world exists. Wonderland is eventually only in Alice’s dream as explained in the end of the book.
Even though the adventure is in the dream world, I could not say that the adventurous nonsense is not important neither real. In fact, they are the reflection of the real world seen from the eyes of a child. As mentioned before, Alice is bored with common stuffs. In her dream world that only her to control, she creates creative changes under her unconscious mind. As a result, she has to explain the situations made by herself.
The book also consists of two character categories that are humans and imaginary creatures. Alice and her sister are the humans, whereas everyone in Wonderland is the imaginary creature who happens to be nonsensical. In the two categories, there are major and minor. Being the humans, the major is Alice and the minor is her sister. Being the imaginary creatures, those who I considered major are the White Rabbit, the Cheshire Cat, the Caterpillar, the Mad Hatter, and the Queen of Hearts. The ones that are not mentioned previously are the minor characters. Basically to determine the majors and the minors, I consider the characters’ role and influences towards the plot of the story.