Unformatted text preview: Part of the humor of cruelty — and the creatures of Wonderland are sometimes extremely cruel — is to maintain the balance between sadism and sentimentality. In this case, the split effect provides a proper tension and gives the writing a subtlety and a sober delicacy. The double consciousness in the character of Alice is also a structural motif — a duality reflecting Alice's regression, at times, to a small child, and then a reversal, when she becomes a stern, Victorian moralist. At times, Alice's willfulness provides an escape from boredom. It irritates her to be corrected by creatures who sound irrational. Then, at other times, she wants to sink into the ground. Here, Carroll sharpens the opposition of the two opposing impulses within Alice. Later, even Alice realizes that part of herself scolds and is very much like the critical creatures who live in...
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- Fall '08