The chalice in Wonderland: analysing the representation of females in the illustrated works of Lewis Carroll

Bygrave, Tasmin (2015) The chalice in Wonderland: analysing the representation of females in the illustrated works of Lewis Carroll. BA dissertation, University of Portsmouth.

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    This dissertation will consider a range of Lewis Carroll’s poetry alongside 'Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland', 'Alice’s Adventures under Ground' and 'Through the Looking-Glass' in order to expose how female characters are consistently subjected to societal expectations and Victorian propriety; by additionally considering the accompanying visual images, this work introduces the role of Victorian visual culture into its analysis.
    This work explores several questions with the aim of producing original critical analysis that is often over-looked in pre-existing research, asking how women are represented within Carroll’s texts? Does this reflect the cultural anxieties prevalent within Victorian society? Does the accompanying visual culture reinforce or challenge these interpretations?
    The foundations for this research initially comes from feminist readings of Carroll’s work, specifically those of Nina Auerbach. Extensive analysis of Carroll’s other female characters has been achieved within this dissertation by extrapolating Auerbach’s analysis of Carroll’s child figure, Alice. Additionally, the image-word relationship analysed in J. Hillis Miller’s research has similarly been applied to this work in order to consider the effects of the illustrations upon written narratives.
    Within this dissertation, Carroll’s poetry and photographs are analysed revealing his attitudes towards both girlhood and womanhood. These attitudes are similarly applied to Carroll’s critically acclaimed novels and corresponding illustrations, exposing the oppression and subjugation of middle-class woman that permeates both throughout his work and Victorian visual culture. Through a contemporary feminist reading, the relationship between text and image is able to expound how patriarchal authority, persecution and even violence are used to control women’s behaviour within Carroll’s iconic narrative.
    Unlike much of the existing critical research on Alice in Wonderland, this dissertation comprises the role of illustration alongside literary analysis in order to expose the cultural discourses implicated throughout Carroll’s works.

    Item Type: Dissertation
    Departments/Research Groups: Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences > School of Social, Historical and Literary Studies
    Depositing User: Jane Polwin
    Date Deposited: 05 Feb 2016 14:21
    Last Modified: 05 Feb 2016 14:21

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