The Sleeping Beauty

This post is a response to Brendon Lynch’s blog post entitled “In Her Dreams” that talks about Carroll’s two distinct writing styles within the novel, and asks us whether Alice is dreaming or is truly awake.


Carroll’s styles of writing are representative of his childish, irrational side and the hard mathematician that he is. Alice is awake, she notices physics, and yet she sleeps and is not hurt upon landing.

Carroll uses these styles of writing to further lure us into the world he is creating. By subtly introducing the irrational, he can later go into more unrealistic actions without the reader having a repulsive reaction to the writing.

When we recall his audience, young alice, we should also remember that she is most likely not fully aware of the laws of physics. This then prompts Carroll to sway further into the unreal, the impossible. It will entertain the young Alice, and yet appeal to the adults that read it to her, even if only to make them smile at the utter ridiculousness of the story.

We have already noticed that Alice seems to be getting more and more removed from reality, as if she were slowly drowsing away. The first chapter already tells us that the novel is destined to be unrealistic, to be wonder and beautiful.

In conclusion, my response would be that Alice is currently drowsy, neither asleep yet nor awake, but is destined to sleep very soon.

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