Alice (Alice's Adventures in Wonderland)  

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'The question is,’ said Alice, ‘whether you can make words mean so many different things' --Through the Looking-Glass

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The Birth of Venus (detail), a 1486 painting by Sandro Botticelli
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The Birth of Venus (detail), a 1486 painting by Sandro Botticelli

Alice is a fictional character in the books Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and its sequel Through the Looking-Glass, which were written by Charles Dodgson under the pen name Lewis Carroll.

Development

The character has been said to be based on Alice Liddell, a child friend of Dodgson's. Dodgson said several times that his "little heroine" was not based on any real child, but was entirely fictional. Alice is portrayed as a quaintly logical girl, sometimes even pedantic, especially with Humpty Dumpty in the second book. According to Through the Looking-Glass she is seven and a half years old, but seems to conduct herself like a somewhat older child. Alice's Adventures in Wonderland takes place on 4 May, Alice Liddell's birthday. Through the Looking-Glass takes place on 4 November, her half-birthday (and Alice states that she is "seven and a half exactly.") In April 1887, Carroll wrote in "Alice on the Stage:"

"What wert thou, dream-Alice in thy foster-father's eyes? How shall he picture thee? Loving first, loving and gentle: loving as a dog (forgive the prosaic simile, but I know no earthly love so pure and perfect) and gentle as a fawn: then courteous—courteous to all, high or low, grand or grotesque, King or Caterpillar, even as though she were herself a King's daughter, and her clothing wrought of gold: then trustful, ready to accept the wildest impossibilities with all that utter trust that only dreamers know; and lastly, curious—wildly curious, and with the eager enjoyment of Life that comes only in the happy hours of childhood, when all is new and fair, and when Sin and Sorrow are but names — empty words signifying nothing!"





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