Carroll vs. Juster - A Literary Comparison

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Patrick Taylor

Early Childhood Literature


Carroll Vs. Juster: A Literary Comparison

Anyone who has read Alice's Adventures in Wonderland is immediately brought back to their childhood, or a whatever childlike enthrallment they were under when reading it. The sheer abundance of fantastical imagery, and the seemingly ceaseless use of play-on-words cannot help but appeal to that unhindered bliss of kid consciousness, where the possibilities can be endless and aimless, and all that matters is perspective. The same feeling comes back to the reader in Norton Juster's The Phantom Tollboth, depositing the relatable main character in a world apparently constructed of complete imagination. It blends the most abstractly solid of one's experiences…thought, and deliberation. The reader thinks, "This is fantasy" and it is, but it has very real implications. Both of these novels take a relatively normal character, and throw them into a world that they must soon make sense of.

For each character there is a broken kingdom to rectify, and a journey to be had. Most importantly, ass these journeys progress, the worlds become important characters themselves. They exhibit behaviors and personalities that seem to have a life of their own, enlivening the creativity of both the author and reader from the finest levels of consciousness.

Lewis Carroll's Alice's Adventures in Wonderland was published in 1865, in England. Lewis Carroll himself was a Deacon and professor, and somewhat socially awkward individual. Due to his own difficult character, he much preferred the company of children to adults. He had a very creative mind, and that seemed to flourish in the presence of kids. As a writer, his largest influences seemed to come from his own imagination, and nostalgia that he felt towards childlike ways of thinking. He was greatly inspired by the nonsensical sayings of children, and...