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Gabe, S. (1948). Lewis Carrol's Adventures in Wonderland: John Skinner. American Imago, IV, No. 4, 1947, pp. 1–31.. Psychoanal Q., 17:424.
Psychoanalytic Electronic Publishing: Lewis Carrol's Adventures in Wonderland: John Skinner. American Imago, IV, No. 4, 1947, pp. 1–31.

(1948). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 17:424

Lewis Carrol's Adventures in Wonderland: John Skinner. American Imago, IV, No. 4, 1947, pp. 1–31.

S. Gabe

The artist attempts to resolve through the medium of his creative imagination some basic inner conflict. Skinner identifies the conflict that motivated Lewis Carrol in the creation of the Alice stories as a dilemma over assuming an adult masculine rôle. In life, Carrol deal with the conflict by splitting his personality. He presented to the world a dual aspect: as Prof. Dodgson he was a pedantic, precise and austere Cambridge don with numerous compulsive traits; as Lewis Carrol, he loved children, yearned for an artistic career, and created children's stories. He never attained a mature object-relationship with a woman; instead, he showered his affections and attentions on young female children.

Lewis Carrol's revolt against an adult masculine rôle is seen in his hostility to little boys, his plastic feminine identification with young girls, and in the practices of reversal which characterized his life and literary productions. As Lewis Carrol, he reversed not only the name of Charles L. Dodgson, but his character and behavior as well. In the fantastic realms in which Alice finds her adventures, he effects a complete reversal of the real world. Much of his humor is based on reversal of the original intention of a thought and the childlike logic of Alice is a perversion and confounding of adult logic. Through his stories and poems, and in his letters, he takes a malicious, sadistic revenge on the world of adults, couching his aggression in the socially acceptable form of whimsey.

Lewis Carrol, who did not dare assume a masculine rôle, and feared and increasingly shunned the adult world, solved his dilemma by creating a fantasy world in which he could remain the eternal child. It is to the child within all of us that he makes his appeal through his Alice stories.

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Article Citation

Gabe, S. (1948). Lewis Carrol's Adventures in Wonderland. Psychoanal. Q., 17:424

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