Victorian Identity Essay

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Ksenija Cvetkova ENC 1102 Professor Clark December 7th, 2011 Victorian Era The identity crisis during the Victorian Era "Who are you?' said the caterpillar" to Alice (Carroll 60). This was a question she could not answer. Why doesn’t Alice know what constitutes her being? Humans desire completeness, and a solid identity. The education system of the Victorian Era, known for its utilitarianism ideals, limited the thoughts, speech, and actions of the individual; people were the product of the Victorian society in which they were raised. Without creative freedom of thinking and educational system that limited individualism, what were life's rules? In Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, Lewis Carroll emphasizes on facts of the Victorian education system, the Victorian Society discouraged the use of the imagination, and the importance of ideal male and female roles during the Victorian era, which in turn was imposed on children at a young age. Lewis Carroll used this to create Alice’s confused character parallel to the identity crisis of children during the Victorian era. The Utilitarian theory of education became the standard of elite schooling, beginning with Victorian pre-elementary education. It was believed that every child should they be drilled enough and molded into the ideal citizen. An illogical connection between memorization and injection of information and the success of the individual in adulthood, created a schooling system of young robots, incapable of thinking and feeling for themselves. The emphasis of facts in the education system and the resulting identity crisis of children is seen in Lewis Carroll’s character, Alice, because of her constant repetition of facts and lessons in the place of the nonsense which should be a thought process of the average child. In the falling scene, Down the Rabbit-Hole, Alice first illustrates her eagerness
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