Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Mr. Dodgson ... dodgy or no?

I'm writing this post with some random thoughts that came up while reading the questions Antara posed.

I found it interesting that the parents allowed Alice to hang out w/ Mr. Dodgson so often, so freely. If back then, marriage really happened between much older men and much younger women, I would expect there not to be this interaction as much. Granted Alice was only 7-11, Ina was a bit older, but maybe this is a non-issue. The way they dealt with the situation was very similar to how I would have expected Indian people in today's age to deal with some awkward situation like this.

**Spoiler Alert**

I think the part that really struck me was the end though, when you find out that it was Alice who initiated the kiss and that it really, to me, just seemed like an infatuated 11 year old's mistake. I can't help but think these result from "daddy issues" since Alice really received no attention and love from either of her parents. At least she had an interaction with her mother, but it seemed that there was barely any interaction from her father.

Overall, I thought the whole situation, including what came to be major events in her life, was depressing because it was 'ruined' because of some childish mistake. Granted there is the part that she was a bit self-pitying with never loving her husband because she had loved Leopold and lost him. But partly, I think the reason she was so self-pitying is because she felt like it was out of her control. If I may compare with the last book (Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close), although those characters were also pitying themselves, I felt their decisions were much more dramatic and caused pain to others. For example, the grandfather left his wife and child, whereas Alice never did anything outwardly selfish to her family. She just wasn't able to feel the love towards her husband as much as she could due to the damage caused by external events.

However much Dodgson was kind of a creeper with his awkward picture taking, I tend to think he didn't have completely disgusting intentions. Maybe I'm just trying to see the positive in this, though.

It'd be nice to get a response to the thoughts I just shared, but if not, I'll leave you with the question ... was Mr. Dodgson a certified pervert or were his actions misinterpreted?

1 comment:

  1. In the author comments at the end, the author explains the extended time the girls were allowed to spend with an older man. She says, "The appearance of a young man, an educator, a man of the church... a man who was happy to take the girls off the governess's hands from time to time, was more than likely seen as a blessing. And alice and her sisters grew up, after all, surrounded by men... Why would their parents think twice of sending them off to spend an afternoon in the company of a gentleman, particularly one they new so well?"