Through the looking-glass: Contemporary film adaptations of Alice in Wonderland
Aguiló-Pérez, Emily R.
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Despite the myriad of interpretations offered by critics for the Alice stories, discussions of their film adaptations have been overlooked. This is surprising since the Alice books are one of the most adapted texts in history. In light of this void, this thesis explores the growth and changes of the character Alice in the different film adaptations of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking-Glass and What Alice Found There. This thesis discusses how the character Alice is seen in popular culture and analyzes how perceptions of who she is are reflected in the newer film adaptations. In modern film adaptations, filmmakers have constructed a version of Alice who is older than Lewis Carroll’s original heroine. From the time the story was created back in the Victorian era to the present, views of childhood and adulthood have changed. After thorough qualitative analysis this thesis argues that the portrayal of the character Alice in film adaptations has changed exponentially from a little girl to an adult, due to the cultural context in which the films were created. Since Carroll held a close relationship to Alice Liddell, for whom he created the story, modern adaptations reflect the discomfort popular culture may feel about that relationship. These adaptations say more about the times in which they were created and the cultural views of childhood than about the Alice which Carroll created.