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Social Darwinism In Alice In Wonderland And Through The Looking Glass

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Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass are based on social Darwinism, the ‘survival of the fittest’ and the novels explain the function of language and how the characters obtain power.

First, is important to mention that Alice in Wonderland describes the creation of identity whereas Through the Looking Glass is a social negotiation of identity, thus finding your identity in society. In these novels it is portrayed a dystopian society that is based on absolutism and the one in power is the one who always assigns meaning to things. For instance, the king exerts power creating rules through language. The king is able to read and interpret, so this last one gives him the authority. Additionally, he is seen as a dictator since he does not allow language to have another meaning than the one he wants and somehow, is like Alice because she can not conceive that the others have different interpretations or different rules than her, so this is why she expects the others to use the pragmatic level of language, but they do not use it and therefore, she feels frustrated since nobody follows the same rules.

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However, in this world full of danger and disconnections there is a lack of a true figure of authority and this society tries to obtain power with language even though the structure is confusing. In order to master the power is important to master the meaning because they create identity through language. So, language is a powerful tool that is not used for communication but to exert power over others. For example, Humpty Dumpty and Alice have problems and misunderstanding because of the pragmatic level of the language and, Humpty Dumpty is more powerful than Alice because he behaves as a master using the language.

Moreover, as it is mentioned the novels are based on the idea of darwinism. This society is individualistic because each one has its own way of using language, and as it is explained in the novel, in this society all of them are mad and therefore, they do not follow the rules of society. So, they are individuals that fight and try to assert power, obtaining as much as possible as it is seen in the character of Alice. This society is based on darwinism because of the struggle for survival, and the will to increase power in order to have better chances to survive.

As a result, both novels state the importance of language and the exertion of power through it. Also, it is based on the theory of evolution since characters are individuals that try to gather as much power as possible. So, they try to survive obtaining power and for achieving that purpose they use a powerful tool which is language.

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Social Darwinism In Alice In Wonderland And Through The Looking Glass. (2021, September 30). Edubirdie. Retrieved September 25, 2023, from
“Social Darwinism In Alice In Wonderland And Through The Looking Glass.” Edubirdie, 30 Sept. 2021,
Social Darwinism In Alice In Wonderland And Through The Looking Glass. [online]. Available at: <> [Accessed 25 Sept. 2023].
Social Darwinism In Alice In Wonderland And Through The Looking Glass [Internet]. Edubirdie. 2021 Sept 30 [cited 2023 Sept 25]. Available from:
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