Remember to forget or forget to remember : memory studies in Lewis Carroll’s Alice
Teo, Pauline Wei Lin
Date of Issue2017
School of Humanities and Social Sciences
Despite generally being classified as children’s texts, the Alice books are read by both children and adult. How does Alice remain ubiquitous and a favourite amongst readers, both young and old, despite the passage of time? The curious question is one that this paper seeks to unravel by considering how memory influences identity and self-perception. This paper examines the complex and intricate relationship between memory and the self in Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking-Glass to establish memory as a fallible and fluid construct, therefore implicating the notion of identity and self-perception. By comparing contemporary psychological theories regarding memory with those from the nineteenth century, this paper strives to show how Alice serves as a point of convergence to address issues such as the anxieties of growing up, the impermanence and unreliability of memory, and identity as a construct which are still pertinent in the twenty-first century. Carroll seems to anticipate these ideas, thus begetting the popularity, relevance and immortality of Alice.
Final Year Project (FYP)
Nanyang Technological University