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Lewis Carroll uses language to serve a number functions in Alice in Wonderland. The author skillfully uses language to portray Alice as a round character. His choice of childhood language essentially indicates how one can effectively tell a good story without relying heavily on a complex choice of words. Carroll uses simple language to demonstrate Alice’s powers of reasoning, her remarkable intelligence, and to give her an identity.
Alice is a little girl who drinks a bottle of cordial which eventually shrinks down her size to make her enter a garden. However, she realizes that she has left the garden key on a table that is unfortunately too high to reach in her shrunken state. She finds a cake that will alter her size again and decides to take a bite regardless of the consequences. Naturally, most people will be doubtful of eating the cake but Alice is wise enough to realize that any change in her size will suit her purpose. The author in this instance uses language to describe the little girl’s intuitive reasoning in a childhood speech.
Language defines human identity as Martin Heidegger once stated: “The being of men is founded in language. But this only becomes actual in conversation” (566). Carroll uses language to explore the little girl’s identity. This is evident when Alice discovers that her size has been altered after eating the cake, making her wonder if she is still the same person.
In conclusion, Carroll uses language describe Alice as an intelligent person and through the use of simple diction to remind the reader that she is still a little girl. He uses a mixture of simple conversation and deep introspection to portray Alice as a round character.