Alice through the Looking Glass of Nihilism
Friedrich Nietzsche looks at the world as a progression of experiences that extend help from the fatigue and dullness of one’s life. It is a remarkable coincidence that Alice is yearning for a respite from such dullness before she embarks on her classical adventure in Wonderland. Consequently, it becomes important to analyse Carroll’s telling through the lens of ‘Nihilism’, a profound gift to the world, by Nietzsche. This essay, firstly, traces the instances where the characters of the story exercise a “will to ignorance”, to enjoy life to the fullest and the freedoms associated with it. Then, there is an analysis of the episodes from the story which highlight the propensity of humans to “adulterate” own’s reality to satisfy own’s motivations. Finally, it underscores how Alice could’ve fallen prey to the “metaphysical joy”, which is a reminder by Nietzsche, that it is the people who force purpose on an otherwise un-orderly world.
2. Nietzsche, Freidrich. The Birth of Tragedy. New York: Vintage Books, 1967.
3. Nietzsche, Friedrich. Beyond Good and Evil. New York: Vintage Books, 1966.
4. Rackin, Donald. Alice in Wonderland: A Norton Critical Edition. New York: W.W. Norton and Co., 1992.
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