Tale of Peter Rabbit
This fragment corresponds to Tale of Peter Rabbit written in 1893 by Beatrix Potter in England.
Beatrix despite she wrote the tale when de Victorian Age was in the his end belongs to it. Industry Revolution was in the highest moment so it influenced a lot.
As a result of that influence, books took twodifferent trends: first tendency concerns to the writers who talked about the life in the Industry Revolution such as Oliver Twist written by Charles Dickens. Those stories were focus in London and Manchester. The second tendency corresponds to those writers who wanted to go away of that industrial world; they invented irreal worlds, wonderful places to stay. Lewis Carroll’s books were matched tothe last tendency: he invented “Wonderland”, he never referred to the industry revolution, neither to the mainly cities, etc.
In Victorian age, we also can find others common ideas which influenced in the books of that epoch:
- Children started being the main and real characters. Oliver Twist is the first real character in children’s books followed by Alice.
- There were two kinds ofbooks:
o Stories for girls: they were usually domestic. They introduced the family, other women and home objects in the tales. For example we can find Little women in which appear the mother and four daughters.
o Stories for boys: were always about adventures like Treasure Island.
- There had been two important moments about education. Firstly in 1840 there hadbeen a failed try to put children in the school. Children shouldn’t work, they only needed to go to school. The percentage of children at school was less than the expected. Secondly, in 1870 a new law obliged children to go to school.
- Last point provoked a literature blossom. Were needed a lot of books with illustrations. Henceforth writers and illustrators became professionals.
- Ashas been noted, the diffusion of books increased in that moment. Books started to appear in newsagent’s, in libraries, which proliferated; and also, in other books.
But, for Lewis Carroll, these hadn’t been the only influence. Along the text we can find several references to John Locke’s thoughts, children are reasonable beings, and Aesop’s features, speaking animals and moral lessons.Textual analysis
To begin it is necessary to say that just in the title of the book we can find references to the ideas of the Victorian Age. First, we localize the main character of the story, Alice. This has to do with the incorporation of the children as a principal character. In the same way, we find Wonderland which is referred to an irreal world, far away from the real cities.
In order tosimplify the analysis I’m going to analyse point by point in each word or sentences of each lines which refers to Victorian Age, Aesop or John Locke’s ideas:
- 1st line: the story talks about Alice’s sister: “her sister”, which belongs to the introduction of other women in the stories, mostly members of the family.
- 2nd line: “and having nothing to do”: there are two possibilities forthe meaning of this sentence. It can refer to the fact that women didn’t work at that time; or to the season of the year, because it’s probably summer.
- 4th line: “the book”: books started to appear in another books.
- 6th, 7th and 8th lines: “ “and what is the use of a book,” thought Alice, “without pictures or conversations?” ”: Alice finds strange a book without pictures becauseshe is used to the delight and enjoyment with the books. This idea belongs to John Locke. Furthermore, the meaning of “conversation” for Alice is the way through which she learns moral, according with Aesop features.
- 9th line: “she was considering in her own mind”: children are rational beings for John Locke, so they can think by themselves.
- 12th line: “when suddenly a White...
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