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Photography's creative influence on Lewis Carroll's Alice's adventures in Wonderland and Through the looking glass and what Alice found there
h [electronic resource] /
by Bridget Mahoney.
[Tampa, Fla] :
b University of South Florida,
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Thesis (M.A.)--University of South Florida, 2009.
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ABSTRACT: Lewis Carroll's novels Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass and What Alice Found There share many characteristics with the author's photographs. Both Carroll's portraits and literature utilize dreamlike imagery to move beyond the present time and space into a dream world. The similar imagery demonstrates an important creative link between Carroll's novels and photographs. The creation of Carroll's masterpiece, Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and its sequel, Through the Looking Glass and What Alice Found There, creatively depended on the photographic images Carroll produced. Utilizing the four step process of creativity generally accepted by psychologists, Carroll's photographs are examined alongside his texts. In doing so, modern readers of Carroll's novels can glimpse the creative process that produced Wonderland. To argue the creative relationship between Carroll's photography and literature, R. Keith Sawyer's 2006 text, Explaining Creativity: The Science of Human Innovation is employed. Sawyer describes creativity as a four step process: preparation, incubation, insight, and verification. Using these fours steps as reference points, passages from Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass and What Alice Found There are examined alongside Carroll's photographs in order to demonstrate the creative importance of photography to the creation of the Alice novels.
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t USF Electronic Theses and Dissertations.
Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass and What Alice Found There by Bridget Mahoney A thesis submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Ma ster of Arts Department of English College of Arts and Sciences University of South Florida Major Professor: Nancy Tyson, Ph.D. Gould, Marty, Ph.D. Sipiora, Phillip, Ph.D. Date of Approval: July 13, 2009 Keywords: portraits, creativity, incubat ion, preparation, insight, verification Copyright 2009, Bridget Mahoney
i Table of Contents Abstract ii Chapter One: Introduction, Historical and Theoretical: The Four Stages of Creativity 1 Chapter Two: Lewis Carroll, Photographer: Prepar ation and Incubation 7 Chapter Three: Lewis Carroll, Novel ist: Insight and Verification 17 Chapter Four: Conclusio n 26 Bibliography 30
ii d and Through the Looking Glass and What Alice Found There Bridget Mahoney ABSTRACT s and Through the Looking Glass and What Alice Found There photographs beyond the present time and space into a dream world. The similar imagery demonstrates Carro and its sequel, Through the Looking Glass and What Alice Found There creatively depended on the photographic images Carroll produced. Utilizing the four step process of creativity generally accepted by p Wonderland. re, Explaining Creativity: The Science of Human Innovation is employed. Sawyer describes creativity as a four step process: preparation, incubation, insight, and verification. Using these fours steps as reference points, pass ages from
iii and Through the Looking Glass and What Alice Found There importance of photography to the creation of the Alice novels.
1 C hapter 1 Introduction, Historical and Theoretical: The Four Stages of Creativity the novels and Through the Looking Glass and What Alice Found There A leisurely day of boating with the Liddell children is usually lectual process rather than one inspired afternoon and depended more on his fascination with photography utilized dreamlike imagery to move beyond the present time and space into a dream world. I believe the similar imagery demonstrates an important creative link Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass and What Alice Found Ther e creatively depended on the photographic images Carroll produced. Although Carroll took photographs from 1856 to 1880, his most prolific period occurred between 1857 and 1862 (Taylor and Wakeling xi). was published direc tly after this period in 1865. Through the Looking Glass and What Alice Found There a modern audience can glimpse the creative process that produced Wonderland.
2 In this th that his ability to create and Through the Looking Glass and What Alice Found There was a direct result of a four step creative process commonly acce pted by twenty first c entury cognitive psychologists The method applied (?) Explaining Creativity: The Science of Human Innovation In this text, Sawyer describes the four step process of creativity : preparation, incubation, insight, and verification. The first step in the process, liste paration and the momen During incubation, information is organized and unc onsciously developed Insight, the third step, occurs when the individual experiences luating the worth (Sawyer 5 8 5 9) The establishment of these four stages resulted from decades of failed or incomplete research on creativity (Sawyer 58). Originally, the goal of research conducte d by cognitive psychologists was to determine a way to measure creativity. Prior to the 1990s, when cognitive neuroscientists developed the technology to observe brain activity, creativity was discussed by two groups: psychologists and theologians. When (Pfenninger and Shubik xii). Discussions on creativity changed in the 1970s with the (Piirto 1 8). By studying art students and students not majoring in art, Getzels and
3 Csikszentmihalyi determined art students were aloof, reserved, introspective, serious, and failed to conform to contemporary social values to a much greater degree than students n ot studying art (Piirto 150). Their ability to positively identify and measure shared character traits of creative individuals encouraged researchers to continue their attempts to measure creativity. Cognitive psychologists wanted to establish a way to m easure an 59). Despite their efforts, such a scientific measurement proved impossible to establish. (Sawyer 58). Cognitive psychologists abandoned the idea of measuring creativity and embraced the idea of creativity as a process rather than an aptitude. They generated the four step p rocess as a result of their failed research attempts. The first two stages of the process, preparation and incubation, serve to frame became fascinated with and took up photography as a hobby. As his photographic skills increased, his pictures began depicting mental states and fantasy worlds rather than serving as simple reflections of reality. Eventually, props and costumes added fantastic elements to his photographs. Preparation and incubation served to lay the creative foundation on which Carroll produced and Through the Looking Glass and What Alice Found There Introduced to photog raphy by his uncle, Skeffington Lutwidge, in 1852, Carroll had exhibited a fascination with photography long before he purchased his
4 first camera in March 1856 (Gernsheim 27). Frustrated by his failed attempts at drawing, Carroll found that photography s upplied him with a way of visually creating a pretend world (Cohen, Reflections 17). Through the camera, Carroll controlled not just what was seen, but how it was seen. Russian film director Dziga Vertov described the camera as a r 1). Writing about his use of the camera, Vertov stated: Freed from the boundaries of time and space I co ordinate any and all points of the universe, wherever I want them to be. My way leads towards the creation of a fresh perception of the worl d. Thus I explain in a new way the world unknown to you. (Berger 1) flipped upside down, layered in on top of other images, and the left side could be changed to the right. A photographer could produce an image from life that represented a dream or fantasy world through such manipulations. This must have appealed to the father of Wonderland. The creation of pretend scenes through the recording of real images provided artist ic possibilities unlike anything before conceived. Not only did photography allow Carroll to create fantastic images, it also allowed him to explore the link between the human mind and photography. In 1855, before Carroll took up the hobby of photography create an elaborate metaphor satirizing popular literary styles (Nickel 36). In based process that can create Lazy and stupid, the novelist in
5 develop further into words creating a senti mental story. The photographers add more tale that pokes fun at a specific type of writing popular in the Victorian era. Without the existence of photography, Car by some of his contemporaries. Dr. Hugh Welch Diamond, attempted to establish a scientific link between photographic portraiture to psych ology (Heyert 129). Appointed pictures of the women living in the facility (Heyert 129). Diamond wrote that the the passing storm or sunshine of the soul, and thus enables the metaphysician to witness and trace out the connection between the visible and the invisible in one important branch of his research 31). Di what it contains. The ability of a photograph to reveal the i mind heightened its allure for Victorians. Even Elizabeth Barrett Browning commented on the relationship between photography and the mind. In a letter to her friend Mary Russell Mitford, Browning likened photography to mesmeris m (Groth 1). The third and fourth stages of the creative process, insight, and verification, frame the writing of and Through the Looking Glass and What Alice Found There During these stages, Carroll applied the lesson s learned
6 when boating with the Liddell children. When called upon to tell a story, Carroll drew on his experiences as a photographer as well as his previous literary out put to relate Adventures in Wonderland to his attentive audience. Over and over again scenes from reconstructed as a narrative. Verification, best examined in Through the Looking Glass and What Alice Found There Carroll was very aware of what he was doing and how he was doing it. Very little of his creativity occurred unconsc iously at this point in time. The don had already experienced the success of The world of Wonderland was decision to continue the story of Alice and the Wonderland characters proves that he felt his creative efforts worthwhile. By utilizing preparation, incubation, insight, and verification I will argue not only for the way in which Carroll created a nd Through the Looking Glass and What Alice Found There but that new insights can be gained into the texts.
7 Chapter 2 Lewis Carroll, Photographer: Preparation and Incubation ce practiced by a privileged few to a form of technology accessible to the masses. Gone were the days of the camera obscura and images that faded into darkness in front of the ke any energetic child who has just discovered how to use his legs, the medium was off and out occurred at the 1851 Great Exhibition held at the Crystal Palace in London. It is probably here that Carroll first encountered photographs. A letter he writes his sister Elizabeth following his visit to the Great Exhibition marvels over the displays, calling the Lewis Carroll: A Biography 38). P hotography enjoyed public popularity throughout England. The 1851 census for Great Britain identified 51 professional photographers (Gernsheim 5). Demand for portraits swamped these professionals. One photographer managed to take ninety seven negatives in eight hours (Gersheim 9). When Carroll purchased his first camera on March 18, 1856 he had no intentions of making a living from its use (Cohen, Lewis Carroll: A Biography 150). Rather, Carroll desired to master the new technology. Morton Cohen state s in Reflections in a Looking Glass: A Centennial Celebration of Lewis Carroll, Photographer
8 never had a hobby; when he grew interested in a subject, he worked hard to become a For many years, photographs of Julia Margaret Cameron. Well known critics and historians of work; his inclusion in their texts owing entirely to the fame of his literature and not his following the publication of Lewis Carroll: Photographer in1969 by Helmut Gernsheim. Gernsheim credits his resea rch on Julia Margaret Cameron as leading to his interest in piddling amateur caused the photographic community to pay attentio d the process required to produce them deserve serious critical treatment, and not just from scholars of photography. Literary scholars stand to learn much about how Carroll created the novels, and Through the Looking Glas s and What Alice Found There photographs and the process he employed. as the creative starting point for the eventual writing of the Alice novels. output between 1856 and 1865 defines the stages of preparation and incubation, the first two steps of the creative process. Preparation, the first step including the gathering of information, searching for related ideas, and listening to suggestions, bega n as soon as Carroll purchased his first camera (Sawyer 58). In 1857, just a year after Carroll took up photography, he wrote the first
9 ability to make connections between photography and literature. The photographer, Hiawatha, attempts to take portraits of a family, but each photograph fails miserably. Surely drawing from his own experience with photographic models, Carroll describes h Reflections 26). Likewise, he makes fun of the eldest squinting of the left ing of the right Reflections 27). Carroll probably experienced many similar situations as he learned how to take successful portraits. In addition to learning how to work with models, Carroll had to learn how to execute the chemical process required by wet plate photography. While several methods of photography were available, Carroll used one of the most popular, the wet plate photographic process. Created by Frederick S cott Archer in 1849, the wet plate or collodion process was difficult to use successfully (Hirsch 72). In a text Carroll is Instruction in Photography 50 pages offer instruction in how to take a wet plate photograph. Interspersing the text are chemical equations for the solutions and chemical baths the photographer was required to create for his plates. The wet plate process demanded precision, patience, and a steady hand. Throughout the process the plate had to remain image (Hirsch 72). In order to take and develop a photograph, the photographer had to polish a glass plate, arrange his model, prepare the pla te in a darkroom by evenly pouring collodion over its entire surface area, sensitize the plate in a silver nitrate bath, and take
10 the plate from the darkroom to the model without letting it touch anything (Cohen, Reflections 18 19). Once in front of the m odel, the process was far from over. The model sat stone still for up to forty five seconds after which time the photographer had to carry the plate back to the darkroom, place it in a developing bath and then dunk it in a en, Reflections 19). At this point the photographer was still not done creating the photograph. The plate had to be heated over a fire and drenched in varnish (Cohen, Reflections 19). Once dried, a positive print could finally be created. Unfortunate ly, the demands of the process and the public resulted in professional portrait studios producing virtually the same photograph for all customers. Employing only one or two backdrops for portraits, professional photographers created a formula of sorts for expression (Gernsheim 9). Producing images using the difficult and complicated wet plate proce ss proved technical skill and efficiency, but omitted artistry. Compared with skill, but his artistic aptitude. Constantly changing the backdrop, costumes, and pos es of his models, Carroll strove to record images evoking fantasy worlds. The creation of fantasy in can be directly tied to the way in which wet plate photographs develop. Ca plate process resulted from hours of washing pyrogallic acid over portraits during development. The acid caused the image to appear slowly. The section first treated with the wash appeared first, the rest of the image appearing in the order of treatment. After
11 produc ing hundreds of portraits, Carroll was well acquainted with how disconcerting it is to see someone or something appear a part at a time. He connected this odd way of appearing on the plate with the odd way people and things can appear in dreams. Carroll applied this darkroom experience to The Cheshire cat appears a body part at a time during the croquet match much as an image appeared on a plate following the acid wash. to Alice In this way, the physical process I believe the entire premise of Through the Looking Glass a nd What Alice Found There negative images he later changed into positive prints, he must have marveled over the complete reversal of light that produced the life like images. Photography allowed Carroll to create visual images similar to the mental images he later created through prose in and Through the Looking Glass and What Alice Found There Lewis C arroll, Photographer Carroll: Watching the glass plate develop offered a conundrum o f reversed tones where white became black and black, white. In the world of photography, the positive became negative and the negative, positive. The transient
12 became permanent and the established, fugitive. Nothing was ever quite what it se emed. (ii) negative to positive process of producing a photograph in addition to the glas s plates used Through the Looking Glass and What Alice Found There In order to gain access to the Looking glass House, Alice has to climb through the mirror. The mi rror serves as the vehicle through which Alice transitions into Wonderland. Similarly, the glass plate negative is the vehicle used to create a positive portrait. In both instances, the intercession of the glass is required for the fantasy or image to ex ist. The appearance of the glass plate during the photographic process also influenced glass house. the mirror (Carroll, Through the Looking Glass 143). The chemical washes over glass photographic plates produce what can be likened to a mist over the image. After washing hundreds of plates, the misty appearance of the glass certainly influenced the way in which Carroll chose to describe the changing mirror. Photography was also necessary for the second step of the process, incubation. During this second step information is organized and unconsciously developed (Sawyer 58). The unconscious nature of i ncubation makes it difficult to examine. Psychologist William James used the metaphor of a cooking cauldron to explain incubation:
13 we have the most abrupt cross cuts and transit ions from one idea to of combinations of elements, the subtlest associations of analogy; in a word, we seem suddenly introduced into a seething cauldron of ideas, where everything is fizzling and bobbing about in a stat e of bewildering activity. ( qtd. in Sawyer 60 61) photography and writing. The procedures used to take, develop, and print photographs were ingredients in the cauldron as were his early attempts at writing. Family magazines he created as a young student, Photography Extraordinary (1855), Photographing (1857), and (1860) made up the literary ingredients of the cauldron. Early portraits of family a nd friends along with the poses and scenes he created were also important influences. was published in 1860. Despite four years of photographic experience under his belt, the text is very similar to In this prose piece, Carroll continues to explore the ways in which people attempt to pose for the camera. In Day Out like ake portraits of a family. The photographer Brassa points out the similarity in topic and tone both ridicule the expressions and costumes of the people sitting for p hotographs (Brassa 50). As the narrator, Tubbs, photographs the family he describes the costume assumed
14 blue silk gown, with a Highland scarf over one shoulder, a ruffl time round the throat, and a hunting Reflections 23). Brassa also makes natural affinity between his world of strange devices, magic mirrors and changes of size 57). He even suggests that through photography knew all the paradoxes of photography, how to stop or extend time, how to evoke the Writing a prose piece so similar to one already created is evidence that Carroll used this time period to experiment with related ideas and further exp lore previous connections. By revisiting a previously used situation, a family sitting for their portraits, Carroll was able to further organize his thoughts on photography and how photographic images distort reality. Distortions occurred in two differen t ways. First, the physical reality of the situation was made to appear altered in order to invoke a different time or she wore and props she employed gave the impressi on she was from a different era. Photography allowed the photographer to produce an artificial reality. If the viewer was able to see beyond the photograph, they would recognize the ruse. photographs, he dressed models in costumes to produce this make believe effect. A reality through his photography. In the photograph, Alice Liddell is dressed in rags, a fist jauntily on her hip with a sober expres sion on her face (Taylor and Wakeling 62). A
15 viewer would easily fall for the trick, believing Alice to be a poor little beggar when in reality she led a very comfortable life. The second distortion occurred when people or objects changed shape or size In as in Carroll complains of his Tubbs laments inaccuracies of a photograph of a quaint cottage produced due to movement s during the long exposure. Once developed, the cow appears to have three heads and the farmer has too many arms and legs (Carroll, Complete Works 985). Tubbs suggests the (Carroll, Complete Works 985). Although the cottage appears as it should, the farmer and cow are significantly altered. These two types of distortions are seen time and again in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass and What Alice Found There In both novels, Alice exp eriences an altered reality in which chess pieces, playing cards, and animals assume human abilities and characteristics. This altered state exists within the camera lens. If the audience could see beyond the dream or photograph, their understanding of what is represented would be very different. In the novels Alice continually changes in both shape and size, alternately shrinking small as a mouse and growing gigantic. S imilar to the farmer with the appearance of a spider or centipede in she is mistaken for a snake in Wonderland incubation. The time and ef fort spent organizing and linking photography and literature
16 resulted in the fantastic images and situations in and Through the Looking Glass and What Alice Found There
17 Chapter 3 Lewis Carroll, Nov elist: Insight and Verification As Carroll organized his ideas abou t photography and literature he began making connections between the two moving into the third step of the creative process, insight. subconscious connection between ideas fits so well that it is forced to pop out into awareness like a cork held underwater breaking out into the More recent research suggests that this breakthrough occurs not in one moment, but in a Carroll told the Liddell children the sto ry of Alice he experienced a series of these situations in and la ter Through the Looking Glass and What Alice Found There Although it is impossible to accurately reconstruct the series of his experience with photography played a large role in their occurrence. mome nts, I feel some photographs were more influential than others. Douglas Nickel in his text, Dreaming in Pictures d the
18 character); at the other end was the emblematic portrayal of abstract ideas, where the 42). I propose that posed to represent. In The Dream taken in 1860, Carroll photographed three children acting out the Nativity (Nickel 47). Carroll exposed the plate twice in order to create an image that depicts a sleeping girl, representing the virgin, and a little girl and boy, representing the Magi. While the sleeping girl, slumped in a straight back chair is solidly in focus, the girl and boy representing the Magi are semi transparent. The design on the carpet shows through he Flight into Egypt can be seen through the identities are irrelevant. The importance of the photograph rests in their representation of ivity. Another photograph representing a dream and utilizing a double exposure was taken by Carroll in 1863. The photograph features a young girl, Mary McDonald, asleep in bed. Her body is slightly turned to the camera. As in The Dream the sleeping chi ld is her sleep. They appear to float, disappearing into the sheets. Their gaze is protective despite their spectral appearance (Nickel 47). The photograph ai ms to represent the little
19 subconscious connected his photographs rep resenting dreaming states to the story he was him to elaborate on the dream states he attempted to represent in photographs. By narrating a story, he could animate his photographs, showing and not just suggesting a dream world to his audience. This connection generated the premise of Adventures in Wonderland Through his narrativ e, Carroll placed Alice in a dreaming state like the subjects of his photographs. Unlike his photographs, Carroll was free to and silent to represent slumber. She was able to occupy a conscious and active state in Wonderland. In the narrative, the sleeping Alice moves out of passive sleep and interacts with the world of her dreams. The narrative form also opened up possibilities for producing fantastic situations and creatures Carroll could not create through photography. imaginary creatures such as a talking rabbit who wore a waistcoat. The stories of Adventures in Wonder land and Through the Looking Glass and What Alice Found There through photography. The production of a narrative also allowed Carroll more control over his states:
20 But photography is a notoriously ambiguous medium. Untethered from their context, photographs t ell us precious little about what we see in them. They are malleable artifacts, their meanings changing with time, depending on who is looking at them and when. interpretations. A narrative gives the audience clearer interpretational direction than a photograph. This can be demonstrated through the examination of a scene from Adventures in Wonderland this examin small round table with a thick book open in front of her. She is in profile, gazing upward with her hands folded as if in prayer over the pages of the book (Taylor and Wakelin 181 ). The audience has to make several assumptions about this image. First, and most obviously, they would assume Nelly is praying based on her hands and upward gaze. The book on the table is probably the Bible. After these basic assumptions, the audience daily prayers while anther might assume she is experiencing a personal crisis requiring spi ritual strength. Yet another viewer could determine Nelly is praying for intervention on behalf of a friend or family member. The photograph shows the audience Nelly in a prayerful pose, but cannot express anything further to assist with interpretation. intentions are lost to viewers who must construct their own meaning. in Wonderland d
21 door. Alice waits without an answer as the Frog Footman muses on how she cannot enter the house because there is no one to open the door inside. Standing on the do orstep, Alice becomes frustrated and annoyed with the Frog Footman who offers no assistance. If Carroll had tried to create this scene with a photograph, he would not have been able to use a frog as a footman. This fantastic element of the scene could no t have existed. state and could be easily misinterpreted. Through narration, her frust ration and Footman) was looking up into the sky all the time Carroll 59). Carroll further takes the guesswork out of interpretation. While the Frog Footman scene exemplifies the it could also be used as an example of the final stage of the creative process, verification. Verification, elaboration into its complete form (Sawyer 59). In this step, Carroll careful ly crafted both Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass and What Alice Found There While creating the novels, Carroll drew heavily on images and ideas represented in his photographs. T he conclusion of and is an example of a photographic image Carroll transformed into a scene for the novel At the end of the story the Queen of Hearts orders the pack of cards to attack Alice:
22 At this the whole pack rose up into the air, and came flying down upon h er; she gave a little scream, half of fright and half of anger, and tried to beat them off, and found herself lying on the bank, with her head in the lap of her sister, who was gently brushing away some dead leaves that had fluttered down from the t rees upon her face. (Carroll 124) The image of an older child cradling a younger sleeping or daydreaming child in Wonderland Three of the six are photographs are of the Brodie girls. In each, the younger sisters crowd the eldest, Lilian. They lay their heads in her lap or against her shoulder. In the photographs they appear to be sleeping or lost in daydreams, their eyes half closed or focused on something in th e distance. The photograph that most suggests the ending of depicts Lilian and a younger sister, Ethel. Taken in June 1861, the sisters sit outside on a shag carpet. Lilian sits upright and grins happily at the camera. A book is open on her lap and she clutches a flower in her relaxed and sleeping. The similarities between the photograph and scene in the novel are numerous. Both depict an older sister reading. The first scene of the novel states that in the photograph of Lilian. In both the photograph and novel, the younger sister falls om that fell onto the girls? The photograph and novel scene even share the same outdoor setting. So
23 numerous are the similarities between the photograph and scene in the novel that I believe Carroll used this photograph as his tem nclusion. With the exception of the previous example, I believe verification novels is best examined in Through the Looking Glass and What Alice Found There Following the success of Through the Looking Glas s and What Alice Found There s creative powers to a close. During the creation of this novel, Carroll was very aware of what he was doing and how he was doing it. The world of Wonderland was established and now all that was needed and the Wonderland characters proves that he felt his creative efforts worthwhile. Through the Looking Glass and What Alice Found There is the use of chess. In a photograph taken in manipulating light and position in order to create a social metaphor. Nickel suggests t hat strategy and drama inherent in a simulated social existence dictated by rules, hierarchies, ne another leaning slightly over a chessboard. Very similar in appearance, the women mirror each colored dress in front of a dark background. The aunt playing with the li ght colored chess pieces wears a light colored plaid dress. The cloth behind the women turns dramatically from dark, behind the aunt dressed in dark colors, to light behind the woman
24 in the light colored dress. The change in color produces a line down th e fabric and divides the photograph in two (Nickel 49). Carroll took other photographs of people playing chess, but I believe this photograph, with its binary set up and focus on the chess game, treating it not as an accessory to the photograph, but the subject, is the likely prototype of Through the Looking Glass and What Alice Found There entire platform for the creation o f a story in which Alice can travel back to Wonderland and experience the dream world in terms of changes in power rather than changes in size as in In the novel, Alice plays an elaborate game of chess with the other crea tures of Wonderland. The game begins when Alice stumbles upon the Red Queen in the second chapter. Below Alice and the Red Queen, the countryside stretches out in a checkerboard being played --though journey through the chessboard below. Carroll applies the rules of a chess game to the story of Wonderland. These rules allow for changes in power and social mobility not available in real Victorian society. During the game, Alice gets her wish and becomes a queen. The conclusions of the chess game and dream occur when Alice captures the Red Queen. The capture results in a checkmate of the Red King and ends the game. Drawing on the photograph of his aunts, Carroll expanded the idea of a chess game into a motif for the novel.
25 Along with chess, dreaming played an import ant role in Through the Looking Glass and What Alice Found There During the step of verification, Carroll evaluated the their preoccupation with the unconscious mind by incorporating dreams into his narrative. Through the Looking Glass and What Alice Found There takes place within the confines of a dream similar to The novel begins arm chair, half talking to herself and 38). Carroll often took pictures of little girls resting or pretending to sleep on a chair or sofa. One such example is a portrait of Annie Rogers taken in 1861. In the photograph, Annie p retends to be asleep on a lounge chair. Her head has fallen towards the camera, her legs are bare and crossed, and her hands are clasped across her stomach (Taylor and Wakeling 182). The audience of the photograph has no idea of what Annie may be dreamin g. Restricted by the technology of his time, Carroll was very limited in how he could transmit the content of dreams to his audience. Photographs utilizing double exposures allowed for some explanation of dreams, but, as previously discussed, limited Car roll to the role of a passive dreamer. I propose that content of dreams. Drawing on photographs like the image of Annie, Carroll elaborated on still scenes, crafting a story that brought dreams to life.
26 Chapter 4 Conclusion and Through the Looking Glass and What Alice Found There published some later works, th ey are not on a par with the Alice novels. The completion of his major works loosely coincided with the cessation of Lewis Carroll: A Biography 171 72). His last known photogr aph was taken in June of Evelyn Hatch (Taylor and Wakeling 128). Carroll left no clues as to why he gave up the hobby. In his biography of Carroll, Cohen identifies several factors that likely contributed to children circulated in Oxford, the dry plate process became the preferred photographic process, and Carroll wanted to devote more time to his literature (Cohen, Lewis Carroll: A Biography 172). Of these three reasons, I th ink the increase in popularity of the dry Lewis Carroll: A Biography 172). C decision; the dry plate process made it easier to take photographs and opened up the hobby to less skilled individuals. A debate raged over whether a photograph was a piece of art or just a mirror image of reality requiring little artistic skill (Taylor and Wakeling
27 110). The increased simplicity of creating a photographic image suggested artistic skill simplicity di minished his interest in the hobby. What use was a simplistic process doable by anyone to a man who thrived on mastering difficult procedures? The switch to the dry abando nment of the hobby. Once he abandoned photography, Carroll stopped producing material that would support the four steps of the creative process. In addition to quitting photography, Carroll gave up his mathematical lectureship (Cohen, Lewis Carroll: A B iography 171). Without the images and ideas generated through his photographs and, to a lesser degree, his lectures, Carroll crippled his creative process and produced literature considered second rate when compared to the Alice novels. Using photograph valuable insights into the crafting of the novels, but is not without problems. These problems qualify but do not invalidate the present study. They arise from the difficulty of accurately interpreting photographs, the looping nature of the creative process, and the difficulty of reconstructing the creative thought process. ing lost most of the literary equipment and imaginative discipline the Victorians brought to these pictures, we must accept that our critical perception of them, even with a sincere effort at bridging the historical gap, must
28 photographs could result in a gross misinterpretation of any particular image. Such a failure would prevent us from properly applying the photograph to the four step creative process. The second problem with using the four step creative process is the nature of the process itself. Although I have presented the creative process in a chronological way, it often spirals back on itself. In addition, a person may find that they are working in more than one step of the process at once. When examining the Carroll novels, I determined th at Carroll was predominantly working in the third step of the process, insight, during the crafting of and the fourth step, verification, while writing Through the Looking Glass and What Alice Found There Despite my neat division, it is probable that Carroll experienced all the steps at various times during the crafting of the novels. Stories within each novel such as the song of the walrus and the carpenter may have required Carroll to move through the creative process s eparately from the process that produced the rest of the novel. A certain scene or chapter may have required that he loop back to the first step, preparation, to generate a premise or character. The third problem arises from the four step process itself Since the earlier steps include a multitude of influences, as described in Chapter 2, the author often hardly knows from where exactly his ideas come. Tracing influences is exponentially more difficult for a person living in a different time and place than that of the creator whose works they are examining. In isolating and privileging photography, I have surely overlooked other important personal or cultural influences. Attempts at reconstructing creative processes are so riddled with uncertainty tha t some have questioned the validity
29 most advanced product of their minds? [ ... ] it might be beyond the capability of the brain to understand the full range of its o Despite these qualifications and objections, I believe this study worthwhile. By and Through the Looking Glass and What Alice Found There a plausible reconstruction of different areas. First, it allows a modern reader entrance into the creative process of a long deceased writer. Although Carroll kept j ournals and wrote many letters, he neglected to discuss his creative influences. Until the establishment of the four step creative process, scholars could only guess at his creative influences. Guesswork certainly factors into this study; however, with t he application of the four step process, structured process to creativity makes analysis of the creative process much easier for the modern reader. Although some guesswork is still necessary, the four step creative process positively shows the interconnectedness of creative disciplines and the holistic nature of inspiration. Wh ile this study has striven to prove the importance of photography to the novels. Such a study could be equally valid and expand still further the identifiable
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