The Dream World of Wonderland

  • Tiffany Teska University of Florida


In Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, Lewis Carroll creates a whimsical, alternative reality based on arbitrary rules and nonsense to express his ideas regarding the nature of dreams. While the original illustrations of the text were created by 19th-century English artist and satirist John Tenniel, famed surrealist Salvador Dalí provides a more expressionistic and psychological exploration of the mind through his own illustrations of Carroll’s work in the 1969 Maegenus Press edition of Alice. In order to understand Dalí’s interpretation of the text, it is important to trace his interests in dreams back to its origins in Sigmund Freud and Surrealism, which came to light during the early 20th-century and focused on new forms of expression that sought to unhinge the supposed creativity trapped in the unconscious mind. Although Carroll, Dalí, and Freud were all from different time periods, their individual beliefs about the nature of dreams allow for a better understanding of how to analyze Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland as a whole.