Alice K's adventures interroscribing simulandra: of performance through questions in Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and The Trial

UNCW Author/Contributor (non-UNCW co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Jesse A. Lambertson (Creator)
The University of North Carolina Wilmington (UNCW )
Web Site:
Katherine Montwieler

Abstract: This thesis is an exploration of the characters Alice in Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Josef K in Franz Kafka’s The Trial and the ways each is an uncertain “self” in an uncertain “family.” The thesis performs according to Carroll’s and Kafka’s considerations that the prose-page is a stage of performance of whatever ideas are appropriate to the context, in this case, analysis of ideas from the two novels. Both writers explored the power of the Law (s) of language but both also suggested that the truth of language will never be known. To use the language of Kafka, the “truth” of language is a door that will never be entered. The result is that uncertainty appears around every corner of the “self” and the families or language of “families” that Alice’s and K’s selves are part of. The conclusion in the thesis is arrived at in the text via explorations of specific word meanings (such as “reeling and writhing” and “family”) and how the meanings of these words are related to the contexts (physical and intellectual positions) from which they are birthed. And the necessity of performance at the core of the thesis reveals itself through performances of “knowledge” that remain uncertain and always hidden inside the door of Kafka’s Law (s) or, in the case of Alice, metaphorically underground.

Additional Information

A Thesis Submitted to the University of North Carolina at Wilmington in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirement for the Degree of Masters of Arts
Language: English
Date: 2009
Carroll Lewis 1832-1898 Alice's adventures in Wonderland--Criticism and interpretation, Characters and characteristics in literature, Kafka Franz 1883-1924 The Trial--Criticism and interpretation
Characters and characteristics in literature
Carroll, Lewis, 1832-1898. Alice's adventures in Wonderland -- Criticism and interpretation
Kafka, Franz, 1883-1924. The Trial -- Criticism and interpretation

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