Alice in Wonderland, otherwise known as Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, is a staple of childhood literature spanning over a century. Just about every person in Western civilization is familiar with the psychedelic journey Alice experiences in Wonderland.

Many people have wondered whether Lewis Carroll (whose real name is Charles Dodgson) snuck hidden messages into the story. People are convinced that the story is a metaphor for a huge psychedelic drug trip or that it represents a political jab at Queen Victoria. Some people have gone so far as to suggest that Dodgson wrote the story with sexual undertones.

Let's go through some of these potential hidden messages.

What do you think the story means? COMMENT on Facebook with your opinion.

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1. Promoting psychedelic drugs?

The magical and sometimes trippy journey that Alice goes on in the children's book Alice in Wonderland has been raising eyebrows for a long time now.

If you just take a look at this shot from the Tim Burton-directed movie version of the book, it isn't surprising that people think Dodgson wrote the book completely tripped out on psychedelic drugs. What about the caterpillar smoking a hookah? How could that NOT be related to drug use? However, what may seem like obvious drug messages may not be about drugs at all.

There was no evidence that Charles Dodgson dabbled at all with mind-bending drugs, the type you would expect to inspire such a trippy story with Cheshire Cats, a myriad of mushrooms, and a magical rabbit hole.

There was no evidence that Charles Dodgson dabbled at all with mind-bending drugs, the type you would expect to inspire such a trippy story with Cheshire Cats, a myriad of mushrooms, and a magical rabbit hole.
Racconish |  Wikipedia

The aspects of his story that defy reality may relate more to Dodgson's job as a mathematician. In fact, puzzles appear throughout the book (Mad Hatter's riddle, for example). Alice must use logic in some cases, but the entire story is riddled with illogic. Some believe that Dodgson wanted to express that expectations and logical rules are often violated in the world and that logic can only get you so far in life.

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2. What about implicit sexual connotations? Many believe the caterpillar was very "phallic."

Some literary critics believe that Alice may have had penis envy of some kind. As a reminder, penis envy is the repressed desire to have a penis, and the idea behind it in clinical psychology was refined later by Sigmund Freud at the turn of the 19th century. Interestingly, at the time that the book was published in 1865, Sigmund Freud was 9 years old.

Whether or not the famous rabbit hole represents female sexual organs has also been considered.

Whether or not the famous rabbit hole represents female sexual organs has also been considered.
Tumblr |  beozed

Rather than being sexually perverse, the possible references to female sexuality may relate more to a commentary on the experience of a female going through puberty.

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3. A major theory out there is that Alice's journey through Wonderland may represent the battle all young women go through as they approach adulthood. 

3. A major theory out there is that Alice's journey through Wonderland may represent the battle all young women go through as they approach adulthood.
Tumblr |  4wonderland

Alice experiences huge changes in her physical size in the story, and also constantly expresses self-doubt and a lack of confidence.

Alice experiences huge changes in her physical size in the story, and also constantly expresses self-doubt and a lack of confidence.
Tumblr |  typeographie

As we all know, puberty is a time of extreme confusion and major emotional and physical fluctuation.

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4. Victorian-era political statement?

It has been documented that Dodgson didn't view Queen Victoria favorably. The Queen of Hearts in Alice in Wonderland is obviously bombastic and somewhat evil.

Interestingly, though, Queen Victoria actually enjoyed the book quite a bit.

Interestingly, though, Queen Victoria actually enjoyed the book quite a bit.
Wikipedia - Alexander Bassano

This raises doubts concerning the theory that the story was a statement against Queen Victoria. It's possible, perhaps, that enough differences existed between the Queen of Hearts and Queen Victoria that she just didn't notice.

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The Queen of Hearts is quick-tempered, much like Queen Victoria.

Maybe Queen Victoria was in denial...

5. Walrus and the Carpenter.

5. Walrus and the Carpenter.
ndla - The Granger Collection

Tweedledum and Tweedledee sing this song to Alice in the story. It's thought that the two figures represent different types of politicians at the time in England. This opinion was held by the late English novelist J.B. Priestley.

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At the end of the day, it's hard to tell whether Charles Dodgen chose to implant these hidden messages into his story.

Many of the theories seem plausible, perhaps some more than others (penis envy).

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