Are Children Really So Innocent?

November 27, 2009

Anyone who has finished the book knows that the whole story is a dream.

This changes everything because everything that happened in the novel is what Alice’s mind is thinking unconsciously:

  • Are little girls’ dreams really so dark?
  • Are the really filled with violence and constant references to death?

Though this story is not one of Alice’s real dreams could a similar dream occur to other children? All these questions help answer are children really innocent. What does it mean when a little girl’s parents thinks she would never hurt a fly but in her dreams much worse thing happen.

According to dictionary.com, dreams are successions of images, thoughts, or emotions passing through the mind during sleep.Oneirologists believe dreams represent the dreamer’s imagery. Emotions such as secrets, fears, and fantasies are released in these dreams.

Alice’s dreams revealed a world that contains all three emotions.

What does this tell you? As far as we know Alice is a typical girl who has not been exposed to terrible action that differ her from the typical girl during her life time. If she has such dreams who and how many other people have similar dreams? How can a little girl’s imagination take her to a place so dark when exposed to so little? So I guess the overall question is: are children as innocent as our society believes they are?

My personal belief is that every single child is as innocent as those who raised him or her.  Experiments have been done that show children tend to act like their parents whether they are conscious of it or not. Therefore I believe each individual child has a different degree of innocence. What is you take on the debate?


  1. The connection of this creepy dream to being a dream of a innocent child is very interesting. I also like your ‘follow in your father’s footsteps’ approach on innocence. I agree with you on that, too. When a man’s father was a murderer, and his grandfather as well, you can’t ever look at the son the same way because he isn’t all that innocent it seems; he’ll probably become a murderer too. Different degrees of innocence do exist; our DNA prevents us from being born on a clean slate, and then environment taints that slate even more. The clean slate of innocence is ideal, but it simply doesn’t exist, and we need to stop telling ourselves that it does.

  2. Well, you need to remember this is a story for entertainment purposes. Yes, Alice is a young girl and Carroll did claim in the story that it was all just a dream but such dreams in reality are rare. I believe children really are innocent due to their naive spirits and for the fact that they are growing up and learning. However, if a child’s surroundings are bad, then that could definitely have a huge impact on the child in a negative way.

    I think you are over analyzing too much. You claim that Alice is just a small girl with dark dreams and that we can’t know what could have led her to have these types of dreams. You are making Alice a real character when in truth she is just a girl in a storybook. We can’t judge Alice over this dream because it doesn’t make sense to. Alice is not real nor is Wonderland. Carroll, the author, may have brought some of his darker emotions into Wonderland but in my opinion, that is the only contributing factor that could make Wonderland a darker place.

  3. I too agree with the fact that children are as innocent as who raised them. My grandmother helped raise me. My mother used to have to be the adult over both of us, it was quite hilarious actually. And Alice’s dream is only dark if you make it that way. Sure, its confusing and weird to us, but it may just be realism behind that. Hidden realism meets imagination seems to be key to her dream.

  4. I agree with you that children do seem to act like the ones that raised them. Although Alice may not have been abused or exposed to cruelty from her family, she could have been exposed to it outside of her home. I believe that children these days learn more and more when they are younger. My sister knows a lot more than I did when I was 12 years old. I do not think all little girls’ dreams and imagination are filled with darkness as Alice’s was, but Carroll possibly knew all the things Alice has been exposed to an incorporated it into her dream. Alice’s dream is not only filled with darkness, it is filled with talking animals and cats, which any young girl would love. So, children are as innocent as what they have been exposed to.

  5. I agree with your belief that every single child is as innovent as those who raised him or her. My grandmother says that my sister acts exactly like my mom used to act like when she was younger. Also when I read what dictionary.com said about dreams I thought about Walt Disney’s movie about Alice in Wonderland. In the beginning she talks and sings to her cat about her world how cats and rabbits would live in nice houses. She says in her world everything would be nonsense. Also they would call her Miss Alice, so she believes that they would speak to her and they would wear clothes.

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