Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Departmental Honors




For over 150 years, critics and readers have struggled to understand the meaning of Lewis Carroll's Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. Through Alice, Carroll asserts that a focus on conversations in Wonderland will illuminate the use, or value, of his novel. The conversations between Alice and other characters reveal that Alice experiences a breakdown of her reality that mirrors the symptoms of trauma. Thus, looking through Alice's deconstructive process through the lens of trauma can provide insight into the value of Carroll's novel. Yet the novel does not describe a known source of trauma. Instead of emphasizing the traumatic event itself, Carroll focuses on the deconstructive and reconstructive process a victim experiences as they face the effects of trauma. Within the safe distance of the novel, readers can fall down the rabbit hole and enter Wonderland, a place where they can play with the boundaries of reality, explore how language represents a deconstructed reality and influences the reconstruction of reality, and prepare to face the small and large traumas of life.



Faculty Mentor

Shane Graham

Departmental Honors Advisor

John McLaughlin

Capstone Committee Member

Brian McCuskey