n Mousaion - Falling down in order to grow up : two woman's journeys from un-domestication to domestication in fantasy fiction

Volume 33, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 0027-2639



In this article, following the convention adopted in The annotated Alice (Gardner 2000), the authors refer to the combined volume of Lewis Carroll's works - entitled Alice in Wonderland - which includes Alice's adventures in Wonderland and Through the looking-glass - as 'the Alice texts'. In the Alice texts, Alice is presented as a Victorian female protagonist who has to 'fall down' in order to 'grow up'. This is also true of Yvaine in Neil Gaiman's Victorian-based novel, Stardust (1999). Both protagonists experience 'falling down', which also carries the symbolic weight of being an act of submission - falling into a subordinate state. In looking at the significance of the opposing movements up and down as indicative of a specific process of female domestication, postmodern and post structuralist theory explains how this binary opposition fulfils a specific didactic function in Victorian and Victorian-based fairy tale narratives. Historical approaches to Victorian society also demonstrate the submissive role assigned to women in Victorian society. While 'un-domestication' is rejected in favour of domestic submission in Carroll's and Gaiman's narratives, 'un-domestication' results in the liberation of their central female protagonists in the filmic revisionings, Alice in Wonderland (2010), directed by Tim Burton, and Stardust (2007), directed by Matthew Vaughn.

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