Name: Instructor: Course: Date: Lewis Carroll’s Photographs The Victorian era marked the beginning of a new literary market whose sole objective can be said to have been the entertainment of children (Foulkes 11). Lewis Carroll took his famous photographs in this era and, in order to market his literary works, sought to identify misconceptions long held by adults about children…
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Carroll embraced this theme of the child as a shadow of humans in his photographs in order to call attention to how misconceived children were by adults, particularly using the real children that hr met in his life. Lewis Carroll sought to show children as adult shadows, the children’s identity as being shadowed by the adults, as well as the shadows that the children cast (Foulkes 11). Therefore, this paper will seek to show how Lewis Carroll used children in his photographs to show their innocence and the misconceptions that adults have about children. Xie Kitchin (Nickel 5) Lewis Carroll in his photographs exemplified how misconceived children were by undressing them or dressing them through a creation of what he perceived to be his own shadow of being a child (Foulkes 14). Recognized as a leading amateur and child photographer during the Victorian era, Lewis used the photographs he took to displace reality. Because photography in this period was a relatively new phenomenon, Lewis Carroll took it as a means of writing by using light with his most preferred photographic subject being the child as shown in the photographs above. At least sixty percent of all his known photographs were of children. At the time, photography was taken as the only art form that could accurately record reality, which Lewis Carroll took and created a reverse text for the discussion of children, which falsified how real a photograph could be (Foulkes 14). In various photographs, rather than giving the audience his own view of who a child should be, he comes up with the composition an adult would have of a child. The photo of Xie Kitchin has the child dressed in clothing that is foreign to that era and region, while also setting the photograph in a foreign land. In the other photograph of Evelyn Hatch, Lewis Carroll removes all social conventions from her photograph and takes a photo of her in the nude lying on a bed. In yet another photograph, he pictures Alice Liddell in a loose fitting dress seemingly begging for alms. Lewis exerts an agency on the photography act by rewriting the literal text that the initial image would have created to give rise to a new dialogue about what it means to be a child (Foulkes 15). Therefore, Lewis took photography as a way to write commentary on childhood and the way it was shadowed by adults. While it can be argued that Lewis Carroll used children as objects, this was necessary, especially since the child has for a long time been the centre of study by theorists and scholars as they looked for a definition of the child that was consistent (Foulkes 18). While it is difficult to offer a definitive explanation of what a child is, Lewis sought to provide a lens through which it is possible to distinguish the child in this era as an entity that was completely separate from grown ups. Lewis Carroll used his photography to define the child’s character via shadows that were cast by the children, rather than as shadows of the adults, i.e. what adults thought children were supposed to be. Alice Liddell (Nickel 7) In the photo of Alice Liddell, the viewer sees a young girl who is approximately 7 or 8 years old. Lewis ensures that her entire body can be seen with her tattered and ill-fitting clothes appearing to suggest that she is a beggar (Foulkes 22). However, while
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