In fact, children’s literature is a tool for cultural transmission and they reveal and are illuminated by the values of the time in which they were written. This paper seeks to explore Hollindale’s concept of the reader as an ideologist and the idea that meaning is inevitably inferential in a text is explored with special reference to Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.
One should have a thorough theoretical background of Peter Hollindale’s concepts of how ideology is at work in Children’s book. For Hollindale, ideology operates at three different levels within texts: explicit ideology (which includes the values and beliefs that the author consciously intends in the text), implicit ideology (unexamined values which the author is unaware of conveying), and the ideologies of the dominant culture (widely accepted values of the dominant culture that prevails in the given time and place of the text). These three levels of ideology are at work in any piece of texts and no doubt the reader’s perception of the text is very much affected by the level these ideologies occur. In this respect, Trites (2000, p. 70) observes how Hollindale “distinguishes explicit textual ideology from implicit textual ideology by asking us to investigate the messages the author intends to communicate in conjunction with those he communicates passively as “unexamined assumptions”; thus, for Hollindale the text communicates two opposing levels of ideology-one that the text explicitly states or implies directly and the other and inferred by the reader in the text. Thus, the implied meaning comes from the author whereas the inferred meaning originates from the reader and can vary from one reader to another depending on how one perceives the text. The authorial intended meaning dominated literary criticism in the past and theorists were preoccupied with the implied meaning that the