I have chosen to write about Illman & Sons’ The Greek Maiden. The engraving depicts a somewhat young-looking woman alone, staring off either into the distance or simply zoning out—it’s difficult to tell where her gaze is directed. Either way, she does not seem to be engaged in the current moment. The woman appears almost unaware of the artist. Her solitariness gives off a sense of isolation. Perhaps, because of this isolation and the somewhat melancholy look on her face, she feels as though she does not belong in the society in which she resides. This may be what she is thinking about—the cause of her miserable expression. The location she sits in may be the spot she escapes to to have some alone time.
This woman reminds me of Carroll’s character Alice. Alice, being rather strange, does not seem to fit in with what the youth of the Victorian era was expected to be. However, this may have been a common occurrence for 19th century children, for kids are often not naturally born prim and proper. I can imagine that nearly all youth felt isolated in the Victorian era, not yet respected as fully functioning members of society until their superiors felt they were mature enough. Alice and this Greek maiden, like many children, feel out of place in their environment. Alice does not fit into Wonderland either.
This Wonderland may have been a way for Alice to rid herself, even for just a few hours, of her strict and possibly unfulfilling life. Although Alice was unconscious during her escape, this may be what the Greek maiden is seemingly lost in—a daydream. Both pieces might speak about the pressures youth and women felt and still feel today, as well as the temptation to get away from it all.