Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Semester of Degree Completion


Thesis Director

Stephen Swords


The purpose of this study was to investigate the relationship between language and image in Nonsense texts through analysis of illustrations, animations, and live-action portrayals of scenes from Lewis Carroll's Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, Through the Looking Glass and What Alice Found There, Norton Juster's The Phantom Tollbooth, and their adaptations. This study proceeds by first discussing the discrepancies between various definitions of the critical term "nonsense" as applied to a genre of literature, then moves on to critique the established term of "visual nonsense" as used within the discourse community. The analysis of word-image relationships in the sample texts demonstrates the lack of evidence of visuals being able to convey traits of the Nonsense genre without the assistance of words in a written or spoken capacity, which renders the critical term "visual nonsense" unnecessary.