The effects of the food shortage obsession also seeped into the minds of writers, and its influence can be found in their work. Lewis Carrolls’ Alice in Wonderland contains many clues pointing to the starvation and malnutrition of the era. Carroll’s Wonderland is the exaggerated opposite of true 19th century Europe, as it is filled with food and drinks and Alice is always consuming something in order to continue on her adventure. However, below is one dialogue that represents the true worries of the Victorian era (Ratner, 1995). Alice and the Gnat’s discussion about the Bread-and-Butterfly went as follows:
Alice: “And what does it live on?"
Gnat: "Weak tea with cream in it."
A new difficulty came into Alice's head. "Supposing it couldn't find any?" she suggested.
Gnat: "Then it would die, of course."
Alice: "But that must happen very often," Alice remarked thoughtfully.
Gnat: "It always happens." (134)
This dialogue could suggest the author’s worries about the widespread hunger and food shortage in real life. The Bread-and-Butterfly was previously described as a creature whose “wings are thin slices of Bread-and-butter, its body is a crust, and its head is a lump of sugar.' The unusual, incredibly appetizing image of a butterfly could symbolize the author’s extreme hunger. His starvation is causing him to consider the deliciousness of an insect, which would otherwise be considered disgusting.