“When <i>I</i> use a word it means just what I choose it to mean”
This article pays tribute to one of Roger Sell’s most prominent research areas, communication and pragmatics in literature. In literature for young readers especially, language is used as an instrument of power, both in communication between the implied author (adult) and the implied reader (child), and in ­communication between fictive characters. In the latter case, communication between adult and child characters can be employed to educate, socialize and oppress the child. In the article, that adheres to my current research on power and alterity in literature for young readers, I investigate language as a power vehicle in Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland and A. A. Milne’s Winnie-the-Pooh.