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Picture Alice

December 4, 2009

I have created a Prezi slide show that shows several different illustrators interpretations of Alice.

The pictures are grouped by chapter and include a quote from Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. There are many different interpretations included. There are blonde, brunette, and red-headed Alices, different styles of cards, and even a gryphon that looks like a gecko. The illustrators include Lewis Carroll, Sir John Tenniel, Mabel Lucie Attwell, Bessie Pease Gutmann,  Gwynedd M. Hudson,  A.E. Jackson,and Maria L. Kirk. I hope you enjoy this compilation of these illustrators visions of Alice in Wonderland.

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An Essay on Nonsense

December 4, 2009

We recently did an in-class essay over the meaning of Alice. I chose to write an essay on nonsense. This post will include my introduction paragraph and the major points of the essay.

In Chapter 9 of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, the Duchess insists that “everything’s got a moral if only you can find it”, but the morals she tells Alice are nonsensical, especially her last one, “Never imagine yourself not to be otherwise than what it might appear to others that what you were or might have been was not otherwise than what you had been would have appeared to them to be otherwise.” (pg 93) This long, convoluted, nonsense moral fits the meaning of Alice’s entire journey through Wonderland quite well, for her journey is an amusing one, full of nonsense without an easily discernible moral.

In my first paragraph I discuss:

  • Alice’s frustration with the lack of logic in Wonderland
  • Her inability to remember her own lessons
  • Her silly discussions with herself.

In my second paragraph I discuss how Alice is nothing more than a children’s story and has no deeper meaning. I used the quote, “‘Nonsense!”…and the Queen was silent. The King laid his hand upon her arm, and timidly said, ‘Consider, my dear: she is only a child!” (pg 82), to suggest that Carroll is saying that children only hear or read this story as nonsense. I then use this conversation between Alice and the Footman, “‘How am I to get in?’ asked Alice… ‘Are you to get in at all?’ said the Footman. ‘That’s the first question,you know,” (pg 59) to suggest we stop asking ourselves ‘where is the moral?’, but rather ‘is there a moral?’ I agree with Alice when she says, “Perhaps it hasn’t one.” (pg 91)

In my conclusion paragraph I say that anyone searching for meaning in Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland will find encounter as much confusion as Alice found when she attempted to understand the Duchess’s complicated morals, and therefore the Duchess’ long moral represents very well the lack of any deeper meaning in Alice’s adventures beyond the nonsense of a children’s story.

Looking back I realize that I should have put more analysis into my first paragraph. I also think that I should have clarified myself more in the conclusion paragraph. However, I feel that it is still a very good essay that is well supported by quotes and shows my view on the meaning of Alice.

Do you agree with my essay on nonsense?

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What Do You Think?

December 3, 2009

Alice’s Adventure through Wonderland is a book full of potential. Its entertains people of all age groups. But was there a specific age group Carroll intended to entertain when he published his work?

Most people who read the book know that Carroll wrote this book for Alice a little girl. But why put so much symbolism in a book for a little child when the child won’t even understand the symbolism? Maybe the book was written both for Alice’s entertainment and Carroll’s diary to express his feelings about the world around him through Wonderland. Do you believe that when Carroll published this book he thought it would become so huge? Carroll’s primary objective to make Alice smile, but did he have other intention in mind?

This book is loaded with so much symbolism, hidden meanings, and other content that no child would be able to comprehend. Was this Carroll’s way of giving a news flash to all those around who read the book? What is your belief about Carroll’s intentions for publishing the story? Do you think that it was for adults or for children? I personally believe it was for adults because of its content. I believe kids love it because of what Disney did to it and its something bizarre and different than all the other children stories out there.

What made this story so special to the point it sold millions? I believe it was such a successful story because it was both historical and the kids loved it. Do you believe that Carroll’s views of his society were effectively spread throughout his readers mind’s? I believe so because even though it takes a while to decipher the meanings it sticks to the readers mind once he or she reveals what the scene represented in real life.

What is your take on this blog? Do you agree or disagree with my theories?

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Cover Alice

December 3, 2009

In “Cover Alice”, team 13, talks about the original Alice’s adventure in Wonderland compares it to what our current society has done with the story in recent movies.

Note: scroll down to the bottom of the post to see the link to the CoverItLive blog chat.

There have been many different versions of movies made about Alice. In this blog, we talk about how two version alters the original story Carroll wrote. We talk about the new Alice movie, which comes out in 2010, and Syfy’s Alice miniseries. We believe they will be big hits for both adults and teens. Adults will watch this because they will want to compare the darkened version of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland with the somewhat innocent version they read as a kid. Teens will watch the Disney version because of the widely acclaimed actor who plays the role of the Mad Hatter, Johnny Depp, and the director, Tim Burton. In this blog we talk about what how we believe the movie will be different from the original book. We are aware that Alice is in her late teens in the movie and is going back to Wonderland to rediscover everything. Also, in the blog we talk about how the age of Alice affects the story and much more.

We hope you enjoy our conversation over the topic of the new video versions of Alice’s Adventures through Wonderland and gain some knowledge from it!

http://www.coveritlive.com/index.php?option=com_altcaster&task=siteviewaltcast&altcast_code=b75d11fe77

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The whole package

December 3, 2009

Overview:

A little over 6 weeks ago we were told that a HUGE project is coming up. My number one emotion toward this was WOOOW.

I knew this project was so much more than a classroom project. We were told many people from the outside world would be tracking our progress. I was definitely scared and still a little bit scared but very excited. This is my first project like this which makes it very unique.

Progress review:

As week by week passed I was having a hard time thinking up blogs. I had no problems with comments but I knew I need a minimum of 12 blogs. I decided to get all my comments out of the way. Then I started on Blogs.

Like many other people my first blog was talking about Lewis and his background. It was an easy blog despite the research. As I continued doing my blogs I was running out of historical blogs therefore I was being forced to do analytical blogs. I started off with a rough patch but once I got the hang of it, it was smooth sailing. Thanksgiving break started and I had either one or two blogs in. I was at a panic but then I developed a system. I told myself I would to at least two blogs a day.

As Thanksgiving break progressed I kinda kept my promise. Anyways by the end of Thanksgiving break I wrote about 10 blogs. When Thanksgiving break was over there were only 3 days left before the project was due. I was at a stable position and I didn’t have to panic which was a good thing. The second and third last days I spent commenting on each team’s blogs to make sure I had at least comments per team.

And on the last day I pulled an all nighter to think up as many possible ideas I could turn into Blogs. In 8 and half hours I was able to complete 7 blogs that I have a lot of confidence in.

And now I wait till later today to unite with my team to fine tune our voice thread and cover it live blogs. By 5 pm central time I should have at least 19 blogs and will have written over 25 comments.

Evaluation:

I really liked this project.

Like I said earlier this project is not like any other project I have ever done.

One thing that really stands out about this project is that we the students have to think for ourselves. This project gave me a taste of the real world in the sense of deadlines, quality, and what one’s customers look for. In this case the deadline was very reasonable. I didn’t feel like I was pressured by time because I spaced all my work out. The only reason I’m still up at 5:00 am is because I want to make as many beneficial modification as I can before the due time is up.

Another good thing about this project is the grade’s communication. We as a class discover things. We alter each other’s perspectives in a friendly environment. I really like the idea of switching editors every week because it gave everyone a chance to step up and take control of their team. In a way I liked the fact that people from around the world will be seeing this but that also means that we have to push ourselves to a limit we have never been to. The fact that people around the world are going to be reading, watching, and hearing about our work really puts pressure on us as student but it also puts in a very high level of motivation. Especially since one third of are grade is decided by y’all.

The grading system for this project is also kinda intimidating to me because it challenges our group to work together, which will give us our group grade, our individual grade, and what the outside world thinks of our work, which will be our third grade. A huge thing that scares me is the amount this project’s grade is worth. Of course we have vocabulary quizzes, one essay and a LOTF project but this is 3 major grades. Therefore this project is at least half of our quarter grade.

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Feigning Fairytales

December 3, 2009

“I’m late! I’m late! For a very important date! No time to say hello, goodbye, I’m late I’m late I’m late!” -the White Rabbit, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland

“Ring around the rosie, a pocket full of posies, ashes, ashes, we all fall down!”

Little Red Riding Hood

What do these all have in common? They are all seemingly innocent means of entertainment for young children, be it a chant, song, book, nursery rhyme, or anything else for that matter, that have extremely dark connotations. I remember as a little girl, I would always use the Rabbit’s “I’m late!” phrase whenever I was running late or in a hurry. It’s very catchy, no? I thought I was just being cute saying something a cute little rabbit said on TV. Little did I know, however, that the Rabbit was only obsessively repeating the phrase because he was late for a truly important date, for which he may be executed. (and, of course, there’s the pun that if he is late he will literally be the late, as in dead, rabbit. Get it?) I wonder, if young kids knew the darker side of their favorite catchphrases or songs, would they continue to gleefully sing them?

Take “Ring Around the Rosie” as another example. Children love to dance around in merry circles singing this little nursery rhyme, and playfully fall down at the end. Even many adults chant the song without taking a minute to consider the lyrics. What they’re missing is the dark, terrible history of it.

In 1961, James Leasor made the connection between the lyrics of the rhyme and a disease that terrorized the world 700 years ago.

Children in the Middle Ages were, supposedly, taught the nursery rhyme during the epidemic of the Black Death. The bubonic plague spread all over Europe and eventually all over the world, killing a majority of populations in the process. Now, the words to the rhyme as we know them are different than the original English version. That version, the true version that best represents the Black Death, goes as follows, “Ring-a-ring o’Rosies, a Pocket full of Posies, A-tishoo! A-tishoo! We all fall down!” The “ring-a-ring o’rosies” part of the nursery rhyme refers to the rosy-colored rashes in the shape of rings that would appear on the skin of victims of the bubonic plague. The next part, the “pocket full of posies,” refers to the uninfected people who would quite literally walk around with flowers, like posies, in their pockets in order to avoid the stench of the multitude of dead bodies of people who had succumbed to the frightening disease that were laying before them. “A-tishoo! A-tishoo” is supposed to represent the sound of a violent sneeze. Due to the fact that intense sneezing was one of the symptoms of the bubonic plague, this is also another legitimate connection between the seemingly joyous rhyme and the anything-but-joyful disease. Finally, “we all fall down” has been interpreted to refer to the majority of people literally falling in death from the disease. (http://www.rhymes.org.uk/ring_around_the_rosy.htm) Now, after all of that, who wants to gather round in a circle and sing?

Lastly, let’s look at the story of Little Red Riding Hood. Do you think someone just decided to make up a story about a young girl who goes into the woods and encounters a wolf that plans to eat her and her grandmother? I doubt it. As all fairytales, this story has probably been told for centuries, in various different ways. If it was based on folklore centuries ago, then it may be interpreted as more of a warning to young girls than a fairytale. The main point? Don’t go into the woods! Don’t talk to strangers! Beware of what is lurking behind you! People are not always what they seem! These messages are practically being screamed at the children listening to the story. Do this and die, that’s the point that’s trying to be made.

So, why does it seem as if children’s stories are some of the darkest and scariest around? Basically, children need to be warned, and the best way to get them to listen and pay attention is hide a serious message in a fun, playful story, so that they may just learn from the mistakes of their favorite characters. Maybe all of the dark aspects of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland that we have been discussing over the past 6 weeks are an attempt by Carroll to get a message across to Alice Liddell. Watch where you’re going, don’t go into strange places that you’re unfamiliar with, don’t drink/eat something unless you know what it is, be respectful towards authority, etc.

What is your opinion? Was he trying to get a message across to Alice Liddell, or children in general, or was he just telling a story?

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Normality is a State of Mind

December 3, 2009

“You see a dog growls when it’s angry, and wags its tail when it’s pleased. Now I growl when I’m pleased, and wag my tail when I’m angry. Therefore I’m mad.” -The Cheshire Cat

In this quote, the Cheshire Cat is telling Alice that it is crazy because it is unlike dogs. This, in a way, reminds me of certain issues in our own society, such as peer pressure, stereotyping, and conformity. Many people truly do believe that if they are different than people around them, then something is wrong with them, and they must change. Most people within the groups of “normal” people agree with these outsiders, and brush them off as weirdos or outcasts unless they conform to be just like everyone else. How can a society function if people are too afraid of being cast off as crazy to dare to be different? How will advancements come to pass if nobody is willing to think in new ways? Of course, society is advancing, and there are individualists in the world working on new ideas, but if more people were willing to take a risk and be different, would advancement be faster? Better? No different?

This reminds me of one of the Duchess’ morals, “Birds of a feather flock together”. It is true; people with similar interests and personalities do seem to stick together and follow one another. High school is generically all about the cliques-there are the preps, jocks, nerds, emo kids, music kids, etc. Granted, not every school will have the exact same set of cliques, but cliques are always there. Now, what would happen if all of these groups intermingled with each other? Would it be absolute chaos, or would it be beneficial and rewarding for everyone to befriend people with different perspectives and different attributes than they themselves have? My personal opinion is that it would be the latter, but it seems as if most people are too afraid of being judged or mocked to try to meet new people and try new things.

Even in Wonderland, similar characters group together. The two “maddest” characters of them all, the March Hare and the Mad Hatter, have a never-ending tea party together at the Hare’s home. As for the cards, all of the clubs were soldiers, the diamonds were the courtiers, the spades were the gardeners, and the hearts were the royal family. So, not only do all of the cards “flock together” at the Queen’s castle, but cards of each specific suit divide up as well. Not to mention the fact that, as per the Cheshire Cat, the maddest of the mad live in Wonderland, so all of the characters of Wonderland are a cohesive group of madmen. What if someone normal came into Wonderland? Would they be considered mad due to the fact that they are so different from the madness that is the norm in Wonderland? Does Alice fall into this category?

The point is, the rule is that similar people become friends and group up, while those who are willing to be in a group of people much different then themselves are the exceptions. Members of most groups are less welcoming to people who don’t share the same qualities that the rest of the group members share. Individuals stuck in a world of people who are different than they are are deemed mad, and they eventually can come to believe that themselves under enough pressure. Why? What defines madness? Craziness or insanity? Who are we to deem someone insane? For all we know, they could be thinking quite clearly, and it is we who are thinking senselessly. So, is insanity subjective, meaning in different societies the word has different implications and different definitions? If so, then a mad American could go to Asia, for example, and be welcomed and considered perfectly normal, relative to the majority of their population. The entire globe is divided into groups, sects, and regions all based on different beliefs, appearances, occupations, ethnicities, religions, etc. So, which of them are mad? My opinion is either everybody or nobody. That proves the Cheshire Cat’s assertion that everyone in Wonderland is mad; everyone in the entire world is mad according to someone. Or, theoretically, the madness of everyone could cancel out, and therefore nobody is mad. Either way you approach it, nobody is more mad than anybody else. So the point is, why can’t we all just get along?