Archive for the ‘Susan C.’ Category

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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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The Twelve Days of Alice

December 2, 2009

In a sudden burst of holiday cheer, I have decided to create lyrics for my own “Twelve Days of Alice”. It’s to the tune of “The Twelve Days of Christmas, so feel free to sing aloud!

On the first day of Christmas,
Dear Alice sent to me
A Queen shouting, “Off with her head!”

On the second day of Christmas,
Dear Alice sent to me
Two mock turtles,
And a Queen shouting, “Off with her head!”

On the third day of Christmas,
Dear Alice sent to me
Three white rabbits,
Two mock turtles,
And a Queen shouting, “Off with her head!”

On the fourth day of Christmas,
Dear Alice sent to me
Four flamingo mallets,
Three white rabbits,
Two mock turtles,
And a Queen shouting, “Off with her head!”

On the fifth day of Christmas,
Dear Alice sent to me
Five golden keys,
Four flamingo mallets,
Three white rabbits,
Two mock turtles,
And a Queen shouting, “Off with her head!”

On the sixth day of Christmas,
Dear Alice sent to me
Six dormice dozing,
Five golden keys,
Four flamingo mallets,
Three white rabbits,
Two mock turtles,
And a Queen shouting, “Off with her head!”

On the seventh day of Christmas,
Dear Alice sent to me
Seven cats a-grinning,
Six dormice dozing,
Five golden keys,
Four flamingo mallets,
Three white rabbits,
Two mock turtles,
And a Queen shouting, “Off with her head!”

On the eighth day of Christmas,
Dear Alice sent to me
Eight maids named Mary,
Seven cats a-grinning,
Six dormice dozing,
Five golden keys,
Four flamingo mallets,
Three white rabbits,
Two mock turtles,
And a Queen shouting, “Off with her head!”

On the ninth day of Christmas,
Dear Alice sent to me
Nine lobsters dancing,
Eight maids named Mary,
Seven cats a-grinning,
Six dormice dozing,
Five golden keys,
Four flamingo mallets,
Three white rabbits,
Two mock turtles,
And a Queen shouting, “Off with her head!”

On the tenth day of Christmas,
Dear Alice sent to me
Ten hatters singing,
Nine lobsters dancing,
Eight maids named Mary,
Seven cats a-grinning,
Six dormice dozing,
Five golden keys,
Four flamingo mallets,
Three white rabbits,
Two mock turtles,
And a Queen shouting, “Off with her head!”

On the eleventh day of Christmas,
Dear Alice sent to me
Eleven cooks with pepper,
Ten hatters singing,
Nine lobsters dancing,
Eight maids named Mary,
Seven cats a-grinning,
Six dormice dozing,
Five golden keys,
Four flamingo mallets,
Three white rabbits,
Two mock turtles,
And a Queen shouting, “Off with her head!”

On the twelfth day of Christmas,
Dear Alice sent to me
Twelve caterpillars puffing,
Eleven cooks with pepper,
Ten hatters singing,
Nine lobsters dancing,
Eight maids named Mary,
Seven cats a-grinning,
Six dormice dozing,
Five golden keys,
Four flamingo mallets,
Three white rabbits,
Two mock turtles,
And a Queen shouting, “Off with her head!”

Well, there you go! I hope you enjoyed my “Twelve Days of Alice”!

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Which Are You Looking Forward to More?

December 2, 2009

Two new video versions of Alice in Wonderland are coming out soon:

  • One of them is Syfy’s Alice miniseries premiering Dec. 6th.
  • The other is Disney’s new Alice in Wonderland directed by Tim Burton, premiering March 5th 2010.

If you haven’t heard of either of these , here are the links to their websites:

http://disney.go.com/disneypictures/aliceinwonderland/

http://www.syfy.com/alice/

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Dinah, Dinah All the Time

December 1, 2009

During Alice’s adventures, she often talks about her beloved cat, Dinah. Especially in the beginning of the story, Alice “was always ready to talk about her pet.” (pg 35)

Early in the story, Alice is still partially in the “real” world. I believe Dinah, her “real world” cat, serves as a tie to reality for Alice. She first mentions Dinah as she is falling down the rabbit hole. As Alice falls, she is in transition from her world to Wonderland, saying, “Dinah’ll miss me very much to-night, I should think!” (pg 14) She then begins the first of her many nonsensical ramblings. This particular rambling features her beloved Dinah, as Alice ponders whether cats eat bats, or was it bats eating cats? Alice ponders this conundrum as she leaves her world behind.

Alice next speaks of Dinah to the Mouse, but she still not in Wonderland. She is in the hallway, what I call the ” in-between place” in Portals and Doorways. Alice’s praise of Dinah’s mice catching abilities soon scares the Mouse away, and Alice  has to coax the Mouse back. When the Mouse returns, she promises to tell Alice why she dislikes cats as soon as they reach dry land. When Alice and all the other animals reach the shore, the Mouse finally tells them her “tail”. However, Alice did not pay attention, so the indignant Mouse walks off. Alice wishes out loud that Dinah was there, because Dinah is such a good mouse catcher and would soon bring the Mouse back. The curious birds ask Alice who Dinah is, and Alice foolishly tells them, “And oh, I wish you could see her after the birds! Why, she’ll eat a little bird as soon as look at it!” (pg 35) This scares the birds away (for obvious reasons), and Alice is left alone.

Now, Alice looks about herself and realizes that the hall has disappeared. She is now in Wonderland. Alice mentions Dinah only once in Wonderland; when she is trapped in the Rabbit’s house. She has learned from her past mistakes and realizes that people become scared when she mentions Dinah. She therefore threatens to set Dinah on the Rabbit if he burns down the house. This works, and the Rabbit does not burn the house, but it is the last time Alice mentions Dinah in Wonderland.

As Alice loses herself in Wonderland, she moves farther away from the “real world” As this happens, and the story progresses, Alice stops talking about Dinah, her tie to the “real world”.

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Your Majesty

December 1, 2009
“What’s your name, child?” “My name is Alice, so please your Majesty,” said Alice very politely.

This post is inspired by Scott’s The Third Witness.

“Is there any significance to the Queen of Hearts being the first and only person Alice tells her name to?”

As we discover in the final chapter, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland isa dream.  Alice is in her own dream world and therefore is the “person in charge”. Perhaps the Queen, being the figure of authority in Wonderland, is the person Alice felt obliged to politely introduce herself to. The Queen seems to be the only person that Alice is truly polite to, and this is probably because Alice has been taught to view royalty as requiring respect. However, even though she is polite to the Queen in public, she thinks to herself, “Why, they’re only a pack of cards…” This is not very respectful. Alice is a child and has been taught to be polite and respectful to adults, especially royalty. As an older child, she still thinks childish disrespectful things about the Queen, but she is grown enough to keep those opinions to herself. Also, “Why, they’re only a pack of cards, after all. I needn’t be afraid of them!” shows that Alice recognizes that they have no real power over her. However, Alice choses to respect the authority of the Queen anyway.

I propose that the significance of Alice introducing herself to the Queen is that the Queen represents authority. As I said before, Alice has been taught to respect and be polite to adults, the figures of authority in a child’s life. However, most of the characters in Wonderland aren’t adults. There are talking dodos, smoking caterpillars, vanishing cats, and all sorts of unusual characters in Wonderland, but few that she recognizes as an adult. The Hatter is too crazy to seem adult and has no authority, and while Alice is polite to the calm, authoritative Cheshire-Cat, it isn’t human (or at least human-like). Amid the craziness of Wonderland, the Queen’s authority is something that Alice can understand. The Queen is royalty, and royalty require respect. Alice follows this rule, trying to apply what she knows to the nonsense of Wonderland. In the very end of the story Alice loses her respect for the Queen and says, “You’re nothing but a pack of cards!” This exclamation of logic ends Alice’s adventures in Wonderland and returns her to reality.

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Questions with No Answers

November 29, 2009
We all know that there are some questions that simply have no answer. I believe that the Hatter’s Riddle is one of those unanswerable questions, right up there with “what is the meaning of life?”
“Why is a raven like a writing-desk?”

In Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, the Hatter asks Alice, “Why is a raven like a writing-desk?” When Alice finally gives up and asks the Hatter why, he replies, “I haven’t the slightest idea.”

There is no real answer.

People have crafted all sorts of answers to the Hatter’s Riddle, and there have even been contests for the best answers, but there is no real answer. Lewis Carroll said in a preface for an 1896 version of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, “Enquiries have been so often addressed to me, as to whether any answer to the Hatter’s Riddle can be imagined, that I may as well put on record here what seems to me to be a fairly appropriate answer… This, however, is merely an afterthought; the Riddle, as originally invented, had no answer at all.”

Perhaps Carroll purposefully left this riddle unanswered, or perhaps he simply didn’t think of an answer when he was first telling the story to the Liddell girls. Either way, if the author doesn’t know the answer to his own question, how could we possibly know?

People always strive to find answers even when there aren’t any. Humankind’s need to answer the unanswerable has led them to imagine “fairly appropriate answers.” We just don’t like unresolved questions, but sometimes we have to accept that there is no true answer and move on with our lives.