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Analyzing the “Alice Project”

December 3, 2009

After six weeks of reading and analyzing (or analyzing why we shouldn’t analyze) Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, the “Alice Project” is finally coming to a close. In approximately 15 hours, we will leave Alice to cope with her dream for herself, without the aid of our blogs. So, I’d like to take some time to reflect on the entirety of the project we have devoted ourselves to for the past six weeks.

I came into this project without any knowledge of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. I’ve never seen the Disney movie in its entirety, and the parts that I have seen I remember only vaguely, and so I really did not have much of a clue what to expect when reading the book. Even before we began the project, Mr. Long would make some references to Alice, most often about the Cheshire Cat or the White Rabbit, but I always felt somewhat out of the loop. I actually looked forward to the project if only so that I would be able to understand the various references to the story that are now ever so apparent all over the place!

At the beginning of the story, I remember wondering what the “porpoise” of the countless annotations in the margins of our annotated version of the story was. I kept wondering:

  • Why is all of this background information on the author necessary?
  • Why do I need to know of all of these other analyses and references to the story?
  • Who cares about a dodo?

However, as the project progressed and we delved deeper and deeper into the quirks of Wonderland, I started realizing that that information could actually be very beneficial when writing blogs. Whether it served as an inspiration for a blog, or merely helped support a point I was trying to make, some of the annotations were actually very useful (although I will admit that I still fail to see the purpose of some of them).

One thing I liked about the story was that it was possible to make something out of just about anything, but it was also possible to dispute the actual, if any, meaning of pretty much everything. It was interesting searching the story for possible symbolism or deep meanings, while having the power to argue that there is none should I come up empty-handed. That helped not only with blogging, but with comments as well.

I enjoyed commenting on my classmates’ blogs. Everyone created very high quality material, and it was cool to be able to see the story from everyone else’s perspective. I found great inspiration for blogs of my own in the ideas of those of my peers. I also enjoyed receiving comments, because it is always rewarding to get feedback on my writing and see new perspectives on the rabbits I chased and ideas I touched upon.

As for coming up with ideas for my own blogs, it was probably as painless as it could have possibly been. If I absolutely could not come up with anything to write, I always had the option of reading my classmates’ blogs and trying to find inspiration there. If that didn’t work, there was the option of searching the internet for interesting images, videos, or anything else Alice related that I could respond to.

All in all, I think the “Alice Project” was an imaginative project that challenged everyone in some way and forced us all to be team players. The most challenging aspect of the project was most likely different for everyone, but for me it was probably the extensive amount of time it demanded. We have never done anything like this, so getting accustomed to it took about as much time as actually working on it in the beginning. I was also worried that the project would interfere with my other project or other classes, which it may have to some extent.

That said, I thought the project was a very cool idea with very large possibilities, and I look forward to seeing how far it goes in the future.

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1862 Alice’s adventures in Wonderland vs. 2010 Alice’s adventures in Wonderland

December 3, 2009

Alice in Wonderland was written in 1864 by Lewis Carroll. In 1682 the story was first told to 3 young girls, one of which was Alice herself, on a on a rowing trip on July 4th. Alice loved the story so much that she asked Carroll write it down. Therefore two years later Carroll presented the first written form of the story to Alice. Back then it was called Alice’s adventures underground. The title was revised, along with much of its content, and published 1865.

Unfortunately I did not get the chance to see a replica of the original copy but it would be so cool if I could compare the original with the revised one. I wonder what Carroll added and took out.  There have been many websites, books, and other sources that comment on the context of the book. There are many assumptions on what certain scenes represent, certain characters represent and certain objects represent but the truth is only Carroll himself truly knew what everything really represented if they even represented something. This information was restructured from http://wiki.answers.com/Q/When_was_Alice_in_Wonderland_written&alreadyAsked=1&rtitle=When_was_alice_in_wonderland_witten

As most people know there is a new movie of this story coming out. The crew consist of Tim Burton as director, Jonny Depp as the Hatter,  Mia Wasikowska as Alice, and so on. In this new movie that will come out in 2010 Alice is a 19 year old girl who goes back to Wonderland to rediscover the magical place. Just by knowing there is an age difference between the Alices what do you think might be different in the plot? What age group do you think will go see this movie the most? Why? To find out more about the crew visit this website. http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1014759/synopsis

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Sleep… What a wonderful feeling!

December 3, 2009

As I sit in this comfortable seat starring at a computer for 6 and a half hours straight with a pile of empty coffee cups lying in the trashcan, all I can think about is sleep. The great sensation of the soft pillow against your head, absolutely nothing going through your mind, and the ability to know your subconscious is about to take over.

To think this whole story wouldn’t have happened if Alice did not fall asleep.

How much would you be missing out on if you couldn’t dream? Have you ever had a dream about something and then wake up and ask yourself what just happened in that dream? Or have u ever had a dream and then wake up the next day to ask yourself was that real? Say if it was a realistic dream that had a moral or some type of lesson that would help you grow in life and you woke up and you thought it was real, would use that experience you gained from you subconscious to prosper in life or would you put it in the “that happened in a dream, there’s now way it can happen in real life” category and ignore the life lesson?

Knowing what you know about Alice, if this really happened, do you think that Alice would take lessons that she learned while traveling through Wonderland and use them to prosper in her life? What life lessons do you think she gained from exploring Wonderland? How would these lessons help her thrive better in real world?

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The Dog Who Can’t Talk In Wonderland :O

December 3, 2009

This blog is inspired by Connor S. blog titled Out of place.

Throughout the book the closest thing to a family member that she talks about is her cat Dinah. When saved by the mouse from drowning in her own tears in chapter two she tries to tell the mouse about the cat but the mouse despises cats and threatens to leave if she continues talking about Dinah. In Chapter 3 Alice scares away all her company because she continues to talk about her cat. Her cat is her only reference back to the real world. I believe that is why she continuously talks about Dinah throughout the book. What Alice does not realize is why all the animals don’t like it when she talks about her cat. She does not realize the animals are the prey because she is use to being the bystander or the predator. But this is all about to change. 

Near the end of chapter 4 Alice runs away from the rabbit’s house in fear of her life. When Alice has escaped the crowed of animals around the house, her size is small again from eating the cupcakes that were originally pebbles. Once she escaped into the woods she encountered a puppy that was big compared to her. In the real world Alice would have been completely not afraid of the puppy but this time she wanted to play with the puppy due to what she is use to in the real world but she still is very cautious because she is afraid that the puppy will attack her. This was her first time playing the role of the prey instead of the predator or the bystander.

One of the question I asked myself when I read this scene was why did Carroll not give the dog all the characteristics he gave all the other characters in Wonderland? Perhaps he was a dog person. After all there are two cats in the story that come up pretty often throughout the book and only one dog that shows up for a short scene. What are your theories on why Carroll choose the dog to have real world qualities instead of any of the other animals in the book?

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The Enlightenment

December 3, 2009

The Enlightenment was a time period when philosophers questioned what they were taught. This idea was born in the 18th century. Philosophes went was far as questioning what the church and Socrates taught for years. The result of the Enlightenment academically was the birth to new concepts to approach the world of studies. Many discoveries were found my English philosophers.

Lewis Carroll was born in January 1832. This was only a century after the Enlightenment began. New ideas and concepts were coming out rapidly. It took me a little while to realize that the book had so many references toward the Enlightenment but one I saw this I was bombarded by clues that lead me to believe certain scenes represented discoveries found by philosophes during the Enlightenment.

One of the discovers I found was in chapter one. When Alice was falling down the rabbit whole she expresses the law of inertia proposed Newton. His law states that the marmalade that Alice took out of the self would stay right in front of her if she let go. This law was not completely experimented in the book because Alice put the marmalade back on the self due to her fear that the marmalade would someone.

One of the methods of thinking during this time period was process of elimination. This was used in chapter two when Alice was trying to figure out who she was. Alice separates herself from anyone she knows but seeing what characteristics she does not share with the people around her. The process of elimination was not a new concept but it was widely popularized during this time period.

Such scenes in this story support my theory that Carroll made quite a few references toward the general academic revolution. This blog was majorly influenced by Brendon L. when he informed me of there being references to the enlightenment. If you believe that there are other scenes that you believe are referencing the Enlightenment please comment below.

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Running in Circles

December 3, 2009

The chapter starts off when they get out of Alice’s pool of tears that she cried in chapter two. As the group of animals sit around they try to figure an effective way to get dry. The mouse proposes to tell the story of William the conquer. They all listen to the mouse. Once the story is completed everyone still found themselves wet. Thus the Dodo suggests having a Caucus race. All the animals agree to have the race and so they race. Though this race is not similar to a 200 meter dash. Instead all the animals run around. The animals kept running around aimlessly until The Dodo declared the race to be over. But the participants believe every race should have a winner so therefore they declare all the participants are winners. Once they reached this point they believed all the winners should receive prizes. The animals choose Alice to give out prizes. Alice searches her pockets for something she can give away as a prize. She finds candy and gives all of it to all the animals and leaves nothing for herself. But the other animals believe she should get something so therefore she gives the dodo a thumbtack and the dodo returns it to Alice as her gift. Alice finds this action weird. After the animals eat there snack the mouse suggests telling another tale. Alice and the mouse have a debate over the puzzlement of tale and tail. The mouse becomes mad at Alice and leaves. Once the mouse is gone Alice talks about her cat Dinah. She talks about her hunting habit this forces the crowd of animals to be scared and flee.

This whole chapter describes how the animals are not effective with their action. It makes no sense that a story would make them dry. Then they have the race. The race was a step up from telling a story to get them dry but still not even close to being one of the most effective ways to make the animals dry the fastest. The race itself is very chaotic. There is no set goal and all the animals run around as if their heads are cut off. I agree with Alice’s feelings toward receiving her prize. The action was simply pointless in my opinion. I believe the debate over tale and tail was also unnecessary. Basically the whole chapter is showing how ineffective and pointless the animals are. But the real question here is what do these animals represent? My beliefs are that they represent the English government during Carroll’s time. I think that Carroll believed that his government was being very ill managed and was very ineffective. If my theory is correct then it supports my other theory that states that Carroll was very attached to the politics of his time. I got to this conclusion because he found this topic to be important enough to mention in a book designed to be told to a little girl. This whole chapter describes the politicians running in circles instead of toward a useful objective.

What are you beliefs of what the animals in this chapter represented? Do you support my theory of the animals representing the English government of Carroll’s time or do you have a different theory?

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What Now?

December 3, 2009

The story end with Alice telling her sister about her adventures through Wonderland and her sister also experiencing the adventure for herself. The reaction of these two girls after experiencing the dream is very different. Why do you suppose this is? My theory is because they are of different age and maturity level. Alice obviously remembers the dream because she told it to her sister but what she does with the dream is the important part. Will she take the experience, courage, and maturity level she gained from this and use it to thrive in life?

There have been certain dreams that I had in which I remember pretty clearly. Certain scenes of my dreams make me question what my mind is thinking unconsciously. After that dream I spend a while thinking about it. Wouldn’t Alice do the same with her radical dream? Was this dream just going to be forgotten by her or did it stick with her for the rest of her life? What was Carroll point in telling her this story? In real life Alice really liked the story or else she wouldn’t have asked Carroll to write all down. This probably meant she pondered about the story. How did this story affect Alice’s real life?

What about her sister? This is the last question that lingered in front of me when I finished this book. If this experience was so massive for Alice why was it not so important for her sister? I wonder why Carroll leaves us in the dark about Alice’s sister’s adventures and encounters of the creatures of Wonderland. One of my theories is to not distract from the main focus of Alice’s adventure through Wonderland. Maybe this dream didn’t seem so important to her sister because it was so unrealistic to her to the point where she believed it was not prominent enough to spend time pondering over it.

What are your views of what Alice did with this dream? If this dream happened to you what would you do with this dream? What are your views of Alice’s sister’s reaction to the dream?