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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?

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Lessons, Lessens, Lessons, Lessens.

December 3, 2009

I really like Carroll as an author because he always thinks out of the box. Many of his riddles and little sayings always makes you want to think more in depth about the quote.

One of my many favorite quotes in the book.

“That’s the reason they’re called lessons,” the Gryphon remarked: “because they lessen from day to day.”

I believe this quote has truth to it. Yet, it can be taken from two different points of view.

Mistakes are really what makes a person. Through mistakes they learn lessons such as a child learning they cannot touch a hot stove or else they will burn their fingers. Once the child learns their lesson, they surely won’t do it again. Although, lessons can really lessen by day. People who commit crimes suffer consequences for a reason. For a speeding ticket, you might pay a fine and for a bigger charge, such as theft you might go to jail.

You are suppose to learn these lessons after suffering the consequences correct? Well, not so much.

The lessons that people claim to learn may actually lessen day to day. Let’s take the speeding ticket. You get the ticket, you tell the officer you are sorry and it won’t happen again and then later on you go pay the fine. It should be done with after that right? Many may drive safer the next couple of days, especially in the area they were ticketed but a week, month, or year from then, do you think they will be speeding again? This is an example of a lesson lessening day by day.

Either way you look at it it is an interesting quote and something to think about.

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Get Lost in the Game of Wonderland.

December 3, 2009

Was Wonderland one big game? As students, we have analyzed every single part of Alice and have really come to no conclusion about anything. Everything in this blog is pure opinion and with our analysis of the book, are we really getting anywhere?

Throughout Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland we have stated several times Carroll did not purposely put a lot of thought into the story. Although it is a very good story and has become one of the most well known children’s stories read by many, is that all it is? People say such a strange story has to have hidden meanings and they have to analyze it but is there any truthfulness in that? In the end it is all pure opinion.

One of the most famous riddles in the story is, “Why is a raven like a table?”

Now how many people have tried to come up with an answer to that question? A lot but Carroll intended for it to be left unanswered. Why do people care so much about one little riddle? If you go and search Google with that question, hundreds and thousands of responses will come up but none of those so called answers were written by Carroll. If Carroll wanted it to have an answer he probably would have written it down in the story.

As we examine Alice we are simply playing the game of Wonderland. Wonderland is a world of the impossible. I just don’t understand why so many others analyze such a simple minded story. In my opinion, there is nothing to analyze in depth. All we as students have to offer, along with all those other scholars and readers of Alice, are opinions.

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A Look Back on Alice’s Experience in Wonderland

December 3, 2009

Nowhere else could the characters fit so well in a place other than Wonderland. Alice’s experience in Wonderland was quite a journey but a meaningful one. It signified growing up, learning lessons and keeping her head in difficult and frustrating situations.

Alice also experiences challenges in Wonderland. Being nice isn’t so simple when the characters are making no sense. Alice was a smart girl though. She made something of herself in Wonderland and never backed down from anything. She survived the Duchess, the Caterpillar, the Cheshire Cat and more importantly the Queen. The Queen was a harsh character and Alice had a lot of guts to stand up to her. Alice was willing to fight for herself and others. Although the characters of Wonderland were intimidating, Alice handles herself quite well in Wonderland. In Wonderland, Alice kept her head which is hard to do. Surroundings influence people a lot and in a place as eccentric as Wonderland Alice could have gone crazy.

Everyone is mad in Wonderland. At any point did you think Alice was becoming or was mad?

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Jefferson Airplane Follows their White Rabbit

December 3, 2009

Song Title: White Rabbit
Band: Jefferson Airplane

When logic and porportion
Have fallen sloppy dead
And the White Knight is talking backwards
And the Red Queen’s “off with her head”
Remember what the Dormouse said,
“Keep your head”

I really like these lyrics because in my opinion, they represent Wonderland very well.

In a succicnt manner, it explains Wonderland as somewhere where the logic and porportion of the real world fall. Due to Wonderland being a place where anything is possible, logic and proportion is hard to keep in play. This is a pretty good explanation of Wonderland for being song lyrics. Although, I don’t understand the third line. Does someone care to explain or offer their opinion on it?

The fourth and fifth lines of the part of the song I chose to examine are interesting. I like how they relate to each other. The Duchess was so set on having someones head chopped off if they made her unhappy. I find it funny that they put the Dormouse’s quote saying, “Keep your head” after the Duchess’. The Dormouse could be saying keep your head for many reasons. In Wonderland, their is madness and craziness and it is very easy to lose yourself in the story. Alice kept her intelligence throughout it and did not become insane herself. These lyrics fit Wonderland nicely and I agree with all the song lyrics meanings above.

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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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Why So Curious?

December 2, 2009

Honestly, why was Alice so curious? Of course it is just a story and anything can happen in a story …

…but why Alice and why in such an eccentric place?

Children are always curious due to a good reason, they are growing up. Without curiousity, children would never learn anything. The children need curiosity because their curiosity allows them to ask questions, explore their surroundings and slowly grow up just like they are suppose to. Throughout the entire story, I have always said that analyzing the story is pointless due to Carroll making it up on the spot. Yet, that doesn’t mean it is just one silly story. Nothing is wrong with analyzing a story and for learning experience it never hurts to start somewhere.

I believe in Alice in Wonderland, the story really shows Alice growing up. From the time she falls down the rabbit hole to the time she woke up, Alice changed an awful lot. From being a series of different sizes to meeting a great variety of strange characters, Alice learned a lot. Wonderland was nothing like Alice’s safety zone in the real world.

By experiencing Wonderland, Alice learns alot about herself and how the real world will treat her once she grows up a little bit more. This adventure was a good experience for Alice.