Business as Usual

Posted On November 23, 2009

Filed under Meighan A.

Comments Dropped 3 responses

I found it curious that there is a Hatter in Wonderland. Of course there are people who might wish to have hats, such as the King and Queen with their extravagant crowns and the Duchess’s huge head accessory, but we see the Mad Hatter with, presumably, felt top hats. So did the Hatter make these ornaments for their heads, or does he have other clients who buy the kinds of top hats he is seen wearing to advertise?

Then again he is stuck at a tea-party all the time so how does he find time to make hats and sell them? Does he even manage to sell any? I would assume yes because how else would he pay for the food and other things at his tea-party. But when does he take a break from his tea and work? How did he break away from the tea-party for the trial? I think that I don’t truly understand what the tea-party is all about. I thought it was that they were perpetually stuck at tea-time because of the clock or something. I think I may be missing a key point within that chapter, but when I reread it I can’t find what it is. Then again it seems to me that there are various random nonsensical things throughout Wonderland that only Carroll can truly justify.

Perhaps that is why the presence of a hatter seems strange to me. Then again not all of the characters play active roles in the society so maybe the hatter- even though he is a hatter- doesn’t necessarily have to function as a hatter. I suppose, however, because it is Wonderland that it doesn’t particularly matter what or whom one is. You simply are and act the parts that Carroll assigned you.

That is of course the curious thing about it all. Wonderland seems to have a past since the characters seem to have histories and day-to-day lives. You would think, since it is all a dream, that Wonderland would have fresh new characters dreamed up who wouldn’t have been able to know each other before because they didn’t exist until Alice fell asleep. When Alice does awaken, it seems like the life in Wonderland does end. The cards throwing themselves at Alice and the White Rabbit being like a normal rabbit says to me that Wonderland has ceased to exist. If this is so, then is it possible that they had pasts, if they had not existed until Alice dreamed them and died when she awakened? Or did Alice dream up pasts for them when she was dreaming about them? Because it could all just be nonsense that Carroll intended to be entertaining and he wasn’t worried about the silliness of having a Hatter who didn’t make or sell hats. Or having a Queen and Duchess with a presumably ‘not good’ history together in a dream where it would be impossible for them to have a past since they didn’t exist until that very moment.

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3 Responses to “Business as Usual”

  1. Gabriella B.

    One point you made struck me as being particularly interesting that because this is a dream did the characters live and die with Alice’s waking. I would say that these characters have taken on a life of their own. So much so that I think they would continue to exist even with out Alice’s presence. I’m sure that the hatter will still be drinking tea. The queen ordering useless executions and the pigeon hunting down snakes. because who can say the products of our subconscious are ever truly ours? I mean of course we thought them up. but every once in a while we create something so vividly full with emotion and color and light that it becomes something more tangible that an idle dream. and takes on a life of its own. Sorry for the rant. Just some random thoughts that popped into my head when i read your blog.

  2. Meighan A.

    A very fine point you make! I am trying to rationalize the irrational. Hence, my rational mind hits a brick wall when trying to make sense of wonderland.

  3. Rivu D.

    I absolutely love your train of thought! I for one would never have thought about why the character was in the story itself, and that’s a very interesting point. However I think this very train of thought of yours is why you cant find the “key point” to the chapter as you call it. When you say “Then again he is stuck at a tea-party all the time so how does he find time to make hats and sell them? Does he even manage to sell any? I would assume yes because how else would he pay for the food and other things at his tea-party. But when does he take a break from his tea and work? How did he break away from the tea-party for the trial?” it seems like your approaching the illogical with an incredibly logical mindset, almost as if your taking nonsense and trying to make sense out of it. The book is for little kids who never would of really noticed all of the things you point out and if they somehow managed to they most likely wouldn’t have even cared. I think you have to realize that its wonderland, for all you know a hatters job may even be different there! Perhaps they don’t even have a monetary system. When you factor in wonderland, you can make up an excuse for just about anything.

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