Picturing Wonderland

Posted On December 1, 2009

Filed under Jenna K.

Comments Dropped 5 responses

At the end of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, Alice’s sister is sitting there imagining Wonderland.

I was trying to picture what she was picturing when I realized all that came to mind was the pictures from all the movies I’ve seen. I’m sure her sister pictured Wonderland completely different than Alice did. And I’m sure Alice Liddell pictured Wonderland different than Lewis Carroll did. And its obvious that the director of the 1951 movie version of Alice in Wonderland pictured it differently than Tim Burton did for the 2010 version. But many readers don’t get the opportunity to envision Wonderland like they want to because they already have a picture in their head from movies and drawing they’ve seen.

Have movies and drawings ruined our vision of Wonderland?

You know how when you watch a movie based on a book you can never read the book again without picturing the actors in the movie? (the Harry Potter movies ruined Harry Potter for me) Well I was just thinking about how maybe watching the Alice in Wonderland movies before reading the book stopped me from being able to picture Wonderland like I want to picture it. Like the caterpillar, I definitely pictured him blue because of the cartoon caterpillar I saw in the movie, but Lewis Carroll never said he was blue. Wonderland is a dream world, so it should be invisioned differently by everybody. But by producing movies and pictures that depict Wonderland a specific way people can’t help put picture Wonderland the way directors and artists want them to.

With all this media depicting Wonderland THEY want it to be depicted, do we lose the way Carroll wanted it to be imagine. I mean, maybe Carroll wanted it to be different for everybody. But here we are creating this widely used picture of Wonderland so that nobody can imagine it the way they want. Do we compromise the uniqueness of Wonderland by drawing out pictures of it? I know I would’ve loved to have been able to picture Wonderland my own way, without the influence of movies and drawings sticking pre-made images in my head.


5 Responses to “Picturing Wonderland”

  1. Jenna K.

    I personally don’t think that we can “create our images of the characters while critically dissecting a director’s decision in developing same characters in the movie.” For me, the more I picture a director’s dipiction of a character, the more I have to work to create my own image. I have to try and block out the image that has been created in my mind by looking at the director’s version for ninety minutes. I do agree that it gives a chance to understand cultural trends though because the movie itself reflects society during that time.

  2. David Bill

    Can we separate these mediums and the interpretations? Like Daniel L. said, does the fact that we associate a movie star with a character diminish our creativity and imagination? Do these movies have a negative long term impact upon our connection to these stories?

    This genre of movie will not disappear but I do believe it offers us an opportunity. We can create our images of the characters while critically dissecting a director’s decision in developing same characters in the movie. This provides us a chance to create our own mental image and promote our imagination while developing our literary analysis and understanding cultural trends.

  3. Daniel L.

    I completely agree when you said that a movie being made after a book completely ruins the book. When this happens it takes away from us being able to use our imagination. This is one of the reasons why I dont agree with movies being made after books.

  4. Hagen F.

    I think what you are saying is true about the media. Everytime that I read Harry Potter, I imagine the actor that portrayed him in the movie. The media does change our perception of how the books should be pictured. It has changed every book, and most of the time the way the movies portray the characters is not entirely accurate. Hair color, eye color, stature, and other details of characters are lost “in translation.”

    Media is sometimes better than the book though because the movie may be more interesting. We lose scenes and plot when the book is transformed into a movie. Just like when Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland was made into a movie. The Duchess is never mentioned in the movie, at all. Yet we read in the book that she is mentioned twice and for a great while. The movies have to exclude parts though for time, and in hopes of keeping there audience. If the audience does not like the movie, then they will tell others that the movie is bad. The best advertisement is word of mouth and that is what movies have to do.

  5. Derek_M

    That is a very true statement. Anytime I picture anything in Wonderland, it is always about the movie or referencing the Disney version of Alice. I never really thought about having my own personal vision on the books. But it definitely is a valid point because the best books are when you can envision yourself in the book, and imagine how everything looks and feels. Sometimes, I even wish I was a character in that book. In Alice, I already had the pictures in my mind, but the original sketches also gave me a different view on Alice in a picturesque manner. I also like your reference to Alice and her sister at the end of the work. It illustrates your point perfectly to me.

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