The Path to Enlightenment
As I have seen throughout all of the other Alice Projects, everyone has made it perfectly clear that drugs are very present within Carroll’s story. Also, many are arguing that this Carroll is setting a bad image for our children, and thinking that’s acceptable. Well, I can’t say that disagree with any of them, because in truth, it really is a bad image. This is probably one of the main turn offs why parents don’t choose to read this book to their children. We all know that children are very impressionable, and by showing that to them, they probably assume it’s alright to use drugs. And I agree with everyone that it isn’t right to present this idea to children at such a young age. Plus, that still doesn’t mean it’s alright for adults to use them either. It’s probably even worse, because adults are more aware of the disastrous consequences that lay at hand. So I ask a question to myself,
Was it necessary for Carroll to reference drugs in developing Alice’s adventure through Wonderland?
I actually believe that it was necessary. Part of my comment, on Derek’s post, The Crazy Caterpillar, talks about how the Caterpillar, and the smoking of a hookah, isn’t all that bad. In fact, the scene with Alice and the Caterpillar was probably vital to the real reason of Alice’s adventures in Wonderland. Which I explained in one of my earlier posts, A Moral From Within: Finally Revealed! But before I elaborate anymore, here is an excerpt from my comment on Derek’s post:
Let’s take a step back for second and ponder a bit. In some cultures, using drugs, like smoking a hookah or peace pipe, has been a way of escaping reality for a period time. It’s mainly done in religious, or spiritual acts.
I think that Carroll never meant the drugs really as a bad things, nor the Caterpillar. I see Carroll symbolizing the Caterpillar as a sage, or guru, in the story. When the Caterpillar was smoking its hookah, I believe he was trying to become “one with nature,” or finding inner peace with himself. And after achieving inner peace, he has become more calm and is able to concentrate on the deep meanings of life. Thus allowing him to reach to enlightenment. That’s how I perceive what a guru is. Also they act as a mentor, or guide, to others hoping that they can help enlighten another human being. Again, before I go into further detail, now involving Alice, I want to point out the mushroom the Caterpillar is sitting on, when we find him. In reality, that would probably identified as psilocybin mushroom, or to some a “magic mushroom.” When eaten, it puts the consumer into a trance, or hallucinogenic state. This is just another one of those symbols, Carroll used to enhance his reasoning with the Caterpillar.
And so, when Alice first approached the Caterpillar, she looked all lost and confused. So the Caterpillar took it upon himself, to help guide her into finding who she really is. In the conversation, between the two, he asked multiple times to Alice “Who are you?” This was supposed to help start guiding her to an enlightenment, however she was arrogant to him, only making the conversation seem worthless.
To end this post, I ask you if the Caterpillar was to give you advice, would you want to listen? Why or why not?