Would She Learn New Lessons the Next Time?

Posted On December 4, 2009

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When Alice was 10, she went through one of the most unusual journeys one has ever taken before. Her curiosity urged her to follow this little White Rabbit, that lead her to this large rabbit hole, where she fell through. She eventually landed in a world called Wonderland, a place where the air is filled with nonsense, the people are oddly misplaced, and everything is just so strange.

At first, Alice was very ignorant to her surroundings, and sometimes arrogent to others. But as she traveled further into Wonderland, Alice experienced things that made  her change in a way. She was given advice from a Caterpillar to find enlightenment, a Chesire-cat gave her new way to see things in a different view in the world, and an Ugly Duchess told her that morals are everywhere as long as we can find them. You can say that this adventure was like one big life lesson to her. Before Wonderland, Alice was ignorant to the world around her, and was needed to become more insightful. Now, she left Wonderland as a new person, with new knowledge that could last her a life time.

And so now I begin to wonder, what would it be like if she returned like 25 years into the future?

If she was to go back down, I see her to be more conscious of what would be going on. The lessons she learned before would make her next experience more enjoyable than the last. By then, maybe she would have an answer to the Mad Hatter’s riddle as well. But if she was to go back down a second time, would she learn anything new? The first time she went, Alice was taught life lessons that was to carry her throughout her life. But a second time around could give her even more insight than before. I would like to see another book written about her next adventure. Then maybe it can answer some things that were left unanswered in the last adventure.

In Conclusion

Posted On December 3, 2009

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The Alice Project is finally coming to a close momentarily, and we’ll all be able to get some good rest tonight (unless if one is in AP Euro).

I have to say that this was  probably the largest, most professional project I have ever done in school. Possibly even outside as well.

Mr. Long did an amazing job in organizing a way for students to become experts in Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and having fun blogging about it. And also I’m amazed of the qualitly of writing and thinking from my fellow peers. It was cool to see how everyone perceived things differently from each other, which I found very interesting.

I’m glad that our teacher has a brilliant mind to come up with such a project. I don’t know anyone else who would ever think of this. I see this new way of teaching becoming more universal in the near future. I’m glad I could be one of the first to be apart of it. But now that I look back on it, I wish I didn’t procrastinate as much as I have. I could have probably enjoyed the experience much more if that wasn’t an issue. But I know for next time to not put things as much off.

In all, this was a fabulous project and it really tested our knowledge, critical thinking, and creativity. For my closing thought, I would like to how next year’s students will react to this and see what new knowledge they bring to the table

I Mean Really, It’s a Children’s Book.

Posted On December 3, 2009

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My inspiration of this post comes from my comment on Kristin’s post, Do Annotations Ruin a Reader’s Own Discovery Process?

And so I shall like to start off by stating that over the years, there has been many scholars that have observed and annotated Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. To me, quite frankly, I personally don’t like it all that much. Here’s an excerpt from my comment on Kristin’s post, telling how I feel about it:

[…]First off, there were WAY too many of them. Pretty much to the point where they would totally distract you from the story, which is kind of irritating to me. And second, most of them went into GREAT length in detail, and I think some were just plain irrelevant[…]

I just wonder why would we ever need to go into that much depth? I mean really, it’s a children’s book. Carroll might have thrown around some symbols and moral, within the story, but I highly doubt he meant to put that much symbolism in. And I’ll have to agree with Kristin again, we are left little to ‘discover’ or ‘note’ anything within since mostly everything has been annotated. The annotations have left nothing for readers to analyze, and those who are avid readers can’t enjoy the book anymore.

We should have listened to Mr. Gilbert K. Chesterton. He pleaded to us that if Alice is over-analyzed, the story would dull and uninteresting. So, my opinion is, we probably shouldn’t have read The Annotated Alice, because I feel that we couldn’t learn all that much from it. I liked the way we analyzed Lord of the Flies, because we were improving our research and analysis skills that will help us in the future.

www.wonderland.com

Posted On December 3, 2009

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We all must thank Al Gore for “inventing” the Internet, because if we didn’t have it today, I probably wouldn’t be doing this blog right now. The internet has opened many opportunities for us, as a society, and has given us new ways to do things, that we couldn’t do like 50 years ago. For instance, we can now directly collaborate with other people around the world, via webcam, IMing, or whatever. Shopping doesn’t all have to be done at stores now. You could just go to the store’s website. Twittering is the latest craze now.

Even Mr. Long does it!

But the Internet, or computer, hasn’t just been used for those reasons. There are THOUSANDS of other reasons how the Internet has contributed to our society. Today, almost everything is being revolved around the Internet. We’re living in an era where information is being harvested at an unbelievable rate. Because of this, we live in what we call the Information Age. It’s hard to think how vast and wide the Internet has become in such a short time period. “Surfing the web” could be oh so confusing to one who is very unfamiliar to it. I guess you could relate that to Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, because she too is lost and confused in an unfamiliar.

I wonder what Lewis Carroll would think about this? What if we took him out of his era, and introduce him to modern society? Do you think he would write another story about Alice surfing the web?

The Path to Enlightenment

Posted On December 3, 2009

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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?

Carroll Ruins Dreams, Not Nightmares

Posted On December 3, 2009

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For everyone’s information, I took the name of the song “I Ruin Dreams, Not Nightmares” by a band, Watchout! Theres Ghosts, and changed it to fit my post. Also, I would like to add that the lyrics have nothing to do with I’m about to write, and I chose this name because I think it sounds kinda cool and interesting. So now on to my post…

Carroll does, in fact, ruin dreams! Not only does he ruin Alice’s adventures, in Wonderland, by waking her up from a dream, but he pretty much spoils the entire book. I was really disappointed to find out that this was the ending of the book. I can see this is probably very irritating to other readers. And wouldn’t you think, that a guy like Lewis Carroll, could have done SO much more, than what he did? It would have been so much more interesting and entertaining to see Alice find a real way back to reality. Not just by waking up from a silly dream. In Hersh’s post, Dream Ending? Oh Please., he brought up a very good question:

“Why do authors do that?”

Why? It’s not that exciting when authors do that. I think by actually ending so, the quality of their story has goes down considerably. One reason, we already know their writing style a little bit, since we’ve just read their story, and to end in such a way, one could interpret as probably an insult. Of course, the author wouldn’t want to insult their readers, but to some he could be saying we’re incapable of understanding what could of happened next. And to just add one more commentary, the author’s writing strength isn’t as strong ,so his worked would be deemed lower than what it could have been all along. My second reason is, why stop a masterpiece when you’ve nearly completed it? Carroll was clever and intricate in his writing, which made the story ever more interesting and insightful. So it bothers me why he made such a decision. Was he hiding something from us? Or even protecting himself something? Whatever it may be, his choice of ending has shown that he would rather put off his irrational ways of thinking for a safer time, in hopes that it won’t damage his ingenious story. Here’s an excerpt from my comment on his post, telling why I think Carroll, and as well as other authors, end such a story:

“My theory is that authors aren’t necessarily trying to protect, and reassert, our straightforward and rational minds, but they are afraid. Afraid of either making the story too controversial, so radical that the story isn’t worth reading anymore, or what lies next for the character. What is the next chapter?”

Also, Hersh brought up another good, interesting point in his post. When authors are creating, or writing, their story, they often begin with knowing they wish to create. However, sometimes when creating a masterpiece, the artwork starts to take a life of its own, and often throw the write off course from their true goal. This probably happened with Carroll. At first, he had dream of writing a novel a children’s novel for Alice, who was very dear to him. His dream of writing a children’s book was being fulfiled, but as time progressed, his dream had started becoming of less than what he dreamnt of. His writing abilities were starting to take control over his mind, which thus making his dream into a nightmare. By the time he finishing, Carroll was scared what was to happen next to Alice, so he just stopped her journey by awakening to a dream.

New Perspective

Posted On December 3, 2009

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All throughout the wonderful story of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, Carroll unveils many phrases, or riddles, and characters, that would seem to befuddle and bewilder your senses till you practically go mad as a Hatter. It’s quite amusing and confusing, all at once!  In reality, all of this would be considered completely absurd and outrageous, and to some this is utter insanity. However, in a imaginary world, all would be normal. Normal being that sanity is loony, the color blue is actually the color yellow, or that the first letter of the alphabet is W. This may all seem very confusing, at first to someone different, but would eventually make more sense

But was it really so confusing? What if it was actually all really simple?

In truth, everything is really simple. All of what Carroll throws at us is all fairly simple. The only reason to not understand any of it is because we’re too ignorant, and have never dared to try look at things from another perspective. We’re so use to only looking at the things one way, that we fail to remember that there is another side . So when Alice was in Wonderland, Everything was so topsy-turvy and twisty-twirvy to her. But to the rest of the people of Wonderland, all their nonsense made sense. It’s just a matter of Alice learning to see different side of view. And I think that’s what Carroll has been trying to suggest. One needs to just pause for a moment and to think about how view things from a new perspective.

Don’t Leave Me

Posted On December 3, 2009

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We’re all starting to come of age now. It’s part of the natural process, in life, that we must face to in order to become who we are for the rest our days on Earth. And most of our parents still think that we’re the same 5 year-old version of ourselves, and want us to be as close them as possible. The day is coming too quickly, for all of us, that we’ll be graduating and be off to college. Parents are afraid of us leaving them and possibly never returning home, not even to visit. So they cling onto, and implying, to us that are wanting us to stay home longer. However, we can’t stop growing up, it’s apart of life. With time, we become more mature and independent than we use to be. And eventually, the time will come that our parents will have to realize that we’re no longer a child, even though we technically still are, and we are to start our own lives.

In Ch. 4, of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, Carroll expresses this type of relationship when Alice is going through the different size changes, in the White Rabbit’s house. We know, from the annotations, Carroll had always wanted to be close to Alice Liddell, because he feelings for her. However he knew that he couldn’t be close to her foever, because she’ll eventually grow up and leave. Here’s an excerpt from my comment on Alex Dolabi’s, Growing Pains:

Back in Carroll’s era, girls were likely to be considered as ladies, or young women, when they came of the age of around 13 or 15. So while Carroll was writing this story, he must have paused for a moment and pondered what was to happen to little Alice when she came of age? He was in fear of losing her, as child, and becoming an independent person. All Carroll wanted was for Alice to close him.

When Alice started to drink the bottle off the Rabbit’s table, she started to grow rapidly once more. She grew so big that she had to be on her knees and elbows just fit, and not crashing through the roof. Metaphorically speaking, Alice was maturing so fast, to Carroll, he feared that she’ll become independent and move away from him. However, she wasn’t fully independent yet, hence why Carroll didn’t write Alice going through the roof. If Alice did break through, that would have meant Alice Liddell had become to independent and free to do anything. But Carroll didn’t like that, so when Alice shrank back down, Carroll was symbolizing that he doesn’t want her to leave him yet, and that she is still a little girl.

A Moral From Within: Finally Revealed!

Posted On December 3, 2009

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So, we just got back our in-class essays today, and at first I was scared of what I was about to receive, hence that I assumed that I thought I completely bombed it. However, apparently I was actually able to get my point across in a logical way that my paper can be taken seriously. This made me happy 🙂

The main focus of the essay was over one, of the many, morals that the Duchess has found, and explain how it relates to Alice’s adventure through Wonderland (thus far up to Ch. 9). To me, most of her morals didn’t really make sense to me. Like “ ‘Tis love, ’tis love, that makes the world go round,” or  “Birds of a feather must flock together.” Reading again time after time still lead me no where. Until I found this one particular moral she brought up.

“Be what you would seem to be

I like this one because I can understand it easier than the rest, and also I’ve figured out that this can be applied to Alice’s adventures in Wonderland. I believe, what the Duchess means, that you should want to be seen by others as you want them to see you. For my essay, I gave it the title “A Moral From Within,” meaning that the Duchess’s moral is to be found within Alice’s adventure, and for her to come to an epiphany in realizing who she really is. Here is my introductory paragraph for everyone to see:

In Chapter 9, the Duchess finds lots of morals in many things. One of her many morals, that she has shared with Alice, is “be what you would seem to be” (pg. 93). One could look that this one particular moral is part of the reason why Alice is wandering through Wonderland. Although she, herself doesn’t know, the meaning of her adventures is to find out who she really is.

So to wrap up my entire essay in a tiny nutshell, I basically explained my supposition on how Alice comes to find herself from all the various experiences she’s witnessed throughout the journey in Wonderland. And as I am explaining that, I’ve picked out different quotes and references that help support my theory and to show the symbolism, that Carroll has most likely suggested, behind some of the encounters. Like the changing of sizes, the caterpillar, or even the Cheshire-cat. Those were all intended to help guide her in reaching her long-awaiting epiphany.

Also, I specifically named this post as A Moral From Within: Finally Revealed! because I haven’t fully finished my conclusion, and I would like to take this time to finish my closing thoughts. So please bear with me on this:

For the most part, Alice’s journey was way to give her a chance to finally see a different side of things. At first, she was a young, arrogant girl who thought she knew mostly everything. However, because of the various experiences and encounters, in Wonderland, her ways of thinking and perceiving have been dramatically altered, to only give her greater insight in life. Thus making Alice more conscious of the world, and herself.

If you want to elaborate, more of my essay than what I’ve posted, feel free to ask me. Now since you have just finished reading over my thoughts, I would like to know your opinion whether this moral could best describe her journey, or any of the other morals best describes her journey.  And why?

Heartless Irony

Posted On November 12, 2009

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I say, and hopefully everyone shall agree with me, that the Queen of Hearts is far from ever being considered benevolent. Actually, if you happen to come across of the word tyrant, or any other word that is closely related, in the dictionary, you just might find a self-portrait of her next to it. She’s cruel and ruthless to every, possible living organism, thats within a probable 10 yard radius from her. Some could even say that is “heartless.” I find the political irony, that Carroll played around it, rather amusing in my personal opinion. Also, just as a random question, wouldn’t someone think, if a monarch held the title as the Queen of Hearts, they would be a very kind, gracious, forgiving person? Well, apparently that’s not the case with Carroll. All she is to Carroll is just a (absolute) monarch, with limitless authority, who controls her kingdom by spreading the fear of executing everyone’s head off. But I’ve found a flaw within her rule of tyranny, and I shall phrase it in this way: ” The Queen talks the talk, but never walks the walk.” She says “Off with their heads!,” but never fully follows through with the beheading. Its like what the Griffin said to Alice,

“It’s all her fancy that: they never executes nobody, you know”

And even in the 1951 film, of Alice in Wonderland, the Cheshire-Cat refers to her as:

“[a] fat, pompous, bad tempered old tyrant”

With that being said, a particular point is brought up in mind. Does Carroll mean that the English monarchy hasabused some of its given powers? With unlimited control and power, one could easily choose to behead people left and right. From further, of my, analysis I sense that Carroll was using Alice to see the people’s side of view of a ruling tyrannt. And to also point out that ruling in such a way will only lead to calamity. So from what I see, the Queen of Hearts represents a couple of things: 1) an amusing ironic joke 2) how fear spreads when one has limitless power and control and lastly 3) a dictatorship/or tyranny doesn’t win friends and influence people, so it’s important not to rule a kingdom in such a manner.