Alice After Wonderland

Posted On December 4, 2009

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Now that the project has finally come to an end (for a short time), I find it fitting that one of my entries should be about the future.

After Alice was abruptly whisked out of Wonderland, she woke up on her sister’s lap. After this, she proceeded to tell her (Alice to her sister) about Wonderland. After Alice’s story, her sister tells her to run along and go to tea-time. The story then ends with Alice’s sister picturing what Wonderland must have been like.

While reading this, I asked myself many questions. I went from “How accurately did Alice’s sister picture Wonderland” to “What happened to Alice after Wonderland.”

The second question is what I will base this entry on.

After Alice ‘escaped’ Wonderland and made it back to reality, did she tell anyone other than her sister about her dream? I would presume so. She probably told all of her friends as well as her parents and relatives. She most likely even told Dinah. Everyone, however, probably lauged about it and made a smart remark about children and their imaginations (except for maybe Alice’s friends and Dinah).

I then began to wonder if she forgot about Wonderland. I thought about it for a moment and something dawned on me.

Lets just say Alice forgot about Wonderland. If she truly had forgotten about Wonderland, if she fell asleep and dreamed about another fantasy place, even if it wasn’t as quirky as Wonderland, that would be the new Wonderland she would remember.

***

Note: Of course, I haven’t read Alice Through The Looking Glass and What She Found There, so I can’t really say anything. This is just another one of my thoughts to consider and ponder upon.

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The Island vs. Wonderland

Posted On December 3, 2009

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Wonderland is not like the Island. Not by a long shot. Want to know why? Read on…

This is another comparison between two novels we have read this year. My first one can be found here. In this entry, I will attempt to compare and contrast Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland with William Golding’s Lord of the Flies. Just like my previous comparison, it is between a book that makes you question your lifestyle and personality (the Veldt/LotF) versus a childrens book (Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland). I will start of with the basics. Both stories are works of fiction. In both novels, the authors created their own environments. And let’s not forget, both stories have symbolism.

That is what I’m going to talk about. The symbolism in both stories could not be more different. In Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, there are occasional hints of symbolism here and there. The only major symbolic reference, in my opinion, was chapter two ‘The Caucus Race’. Every other symbolic reference after that is questionable. Not to mention the symbolism changes from chapter to chapter. Something that happens in chapter two is never again mentioned or revisited in chapter three. It’s like there is no ‘past’ in Wonderland. Only a present and a future.

In Lord of the Flies, however, the symbolism is straightforward. Once you realize the symbolic references, it becomes easier to understand the story and the meaning behind it. You also don’t have to over-analyze the story to get at what Golding is hinting at. Any symbolic reference from any chapter is revisited in the following chapters. On the island, there is a past, present, and future. On the island, what happened in the past affected the present which in turn affects the future. Nothing happens on the island without a reason behind it.

Perhaps this is the reason why I think analyzing Alice is questionable. There are no references that make me question my lifestlye or myself as a person.

Vegas is the New Wonderland?

Posted On December 3, 2009

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Vegas is Wonderland? Funny, I know. But I can explain:

Today, while I was logging into WordPress, I saw an interesting article on the homepage. This article was about the “new” ‘Alice in Wonderland’ television show set to premier this Sunday (Dec. 6th) on the SyFy channel. With a movie coming out you’d think the producers would hold off on a show, right? Wrong. This isn’t your typical interpretation of the story. In this story, Alice is an adult. She also lacks the blonde hair you see in most variations. In this story, Wonderland isn’t a mystical realm of possibilities. Wonderland, instead is a Casino. The casino is described as “a casino that provides prisoners with constant amusement so their emotions can be stripped away.

This makes me ask myself,

“Why would the casino (Wonderland) strip away emotions?”.

Then the answer dawned on me. In the beginning of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, Alice goes down the rabbit hole. When she gets to Wonderland, she is confused about who she is. It’s almost like the environment around her is stripping her of the ability to keep her feelings and emotions in check. It also seems like Wonderland itself is taking Alice’s identity. Another part of the phrase that caught my attention was prisoners. I laughed at the though of prisoners in Wonderland but then I stopped myself and thought about it for awhile. Alice herself is a prisoner in her own dreamland. The exact same dreamland that is stripping her identity.

So far, from what I’ve read in this article, this interpretation could work very nicely. I’m curious to see how it will all play out.

You can find a link to the article here.

The Journey So Far

Posted On December 3, 2009

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Hero’s Journey Steps

Hero’s Journey Pt. I

Hero’s Journey Pt. II

Hero’s Journey Pt. III

Hero’s Journey Pt: IV

In this entry, I am just trying to get everyone caught up on where we are and provide an overall summary of what the steps mean and how they apply to Alice.

*Note* The steps are not in order of occurrence *Note*

We start of with step one, ‘the call to adventure’. Alice received the call to adventure early in chapter one. If you were to pinpoint the exact time she received the call to adventure, it would be the moment she saw White Rabbit. It would have to be this specific part because if she would have never seen White Rabbit, she would have never found the rabbit hole.

Now we move on the step two, ‘refusal of the call’.  To me, there is no refusal of the call. Some of my classmates seem to disagree. Me and Emma L. had a short discussion on one her her blogs about it. You can read that here.

On the very same entry (Emma L.’s), we briefly discussed the third step of the hero’s journey, better known as ‘supernatural aid’. I believed that Alice’s supernatural aid for a majority of the time was White Rabbit, but my perception of this changed after I finished the book, but this is only a summary of chapters one and two – so forget about my changed perception.

On the exact same blog listed above (Emma L.’s), I discussed where Alice began step number four, or the crossing of the first threshold. The crossing of the first threshold symbolizes the point at which the hero (Alice) cannot return back to the normal world until they complete the journey. I believe Alice crossed the first threshold when she began falling down the rabbit hole and completed the crossing when she landed in Wonderland.

The fifth step, or ‘the rebirth’, is also a debatable aspect. I  believe Alice had multiple ‘rebirths’. Especially when she is confused about her identity and she begins to ask herself questions about who she is and who she isn’t. A good blog entry about this, written by Brendon O-L can be found here.

Step six, also known as ‘the road of trials’ begins in chapter two as soon as she loses track of White Rabbit. Once White Rabbit is gone, Alice must find her own way about Wonderland. Her trails included finding a way out of a long corridor and getting into a garden.

Step ten is ‘apotheosis’ which basically means ‘dream, trance, or hallucination’. Alice dreams while she is falling down the rabbit hole. She dreams that she is talking to her cat about eating bats, but before her cat can answer, she lands in Wonderland with a thump! thump! thump!

This concludes the summary of the steps so far (Chapters 1 and 2). If you have any questions or have anything you want to talk about, feel free to leave your comment in the comment box.

Hero’s Journey Analysis Pt. IV

Posted On December 3, 2009

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This entry is a continuation of my Hero’s Journey Series
Part I
Part II
Part III
Hero’s Steps

Alice has landed in Wonderland. She lost track of White Rabbit and she was stuck in a long hallway with doors along each wall. After awhile, she found a tiny, golden key on a three stool table made of glass. After attempting to open the normal doors with the key (and failing) Alice finds a small door behind a curtain. To Alice’s delight, the key fit in perfectly. This is where we will continue from.

After Alice puts the key in and opens the door, she knelt down looked along a small passage that wasn’t much larger than a rat hole. To her surprise there was a garden. This wasn’t an average run of the mill garden, either. It is described as “the loveliest garden you ever saw.” Just the mere sight of this garden completely distracted Alice from her overall goal of getting out. It distracted her so much she wanted to go through the tiny door and “wander among [the] beds of bright flowers and [the] cool fountains.” This wouldn’t really work because she obviously couldn’t fit. Sadly, she walked back to the glass table hoping she would find another key or a book of rules for shutting people up like telescopes. When she gets to the table, she finds a little bottle with a tag reading “DRINK ME”. Before Alice drinks the elixir, she checks to make sure it is not labeled poison. When she realizes it isn’t, she quickly drinks it. Suddenly, she shut up like a telescope. This would have been a good thing if she hadn’t left the key on the table. Now Alice is faced with another challenge. Now she must find another way to grow taller and get the key off of the table. She saw a glass box and when she opened it it had a very small cake. Written on the cake were the words “EAT ME”, beautifully written in currants. After she ate the cake, she grew. She didn’t grow smaller, if that is what you are thinking. She grew taller. She grew so tall she ended up being taller than she was before landing in Wonderland. She took the key and ran to the garden door, but getting in was more hopeless than ever. Because of this, she began to cry.

This entire part of chapter 2 (the first half) can be viewed from many different viewpoints. No matter how you look at it, however, you cannot deny the fact that this is the beginning of Alice’s road of trials (hero’s journey step number 6). This is where all of Alice’s troubles in Wonderland begin. If Alice wants to get out of, or get closer to finding a way out of Wonderland, she must first conquer these challenges and any more that might hinder her escape.

Easy Way Out

Posted On December 3, 2009

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Many authors don’t make ‘actual’ endings to their works. They abruptly end the story as a ‘dream’ or a ‘hallucination’. It’s almost like that author does not want to be questioned about his writings nor does the writer want to explain his writings and how he came up with them so he just claims everything as a dream and takes the easy way out.
I know a lot of people had a problem with the ending Carroll wrote. I am one of those people. Many of my classmates seem to have problems with it, too. Brittany M. and Hersh T. seem to agree with me as well. They both state that writers introduce us to fantasy worlds. But not just regular fantasy worlds. These fantasy worlds are magical and quirky worlds where anything can happen. They then throw in some funny characters with eccentric attitudes and random (but captivating) happenings. Once the hero gets into the fantasy world, everything seems so very real. Everything seems like reality, and the writer makes it so it is hard to distinguish the two (fantasy and reality). After the hero has done a few things here and there, the writer puts him or her in a dangerous or possibly harmful position. Before anything truly bad can happen, the hero is snatched out of the fantasy world somehow. In this case, Alice is the hero and she wakes up before a deck of flying cards hit her.

But what makes writers want to do this? What would make a writer possibly want to destroy the  complex, amazing world that took him so long to create? Especially Carroll. Why would he take so much time writing a story – a good one at that – ad then totally trashing it?

I also don’t like how the writer (Carroll) builds up suspense and then stops the story before anything great can happen. I really wanted to find out what happened to Alice after she was attacked by the flying cards. Carroll could have at least had Alice wake up after the flying card incident. I know it is not my story, but is that too much to ask for?

My Journey Through Wonderland

Posted On December 3, 2009

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My journey through Wonderland was one of great success, failure, perseverance, confusion, learning, and  fun.

Since my journey through Wonderland is coming to an end, I find it fitting one of my last blogs should be about the actual “Alice Project”. Before I this project, I had never read Alice. Heck, I hadn’t even seen the movie. The entire thought of me working together with four other people about a topic I had never experienced was frightening. I have to admit that I was a little fearful until Mr. Long put me in a group with people I felt comfortable around. As we began, we were a little unorganized because there were people in our group who had seen the movie multiple times. Others only knew of certain characters or parts in the movie. Coming into this project, the only thing I knew about was ‘the unbirthday’ scene in the movie which isn’t even mentioned in the book. But we all helped each other with understanding the story. We even helped each other with formulating blog entry ideas , which was really hard at times.

I also enjoyed commenting on other groups’ blogs and talking about the story and all of it’s aspects after school. By having multiple teams all working on the same project, everybody was able to catch a glimpse of the different thought processes put into each blog. I also liked having the ability to see all the different viewpoints of a confusing aspect of the story (like the ‘supernatural aid’ step of the hero’s journey). By seeing all the viewpoints and comparing them, I was able to strengthen my understanding of the story. I believe this entire project strengthened our friendships, analytical abilities, and writing skills. Even though there were many rough spots, and on many occasions  I questioned our intentions, I had fun on my journey through Wonderland. Did you?

The Golden Key to the Nursery Room

Posted On December 3, 2009

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Wonderland and The Veldt
Earlier this year, the students of Mr. Long were lucky enough to be exposed to a story written by Ray Bradbury.  The title of this story was The Veldt.
If you want a link to the PDF copy of this story, you can find it here.
The reason I bring this up is because there are similarities in the stories. For starters, both stories are about children. In both stories, said children escape to a dream world. In Alice’s case it is Wonderland. In Peter and Wendy’s case (the children from the Veldt) it is the nursery. When the children from both stories want to escape reality they enter their respective dreamworlds (Wonderland/Nursery).

Now let me go more in depth. Since version of The Veldt we read was a short story, I cannot fully compare it to Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. I do, however, believe it is safe to say if you think about it hard enough, you can draw parallels between the stories. In The Veldt, the children, Peter and Wendy, do not like the way their parents are treating them. To suppress their true feelings toward their parents, the go to the Nursery room. In this room, the children can think about any place on earth and everything in the room is manipulated to fit that environment. As a way of letting out their anger, Peter and Wendy imagine themselves in Africa. Everything is perfect. The animals are realistic, the heat, grass, and sounds are all normal. The only abnormal thing about this Africa are the ‘holograms’ of the parents are killed by the lions. This is how the two children expressed their anger. They would go into the Nursery room and imagine the death of their parents by a pack of lions. This is how they escaped their reality.

Although Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland is not gruesome and creepy like The Veldt, certain aspects of The Veldt can be seen in the story (Alice). In the beginning of the story, Alice was sitting under a tree with nothing to do. She was so bored and tired she didn’t even want to get up and make a daisy-chain. She ended up falling asleep and dreaming about a mystical place we call Wonderland. In Wonderland she would do fun things and have great adventures, even if it was an imagination/dream.

To summarize everything, Alice’s boredom would be equivalent to Peter and Wendy’s parents. Alice’s Wonderland would be equivalent to the Nursery room. The adventures Alice had to pacify her boredom would be equivalent to Peter and Wendy imagining their parents dying (as creepy as that sounds).

Disagree or Agree? Tell me why or why not in the comments below!

Hero’s Journey Analysis Pt III

Posted On December 3, 2009

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Hero’s Journey Steps can be found: here

Hero’s Journey Pt. II can be found: here


Thump! Thump! Alice has finally arrived in Wonderland. Well, more like crashed landed – but you get what I’m saying. The “Thump! Thump” Also symbolizes the completion of the hero’s journey step number 4, the crossing of the first threshold. From now on forth, Alice cannot return back to the real world until she completes her journey. When Alice lands, she follows White Rabbit down a hallway and then he turns a corner. When Alice reaches this corner, he (White Rabbit) is nowhere to be seen. Now Alice does not know where to go. She has nobody to “guide” her through Wonderland. She has nobody to show her how to get out. Nobody but herself.

One could say this is the beginning of the sixth hero’s journey step. This step, known as the road of trials is when the hero, in this case, Alice, goes through challenges that obstruct the completion of the journey. The first challenge Alice had to face was getting out of the hallway. She tried to open the doors that ran along the hallway, but they were all locked. After her first plan failed, she began to sadly walk down the middle of the hallway wondering how she would get out of the hallway. Soon she came up to a table with a golden key. She took the key and tried to open the doors in the hallway, but the key was too small to open any of them. On her second time around, she saw a curtain she had previously overlooked. She moved the curtain and behind it was a small door. When she inserted the key into the keyhole, the golden key fit perfectly. The key fitting into the keyhole could symbolize the completion of her (Alice’s) first challenge, but there are more to come.

A Raven and a Writing Desk

Posted On December 1, 2009

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In chapter eight, “A Mad Tea-Party”, Alice attends tea-time with Dormouse (who is asleep), Mad Hatter, and March Hare. She walks to the table and sits down next to March Hare even though the animals were yelling “No room! No room!”. The group then began to converse. Randomly, Mad Hatter asks Alice, “Why is a raven like a writing-desk?”. After this, Alice, Hare, and Hatter then begin to talk about random things. A little while later, Hatter asks “Have you guessed the riddle yet?” Alice didn’t know the answer so she asked Hatter for the answer. Hatter simply replied with “I haven’t the slightest idea.”

This one riddle, “Why is a raven like a writing-desk,” has been analyzed. Scholars throughout the years have tried to find the meaning – the answer to this seemingly un-answerable riddle. Carroll himself was pestered so much he released an official statement in the preface of his next Alice book that was supposed to answer the riddle. The preface said, “Because it can produce a few notes, tho they are very flat; and it is never put with the wrong end it front”. Even after the creator of the riddle gave an “answer” scholars still questioned it. Denis Crutch even said that in the original preface Carroll had written, ‘never’ was supposed to be spelled ‘nevar’ (raven backwards). Even after this, scholars still tried to find, or make, their own answers.

This brings me to the question:

“Have scholars over-analyzed the Mad Hatter’s Quote?”

After all, Carroll did write the story for children. Maybe the Hatter’s quote was just an excuse to get the real Alice to laugh. Or maybe the quote was just put in the story to provide comic relief and release tension. I believe that scholars have over analyzed the riddle. But this isn’t just about me. Tell me what YOU think in the comments below.

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