Posted by: Gage L. | December 4, 2009

Future Alice

Who would Alice grow up to be? Would this dream impact or change her life? I believe that her life would majorly change because she just dreamt one of the most fascinating stories of all time. I’m not saying Alice would become a writer, but I assume she would take the initiative to make something out of it?

Who would she tell? I wonder if Alice would tell her parents or sister about her dream, but maybe she would be too scared that they would think she needs therapy or some kind of special help. Considering that, I don’t believe they would do that because she is simply a small child and everyone knows how wild children’s imaginations are.

The thought of Alice’s future is a pretty crazy thing, but I really would like to know what the future held for young Alice. Maybe she could grow up to be a teacher, or maybe even a writer, like Lewis Carroll.

The bad thing about this question is that it can’t exactly be answered but only visualized. You can turn her future into anything you want, but what do you really think would happen to Alice? What is the most logical thing for Alice to do with her life? Maybe you think it wouldn’t impact her at all. Who knows? I’m very curious to see other people’s thoughts, so please comment and let me know what else she could do with her life.

Posted by: Rachel M. | December 4, 2009

What’s the Queen’s Obsession?

I am trying to understand the Queen’s preoccupation with beheading. Yes, it is a very morbid topic for a children’s story. I don’t think Alice probably thought much of it, considering she was just a child and probably hadn’t thought too deeply about the enigma of death. But to me, the inclusion of chopping some one’s head off may be similar to the inclusion of hookah; Perhaps it was meant symbolically, or maybe it was all in good fun.

On another note, we learn later via the Gryphon that no one ever really loses their head, and that the Queen never follows through with her vicious commands. This is where I made the connection between the Queen and Carroll. They both have obsessions with something considered taboo. The Queen has her beheading and Carroll has his love of Alice. Neither of them can act upon their feelings and in the end ignore their obsessions. Perhaps Carroll was speaking about humanity in this instance, or maybe he was just trying to reassure Alice that no violence actually took place. It could plausibly be the latter.

This aside, I wonder why the Queen was so feared even though she never followed through with her threats. If it was Carroll’s intention, perhaps he was suggesting that often government reigns with terror and a violent facade, yet in the end never follows through as promised. What do you think?

Posted by: Brendon O-L. | December 4, 2009

Pessimistic Poetry

Throughout the story, Carroll included poetry. Characters randomly bursting out reciting poetry and Alice tried remembering the poems she used to know. It was everywhere and every time I saw it I asked myself a question.

Why did he include this?

After thinking about this for weeks, I still have no ideas. Were these common poems that children would have known? Were these poems they would have known by heart? He did not only include poetry, but he often modified them. He added puns and changed it from the original as the the confused Alice tried to recite them.

The characters often recited poetry. The Mock Turtle recited some during the Lobster Quadrille. The White Rabbit said some when he recited the letter that was allegedly written by the Knave during the trial. The Mad Hatter sang this during the tea party:

Twinkle, twinkle, little bat!

How I wonder where you’re at!

Even the mouse that we met near the beginning recites a poem in the form of a mouse’s tail. Well you get the point. Almost every character recited some.

Every time she didn’t know who she was, either a character or herself challenged her to recite a poem. She attempted to recite poetry to the Caterpillar, the Mock Turtle, the Griffin, and even herself. Every time she would mess up. Why would they use this as a measure of knowledge? Oh, if I know this poem by heart I must be alright.

This leads me right back to where I started. Were these poems that children would have memorized during school? Is this an accurate measure of well being? I would think not, but then again I never lived in the 1800’s. Maybe they learned more poetry than we do today. Why did Carroll include so much poetry?

Posted by: Gage L. | December 3, 2009

My Thoughts on the Project.

In the beginning, the Alice Project seemed to make no sense at all. I was stumped. I couldn’t think of any ideas and all that I wanted to do was put it off until another day.

The worst part of the project was trying to come up with the blog posts that seemed to be very intellectual. I had trouble because I was nervous about submitting something that no one would want to comment on, or someone would disagree with me and make a better point. Once I got past all of that I started doing a decent job of coming up with ideas. That’s when I actually started enjoying the project.

I discovered that this wasn’t school work anymore, but something I wanted to do. Everyday, I would go home and check WordPress just to see if people commented on my thoughts. After reading peoples comments, I could reply or return the favor by commenting on one of their posts.

Commenting was my strong point. It just came easy to me because I love having a say in other people’s thoughts. I was so intrigued by some of the amazing ideas my fellow students had developed.

This project was a GREAT experience, and over all was very fun to be a part of. Even though I didn’t get to spend as much time on the project as everyone else, I loved that I got to be a very small part of this radical idea.

Posted by: Brendon O-L. | December 3, 2009

This is Only the Beginning

Today is the ‘official’ end to the Alice Project, but let’s face it this is not the end. This blog will continue on. All our thoughts and analysis about Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland are here for everyone to see. No one knows who will stumble upon this site in the future.

This was a very enjoyable experience that I will remember for years to come. We did more than anyone could imagine. We learned with little guidance from our teacher, Mr. Long. We posed our own questions and thought about them ourselves.

We fell down the rabbit hole and chased whatever rabbits we found. We were left to fend for ourselves over the course of this project. We learned how technology can be used to assist us in more ways than one. We learned to write alone and learned the value of feedback.

We found out what happens on the ‘twelfth day’ of school. We start teaching the teacher. We became independent minds with our own voice. Our minds were unleashed upon the wacky world called Wonderland. We were just as helpless as Alice when she first fell down the rabbit hole.

Eventually, we gained confidence and worked til we were at the point that we are at today. We met some wacky characters (aka our classmates) and even got into some intellectual arguments just as Alice did with Cheshire Cat, the Mad Hatter, the Caterpillar, and the Queen.

This is more heartbreaking than you will ever know, but this is only the beginning.

Who knows what else we can do?

Posted by: Gage L. | December 3, 2009

What a Complex Dream.

As we all were reading the story of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and finally got to the end, we were left with Alice’s awakening from her dream.

I did not want this to be the way the book ended but Carroll must have had a reason behind it. The thought of a young girl such as Alice having such a complex and detailed dream is quite mind-boggling. I honestly don’t believe any child can have a dream like this unless they lived their life this way. So I wonder what Alice’s life was like when she wasn’t dreaming? Maybe she had friends or relatives that were being represented by these strange characters? Something tells me Carroll could have made the story larger then it already is.

All the characters of Wonderland must have played some sort of role in Alice’s life. Like the White Rabbit could represent her ability to follow and her curiosity. Wouldn’t it be funny if the Queen represented her mother and how chaotic her household was? The Cheshire cat could represent Alice’s conscious in everyday life. Also the Mad Hatter could be a very logical and intellectual teacher of Alice’s that enjoys asking rhetorical questions. Finally, the Mock Turtle could represent a friend of Alice’s that is very nice to her but only worried about her well-being. These could all be examples of her real life before she went off into this outrageous dream.

Posted by: Shannon L. | December 3, 2009

Do We Ever Escape?

If Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland does represent drugs, then in the end is her sister following her footsteps towards the addiction?

“So she sat on, with closed eyes, and half believed herself in Wonderland, though she knew she had but to open them again, and all would change to dull reality-“

These were the words that were used by Carroll to describe Alice’s sister, as she sat by the river, after Alice told her about her dream.

I believe in the end that Carroll uses Wonderland to represent drugs. The addiction to this place is very strong, as we saw from Alice’s experience.

After hearing about Alice’s ‘dream’, her sister can not stop thinking about Wonderland. Her addiction seems as bad, if not worse than Alice’s. Drugs can make reality seem interesting and sometimes better than it actually is. From the description Carroll gave, it seems to me, that Alice’s sister’s reaction to Wonderland is positive. Like Alice, her sister felt the intense craving and pull of Wonderland. This would make it difficult for Alice’s sister to want to come back to reality because she knew reality was boring compared to Wonderland. But eventually, she would come back to the real world.

I find it very interesting that Carroll ended the story with Alice’s sister dreaming of Wonderland. Why didn’t he end it with Alice just waking up? It’s like we never really escape Wonderland.

Posted by: Brendon O-L. | December 3, 2009

Painting the Roses Red

At the beginning of chapter eight, Alice stumbles upon three gardeners who are painting the previously white roses red.

I spent some time thinking about why Carroll would have the gardeners painting the roses red. Eventually, I remembered the War of Roses that took place from 1455 to 1485 in England.

The late fifteenth century was a period political turmoil in England. Following the Hundred Years’ War, two houses began fighting for the throne: the House of York and the House of Lancaster. These two families oddly enough had roses for their symbols. The House of York was the white rose, while the House of Lancaster was the red rose.

Alice asks the gardeners why they painting the roses. One of the gardeners replies with the following,

“This here ought to have been a red rose-tree, but we put in a white on by mistake, and if the Queen was to find out we should all have our heads cut off, you know.”

The Queen and King of Hearts are from the House of Lancaster as symbolized by the fact that they are the red king and queen of hearts. This would also explain why they are painting the roses red, as it is their symbol. Another reason they were painting the roses red was due to the fact that the previous white roses represented their rivals, the House of York.

The King of Hearts represents King Henry VI, while the Queen of Hearts represents Queen Margaret. We can tell it was these rulers due to the fact that King Henry VI was insane. In the last couple of chapters, The King of Hearts appears to be insane during the trial, often skipping over necessary court procedure. He also makes several wierd remarks and asks strange questions. Since he is King Henry VI, the Queen of Hearts has to be Queen Margaret. We could also conclude that the Knave that is being put on trial is from the House of York.

The Duchess must have some importance in this satirical depiction of the War of Roses, since the Queen of Hearts despises the Duchess. We can probably be certain that this Eleanor, the Duchess of Gloucester. From this we can say that the baby that the Duchess is holding is Richard of Gloucester, who eventually became Richard III. We can also probably say that the Cheshire Cat represent the Parliament who probably met on and off during this time or turmoil, just the Cat often appears and disappears.

There are other events that occurred in the War of Roses that are not included, thus I am sure that there are also references to the War of Roses in the sequel to Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland called Through the Looking-Glass.

Sources: Wikipedia

Posted by: Gage L. | December 3, 2009

The Chaos Theory.

Chaos is the order of the universe. In our realistic daily lives we use everything in our power to maintain the façade of control. I do not know one person who is not addicted to their phones, cars, PDAs, emails, etc… and tell me what happens when there’s a flat tire, your operating system crashes, or you lose service?

It’s easily described as entering a rabbit hole…and then the chaos ensues. When Alice enters her rabbit hole all chaos is broken out and she has no idea how to react to it. While entering this new world she realizes everything about her old world has been turned upside down. Everything that she does causes something else to happen resulting in tumultuous event.

Everyone loves to believe that they are in total control, when control is actually an intangible force. Chaos is waiting around the corner, waiting to smack you with a dose of reality.

For example, my reality is that I have two more posts I need to write before 5p.m. tomorrow. Am I in control?  I’d like to think I am. But what if I get home tomorrow at 4p.m. and my Internet is down? In walks the inevitable Mr. Chaos and stops me in my tracks, throwing all my control out the window. This is what happened when Alice fell into that mysterious rabbit hole: all control was lost.

Posted by: Brendon O-L. | December 3, 2009

Does the Hidden Message Exist?

Meaning. Why do we strive to find it? Why does everything need an explanation?

The Duchess makes several comments about morals and meanings. In chapter nine, she says,

“Every thing’s got a moral, only if you can find it.”

Is this because everything is important and significant?

I think not. Everything does not need to have a message or moral, but everything does. Why? This is because we as humans believe that everything has a meaning, even when it does not. We always search for these explanations, even when we found none. We can say something has no significance, only after we have searched for a meaning within it. We are curious. We always ask questions, in hope of getting an answer. If there is not answer, we attempt to give our own meaning to it.

A great example of this occurs in chapter thirteen, when the Knave is being put on trial for stealing the Queen’s tarts. in the middle of the trial, they find a letter that they believe was written by the Knave.

At first, the king looks for evidence in a seemingly random letter. He finds a meaning, even though it was a letter filled with gibberish. He ties the letter back to the Knave by the fact that the Knave could not swim. This fact was mentioned in the letter, but there was no signature.

The answer? The Knave did not put a signature since it was a letter regarding the tarts and if it was found with his signature he would have been condemned to death. The King finds out the letter was talking about the tarts and the Queen, even though at first it seemed to be worthless.

Note: See my post called “Order in the Court!” for more about the trial and its nonsense.

Is this interpretation true? No, not necessarily, although it is possible. This letter may have no significance, but the king’s determination to find a meaning led him to find one. What if we say there isn’t one? Then, we are probably just to tired to think of one.

We as humans attempt to give meaning to everything, although there may not always be one. If it isn’t there, we give it one. Our human nature forces us to give it meaning because what if we are not important? Is there a point to living? This is why we must give everything some importance. By making everything else meaningful, we give ourselves a meaning and a purpose.

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