04
Dec
09

iWonderland

As we all have learned through this whole process is that Alice is everywhere. She is on TV, on the internet, and even in our music. I, personally, did not notice just how common Alice was until I started this project, and I must say that I am very pleased that I have discovered it.

What has really shocked me is just how much Alice is in music. I never realized that Alice was such a good song idea. The most well-known Alice song reference is White Rabbit by Jefferson Airplane. They talk about growing and shrinking sizes and say to go ask Alice. Gwen Stefani’s video for “What You Waiting For” is all Alice. She has her stuck in the house, falling into the Pool of Tears, the caterpillar, Queen of Hearts, and even the Duchess’ pig.

There are also many, many others that are done by small, not-so-well-known bands. The other night when I was looking for songs for my Alice’s Soundtrack blog, I found this forum website that is all Alice in Wonderland. There are two forums about music and Alice. One is called Alice Playlist. Here they mention all sorts of songs, and one person even posted their own playlist for their own story of Alice in Wonderland. Some of the songs on the list don’t really apply to Alice, but many do.

The other  forum is called Songs about Alice. Here they have many songs too that also apply to the Alice sequel Through The Looking Glass. For example they have the Jefferson Airplane song, but they also mention a Symphony X song that is called “Through The Looking Glass.”

There are also many songs out there that we never would have thought to attribute to Alice. Even the Beatles were inspired by Lewis Carroll…

04
Dec
09

A First Address

In chapter 11 of Alice in Wonderland, Alice is called on trial, by name. Now, it might seem strange that I would make a big deal about this fact, but it is the first time Alice is actually addressed by name. It is even at in an interesting position in the chapter. The very last line.

“Imagine her surprise, when the White Rabbit read out, at the top of his shrill little voice, the name ‘Alice!'”

Alice goes along through Wonderland, and the book is written in 3rd person. You never really notice that no one ever addresses her as her name. Why? Because she doesn’t ever tell anyone her name. If you think about it, only one character asks who she is, the caterpillar, and she can’t answer him because she does not know.

The fact that only the caterpillar asks for her name shows you what the other creatures in Wonderland thought of her. They never really bothered to know her. They just called her “little girl” or never addressed her at all. It is quite understandable since they probably didn’t care about some newcomer to their world.

Also, the fact that Alice can’t even say who she is makes me think that she didn’t care that much about her own identity. Now, I’m not meaning to contradict myself from my other blog Identity Crisis. I am just putting more to it. I think that as she travels through Wonderland she realizes just how important her identity is, and she really discovers herself.

Now, there are many reasons as to why Carroll would only address his main character, in dialogue, only once. First off, it could be just to see if anyone was paying attention. Also, he was trying to send a message to young Alice Liddell. He wanted to show her, through Alice, just how important it was to know who you are.

03
Dec
09

If you could talk to Carroll…

Say you are walking down the street when all of a sudden you see Lewis Carroll walking the opposite direction. You stop him and say,

“Hi Mr. Carroll, I have read your Alice in Wonderland and I would just like to say…”

I want to hear what you would ask him or tell him. What do you think he would say in return?

I feel that if I saw him I would ask him where in the world he got his ideas for the story. What possessed him to write this type of stuff in a story for a little girl. Writing about these “crazy” people in Wonderland, and saying that she created it all herself. It was all a part of Alice’s imagination.

So think about it. What would you say to him if you saw him just walking down the street?

Also, what would you ask Alice Liddell if you could meet her? What were her thoughts on the story? Did she like it? Very curious…

03
Dec
09

Wordle-ing In Wonderland

A picture is worth a thousand words, right? Well, this picture is actually 500 words, but they are all words from this blog website. The picture is called a Wordle, and you can create them on their website. I clicked on “Create” and pasted the URL to our blog in the appropriate box, and pressed “Submit.” The website then proceeded to take our blog and create this image. You can change the font, color, number of words used, and take out certain words.

What is fun about it is realizing just how Wordle creates these images. Can you figure it out? They take a word count of the site or text and use the most common words in the picture. Then, they show the quantity of each word by displaying it at an appropriated size.

I love this little fun tool, and it is interesting to be able to see just what you are writing. When you are typing you don’t really think about the actual words you write, you mainly think about the meaning you are trying to convey with those words.

This is the Wordle I created for our blog: 

To see a more expanded version of the Wordle, click here.

Here are some links to other Wordles I did for each chapter of Alice in Wonderland. I took the text of each chapter and put it into the picture.

Entire Book

Chapter 1

Chapter 2

Chapter 3

Chapter 4

Chapter 5

Chapter 6

Chapter 7

Chapter 8

Chapter 9

Chapter 10

Chapter 11

Chapter 12

And here is the link for the Wordle I created for this post.

03
Dec
09

Thoughts on The Ending

I don’t like how this story ends.

Alice has just gone through so much in Wonderland. She’s seen and met many amazing creatures that could only exist in her dreams. And that’s that. She saw them she met them. And it was all a dream. Why do authors do that? Why do they take a big exciting fun adventure and turn it into something that could never be. I mean we all know that we will never meet talking animals, or have a conversation with a hookah smoking caterpillar but it’s fun just to imagine it for a while. But no, Carroll comes and crushes our dreams with his own dream that he’s written.

What was the purpose of all that? To make such a fascinating story and then end it so blandly. I haven’t read the book, and didn’t remember the movie, and even expected it to all be a dream. It’s just what seems expected from authors.

And what has Alice taken from all this?

We don’t know. All we see is her get up and run off to go get tea. Did she learn from it? Does she have more dreams like this one? Does she mature from her experiences? This ending is kind of like the one from Lord of the Flies. We don’t even know if the boys got off the island. Does Alice ever actually escape her dreamland? I guess that’s what sequels are for.

03
Dec
09

A B(e)tter Ending

And the ending has come to a wonderful adventure with Alice.

I never really thought that I would get to know a storybook character better then I know some of my friends. I’ve spent so much time sitting down reading and writing and analyzing, that I don’t think that I’ll ever be able to just go through a book or watch a movie or see something on TV the same anymore. This has been a growing experience, when talking of how I read books and how I write. I’ve learned a lot during these six weeks. Whether it be to look at more then just what you see. Or to make sure that when you want to say “write” you type “write” instead of “right”. All and all I think this will help me become a better reader, and even probably a better writer. Having to sit down and think about what I’m going to say before I’m going to write it has definitely taught me new writing skills.

But instead of being an ending, this could be the beginning of something very good. People find careers in this sort of thing. Web designing, blogging, you name it. Anything we’ve done in the past six weeks could be seen as a interesting future job. I’m not saying this is what I really want to get in to, but it has given me a better view of things. The world, for that matter.

But then again maybe it all was just a dream.

03
Dec
09

Rationality Against Irrationality

At the end of the book, Alice becomes more and more fed up with the nonsensical behaviors of the characters. She begins to get angrier over much more trivial things than in the beginning of the book. I feel like the turning point of Alice beginning to use rational thought is when she reaches the garden, her original goal when she still had full rational thought from the real world.

Alice enters the garden soon after already being angered by the Mad Hatter and the March Hare and their mad antics. Then, characters on an equally crazy level show up; the royalty, the King and Queen of Hearts. The Queen of Hearts has Alice play an insane game of croquet, building up Alice’s hatred of this strange world. Later, at the trial things began to make even less sense. Jurors write with their fingers and convert dates into currency, rules are made up mid-court, and witnesses leave mid trial during all the commotion.

During the trial, Alice begins to object to this insane behavior. For example, she counters the king’s rule forty two reasoning and makes it mean nothing. As she is waking up, she seems to be fighting off the irrational thoughts, and using rational thoughts to back it up. Her counter argument against the king’s rule was that if it was one of the oldest rules in the book, it would be rule number one. Quite a rational thought, especially for Alice, who couldn’t do simple math after her first size change. Alice also is growing to a more sensible, realistic, <i>rational</i> size before she wakes up. When she wakes up, that is the point where irrationality is finally conquered by Alice’s own rational thought which brings her back into the real world.

03
Dec
09

Alice’s Soundtrack

If Alice in Wonderland had a soundtrack, what would it have on it? I have taken a few songs that I felt expressed certain feelings and themes of Alice in Wonderland.

Alice’s Soundtrack

(links to lyrics)

  1. White Rabbit by Jefferson Airplane is kind of like the overall theme song of Alice. It talks about Alice changing size, the caterpillar, and even the Queen shouting to cut off heads.
  2. Free Falling by Tom Petty is pretty self-explanatory. In this song, he is talking about all of this stuff that is going on in his life, and he says he just wants to get away from it all for a while.
  3. Bring Me To Life by Evanescence is a somewhat dark song, but she is perplexed that this person knows her so well. He just peers into her eyes and can see to her very soul. This song goes more along the lines of Alice’s wants of going home.  Throughout this song all she wants to do is wake up from this nightmare that is her life. She realizes that she needs to “wake up” now, but she thinks it might be too late and that this person is the only one who can save her.
  4. No Time by Guess Who is more centered towards the White Rabbit. He is late and cannot spend a single second on Alice. Well, in this song he talks about how there is no time to be spared. The Rabbit is focused solely on getting to the Duchess that he ignores Alice and even drops his gloves and other items. In the song he is talking about how he doesn’t have any time at all, not even for his summer love.
  5. Aquarius by 5th Dimension is like the out-of-body experience Alice has as she is falling down the rabbit hole, and as she makes her way into Wonderland. As she is falling she isn’t really thinking much about what is happening. She is just almost continuing her thought processes from before she saw the rabbit. In the song they are talking about a perfect situation, and how when everything is in its place, “peace will guide the planets and love will steer the stars.”
  6. I Am The Walrus by The Beatles is the overall theme of her lost identity. In Chapter 5, when Alice is talking to the caterpillar, she is asked who she is, and she cannot find an answer to give. I talked more about this concept in my blog Identity Crisis. The entire song of I Am The Walrus is a big identity issue. The very first line is, “I am he as you are he as you are me and we are all together.”
  7. English Tea by Paul McCartney is a perfect song for the tea party. In this song, Paul is asking if you would like to join him for some tea, any Sunday morning. It’s not only the lyrics that work for this scene, but the actually music and melody is very lighthearted and carefree, perfect for the Tea Party.
  8. Hear Me by Kelly Clarkson is more of a morbid song. I felt that this song goes more along the lines of Alice wanting to get home. She is screaming out for someone to hear her so that she can go home. In this song she is showing her fear and just how much she wants to be “heard,” she is even screaming to turn her world upside down just for her to be heard.
  9. Nobody’s Home by Avril Lavigne is kind of along the same lines as the Hear Me. The only difference is that Nobody’s Home is more of an acceptance song. She has sort of accepted the fact that no one is coming to get her, and that she has to find her own way out of Wonderland.
  10. Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds by The Beatles is more of the song that might have been playing as Alice is just walking through Wonderland looking at all of the strange things going on around her. The song is very “out there” and is about this fantasy world with “tangerine trees” and “flowers that grow so incredibly high.”
  11. Does Anybody Really Know What Time It Is by Chicago was put on this soundtrack for the Mad Hatter, as expected. However, I actually liked that the song focuses on the question of whether anyone really knows what time it is, or if anyone really cares. With the Mad Hatter, he is obsessed with time. He doesn’t want to hurt its feelings, and he even personifies “time” as if it were human saying “time” is a he not an it. Time is just a relative object to the Hatter, because he can make it whatever time he wants. So, I ask: does anybody really know what time it is?
  12. Helplessly Hoping by Crosby, Stills, and Nash is also another song about Alice’s long for home. In the song they mention how you hope and wish for all of these great things only to end up tripping and falling. They also talk say “they are one person, they are two alone, they are three together, they are for each other,” in this I think everything is getting blurred together, and it is getting harder and harder to differentiate from Wonderland and reality.
  13. You Found Me by Kelly Clarkson is finally a song about hope. Finally someone has “found” her. At first, she seems like she doesn’t want to leave, but then she is extremely happy that someone has finally found her, and she is actually surprised by who finds her.
  14. Home Sweet Home by Motley Crue kind of speaks for itself. Alice is finally “going” home, and leaving Wonderland. In the song as well as in the last chapter of the book they are making their way through back home.
03
Dec
09

The Alice Stage

We go through many different stages in life. Starting right when we can walk all the way to our midlife crisis. I believe there is a stage in between it all, and I call it the Alice Stage. This was inspired by Mile’s blog, Remember the Time.

This is what I said to it:

You know I’m thinking the same thing. I talked about this in my blog “Alice the Movie”. I don’t really see what I liked about this story. But if I think about it, I was a young innocent child who didn’t even realize all these bad references. It was just a good story and I liked the movie. It had fun colors, and cool animals, and talking creatures. What little kid would not like this? Alice in Wonderland is just part of growing up. It’s like one of those stages we go through. Right after the sucking your thumb stage and just before the liking girls stage is, what I like to call, the Alice in Wonderland Stage, or the imagination stage.

I’d like to elaborate on this.

Everyone goes through this stage, no matter who you are. Some people may still be going through it, others never grow out of it. Somewhere inside us stays what we create during this stage in our lives. This is the part of our lives when we have an imaginary friend. Where we talk about him, to him. This is the stage when we draw the crazy pictures of our crazy things like that in Alice. Where our imagination is at full blast, non-stop, 24/7. This is where our true little kid is, in the Alice Stage. This part of our emotions never leaves us. It’s always there when we need it. Even when your not expecting it to be there it’s still working. You just dust it off and it starts moving again just like it did when you were little. The Alice Stage is our Imagination Stage. Where coloring in the line’s doesn’t matter anymore. In fact it’s what we color outside the lines that everyone looks at. It’s what matters.

The peak of The Alice Stage ranges from long to short in different people. With me I still remember my imaginary friend I had way back when I was five. I could probably resurrect him if I wanted to. That’s what’s so cool about it. It never leaves you. This is when you truly learn how to use that brain of yours, and how to think outside of the box.

03
Dec
09

The Final Frontier

No, not Star Trek. Sorry you Trekkie’s out there who clicked this Google link. No Spock’s or Klingon’s here.

We are approaching the end of the project and there are still questions being thrown out and about:

  • Why was it a dream?
  • What was the purpose of all this?
  • Was it really just a children’s story?

Well I think I have a theory as to what happened with everything in the story. I’m not sure if it should be published and put into the textbooks but that’s where you come in. Am I right or wrong in this?

I believe that Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland is a coming-of-age story, a story where Alice is growing up.

Lewis Carroll could have written this story, inspired by Alice Liddell and how she was growing up. He put in different characters to represent the people in her life and different events were different things that the animals did. It was all about how Carroll saw Alice L. as she matured. Throughout the entire story when Alice is asked “Who are you?” by a number of the Wonderlands inhabitants, she replies “I don’t know” or some form of that. The story was all about finding herself. The garden could’ve been a metaphor for her growing up and it was it that she was trying to get to the entire time.

Now once again fill free to tell me if I’m wrong. This is just what I think.