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…

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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.