Faith in Imagination

This post is entirely an opinion with some websites thrown in. Everybody is entitled to their own opinion, including you.

DRUGS! A heavy and narrowly avoided topic very relevant to modern society and it’s media. The references are, well, let’s face it, everywhere. Most commonly found in music, unfortunately drug references are also found in media familiar to children. As big of a let down it might be to some of us, we must not let the references overcome our current task as students of Mr. Long: to analyze meanings, riddles and basically everything the text presents to us. When uncovering the motives and literary inspiration behind the story, we must not hop on board to the easiest and possibly false conclusion that a crazy yet cannily insightful plot must be the work of the abuse of drugs.

Modern day media has diminished our faith in true imagination.

We are brought up now with machine and media being creative for us, not allowing our imagination and inspiration to bloom naturally. It is customary to believe that true literary or artistic genius is meager among today’s society now, because we often witness musicians who don’t write their own songs and movie stars who have a series of other people who do almost everything for them. But is it so hard to believe that love and childhood can inspire such a innovative masterpiece such as Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland?

In Stuart Collingwood’s (Carroll’s first biographer), The Life and Letters of Lewis Carroll, which can be found here, a supposed drug usage is not mentioned among hundreds of letters and diary entries. LewisCarroll.org and Biblio’s Books by Lewis Carroll both suggest that there is no proof that Carroll did drugs so as to inspire his works, but he did smoke Cannabis regularly (which during his time was used more for relaxation more than stimulation). In his time, the effects of drugs were misunderstood. Today’s heavy drugs were prescribed without hesitation for mild illness or pains which often suggests that drugs were taken as easily and thoughtlessly as tylenol. However, we can safely conclude that Dodgson was a brilliant thinker with a calculative and imaginative mind. As Lewis Carroll, he was a brilliant writer with a passionate imagination and creative mind without the usage of drugs.

This post will be continued in a separate post, discussing the references of drugs in the story.


3 Responses to “Faith in Imagination”

  1. 1 Alex F.
    November 29, 2009 at 8:30 pm

    I love what you’ve brought up here. It’s so true that we’ve lost faith in the pure imagination of a writer, or storyteller, or what have you. Because we’re so used to being conned and double-crossed, it’s second nature to look at something and instantly look for a double-meaning or something that makes the text not what it seems. Whatever happened to just having a good story? It’s kind of like “that’s what she said” jokes. A person can be talking about something totally innocent and clean, and someone will twist the words and turn them into something dirty. That’s what people seem to be doing to Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.

    We also have to keep in mind that this WAS written in a time where drugs weren’t such a taboo, as you said. So why panic over it? It wasn’t a big deal when it was written, which is the only time that we can really label a story as dirty or wrong or out-there. Otherwise, with the changes in society, we can’t judge the author fairly.

  2. November 19, 2009 at 5:13 pm

    Thank you Darcy Smith! I was beginning to get tired of everyone blaming Carroll’s crazy imagination on drugs. It’s sad that people today take an interesting person and immeadiately associate them with drugs. I do not believe that Carroll was under the influence when he wrote Alice In Wonderland, I think he was just a light-minded person who wrote whatever odd ideas floated into his head. Is that such a bad thing that someone writes what they think no matter how strange it could seem to other people? Should we instantly assume that different is wrong? I think not. I admire Carroll’s confidence in his ideas and although it bothers me how “out there” Alice’s adventure is I don’t mind losing myself in a confusing story.

  3. 3 Hagen F.
    November 18, 2009 at 4:16 pm

    I do believe that imagination today has been stripped away by constant drug and drinking references. Underage drinking and illegal drug use are becoming more and more common as time progresses. Since these two ideas are so prevalent, everyone must think that everything remotely relating to drugs or drinking is just that: drugs and drinking. Everything slightly odd that is born out of one’s mind must be with the help of drugs or alcohol. Theses theories are not always right though.
    Drugs have been seen to influence certain artists whether musical or artistic (artistic in the sense of drawing, painting, etc.). One musical group ,of which the author of this passage knows quite well, did jsut this and changed the world with their music. Is this wrong? Drugs may open up our imagination wider and allow the ideas to ‘flow.’ Stories conceived from drugs may simply just be the widened imagination caused by drugs coming through to produce sometimes great things.
    Is this right, though? It may be either right or wrong. I am not promoting drugs nor am I saying that for some purposes drugs/alcohol are alright, but drugs have produced pretty impressive works. If you use my theory, drugs act as a stimulant of the imagination, so this may be, in a sense, ‘cheating.’ It is not purely the work of your imagination, but something that you had to coerce to come out of your mind to help you. Drugs may supply better work, at times, but is it morally correct? Is it fair? I do not know, it is only your opinion that counts.

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