Even Authors Get Lazy… Or Do They Get Smarter?

It seems that the ever so inviting tree of Carroll’s peculiar creation has run out of fruit to bear us as we near the end of our journey. In the beginning of the story, there was symbolism and hidden meaning for us to sink our hungry little teeth into. Now at the end of the book, there is transliteration and cute poem parodies which don’t make for very interesting or relevant blog posts. And I do dare to go far enough to ask, “What’s up with that?”

It couldn’t possibly be that Carroll ran out of ideas… could it be?

It seemed from the beginning he certainly knew where Alice was going and her path is clearly laid out the whole way through… but it is the patterns and ways be which she continues along her path which has me somewhat disappointed. At first there were small doors and keys and devilish bottles with intriguing and frank instructions which had Alice moving through the story. Towards the end, Carroll got kind of… well… lazy! Alice was introduced to the Mock Turtle and the Griffin by the Duchess asking, “have you seen the mock turtle yet?” That tickled me silly. I’m not upset, or angry, or smad (not a typo), if you will. Just irking for more.

However, the dream ending was not a huge let down to me. I’ve worked out in my head many alternative endings to be had and many of them involve a futuristic twist on the classic tale. In my personal ending to the story, I would have Alice fall down another rabbit hole inside of Wonderland and end up in the real world, but that kind of symbolism might not be what Carroll was looking for. Maybe there is more to the dream than we credit it…

All of this slowness could be intentional though. The Duchess’s very random concern that Alice ought to meet the Mock Turtle might be a way to demonstrate that people, events and life in general is all very random. Surely a mathematician would highlight that somewhere.

On the other hand, it would be presumed that Carroll would have a very intricate view of how life in general works. It’s really all a series of cause and effect, something else a mathematician would understand. I can’t possibly say any of this seriously though, because 150 years later, intention can’t be noticed in the text.


3 Responses to “Even Authors Get Lazy… Or Do They Get Smarter?”

  1. 1 Alex C.
    December 3, 2009 at 3:15 am

    I left the following as a Diigo annotation in your blog post.

    “A man like this should be allowed to run out of ideas. First off he is a mathematician, not a writer. He does not write for a living, but somehow writes one of the most referenced books to this day. I do agree that his creativity began to dwindle at the end of the book. I disagree, that Alice’s adventures came to an end as a dream because as you said Carroll got lazy and I think that this is what made him very lazy. Maybe he did not have enough brain power to finish this story, but as you said maybe he had his own intentions.”


    P.S. If you don’t know/remember what Diigo is, go here: http://www.diigo.com/ It allows you to type comments ‘in’ your actual blog entry (not just at the end in the ‘comment’ box). Cool, huh?!

  2. December 3, 2009 at 3:13 am

    I hear you Darcy. I agree, I was kind of like, “okay?”, as the story came to an end. It became a different kind of peculiar. It was like a relative of Carroll took over, it didn’t feel like the same author. I was intrigued at the beginning but towards the end I was getting more and more disappointed. I kept waiting for something amazing to happen. But I’m not an experienced author so I don’t know the tragedies involved in writing a story and how hard it can be to end it well. After reading your post I began thinking that maybe Carroll was having Alice’s journey as a miniature life. It begins simple, then suddenly strange things that you can’t explain happen, and then it all sort of fizzles and calms down and in the end everything makes sense and has an explanation like Alice’s dream. Her sister told us that the things going on in the real world played a part in Alice’s dream, and therefore hold a justification to all of the odd things in Wonderland.

  3. 3 Benedikt K
    December 3, 2009 at 2:23 am

    While I do think that there is meaning in the last chapter of Alice, like the king interpreting the nonsense poem of the Knave, like we are trying to interpret Alice, I would definitely agree that the ending is irritating to say the least.

    Whether Carroll actually ran out of ideas, or whether he decided not to drag the book out further is debatable though. I think Carroll got very involved into his own story, trying to add meaning here and there. At the end it seems almost like he remembers that it is a children’s story and should be entertaining. So while the ending is extremely annoying and bothered me a lot, it is basically the only possible ending, or at least one of the few.

    And, after all, there is a lot of symbolism in the representation of it being a dream. I just think that the transition from a quest to a dream is too abrupt, especially since I loved the search that Alice undergoes before chapter 12.

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