Archive for the 'Darcy's Blog Posts' Category

03
Dec
09

Ugly Swine

The baby/pig thing creature scene has held the attention for many blogs posts I’ve read. After Alice meets the Duchess in chapter six, Alice catches this repulsive ‘starfish[-like]” creature after it had been discarded. Alice, always keeping in mind the compassion little girls are taught to have, nurses the baby in a very peculiar way. She ties is up into knots, suggesting that the vile little thing is flexible enough.

Let us think for a minute what such flexibility means. When one stands with a sturdy waist and structure, thee body language to be read is to fear or give respect. Infants are usually nursed with gentle touches and spoken to softly, but this baby is treated in a very rambunctious way, suggesting that it is insignificant and can be handled in such a way. The meaning behind the baby’s nature lies in the meaning of the baby’s transformation.

This creature/child thing is the only other inhabitant of Wonderland which is young. The Mock Turtle speaks of his youth and the changes that he went through to become such a lonely being which in a way is also experiencing his transformation. Other older characters in Wonderland place themselves above Alice in terms of intellect and importance.  The baby turns into a pig… which may suggest that as it grows older, it turns into a filthy swine. I wonder though why Carroll would have this child grow into a brainless animal.

It might just be because Carroll thinks little boys are pigs… but that doesn’t satisfy my curiosity. There is a transformation seen by the Mock Turtle and the baby which take them from their childhood and put a dark or unfortunate side on them. This might be the way that Carroll says after childhood, one is no longer free and giddy and able to do as they please. After childhood, one is handicapped by the rules of society and acts like a pig.

The characters have knowledge of Wonderland, and some have knowledge of the real world. In this way, they are able to hold themselves above Alice. We don’t know anything about the other character’s past in Wonderland though. They might be children still at heart. Could this be Carroll’s way of saying that children are simply greater and freer than adults? Perhaps Alice might be saved from the fate of the baby and the Mock Turtle in that she visited Wonderland and had the chance of learning from the backwards ways. Perhaps she will stay a child forever.

03
Dec
09

The REAL Moral the Duchess Teaches

In chapter nine, the reader is bombarded with facile morals that the Duchess deems substantial. Alice seems somewhat cautious to this rapid fire of “knowledge”, seeming to organize this information with the other nonsense rattling around in her brain. After saying this numerous times, I’ll say it again: Alice learns so many lessons in this story as she meets new characters and new social structure, this whole scene might be a lesson in itself.

While reading the chapter, I was very careful around this area. The Duchess says such irrelevant things, such as, “Birds of a feather flock together.” and so on. She says, “Every thing’s got a moral,” and she tries very hard to patch some together. All these farcical “morals” being thrown around could possibly be a very random distraction that Alice can learn from. The extraneous information being given to Alice may serve as a lesson to not take to heart such things of irrelevancy. After all, this encounter with the Duchess has a very short duration and is placed at the beginning of the chapter.

Alice’s journey is short, as we know. Every character she encounters has something to offer her, lesson wise. When Alice first meets the Duchess, we get a rather hostile feeling from her. Now in this chapter she acts as if she was a completely different character. There might be a lesson in that too. The Duchess’s shift in personalities might have something to do with the changes of environment. Nevertheless, Alice doesn’t mind the morals thrown at her too much, because she continues along in her journey normally as always without being distracted. What a smart girl.

03
Dec
09

Raw Human

An epiphany came to me whilst reading Brendon’s blog about his epiphany which came to him whilst reading Deron’s blog. Although after reading both of their blogs, for the most part I disagree with both of their ideas. Respectfully, of course.

This epiphany takes us back to the very beginnings of Alice’s Adventure. Alice’s curiosity conquers her reason and she engulfs several bottles and cakes of different nature which alter her size, allegedly symbolizing the changes one encounters with age. As Alice changes, she goes through a cornucopia of emotion, taking us through confusion, sadness, loneliness, and even identity loss. Brendon noticed that as Alice ‘ages’ and grows in size, she maintains or repeats her emotion, therefore suggesting that as an adult, one exposes and uses the emotions and actions that of a child. This is where we disagree.

However, I do believe Carroll and I disagree also.

(Supposedly) Carroll suggests that adults still have all their child-like behaviors and mannerisms inside of them, often whisking them away because society doesn’t take a 40-year old who cries very seriously. But, we can’t call these impulses to cry and moan and question ourselves “child-like.” The only reason they appear to be child-like is because as a child, emotions are all very raw and human. When a baby is born, they are born with human nature and impulse; the nature to inquire, the impulse to regret and cry for attention. These actions are called “child-like” because until a child is trained otherwise, these actions are all they know. We are taught to neglect our human behavior and function in a way our established society has deemed proper. But through all of this, we still cannot let go of our nature, our ways. We will always be human.

As Alice is changing from big to small and back again, she questions her identity. Again, this is a natural and healthy inquiry. We never know who we are, where our place is, until we give our self pride, which society establishes for us as we grow with age. After we have pride in our names, it is no longer natural to question who we really are, because by then it should be assumed.

Until society forces children to become adults, true human impulse and instinct rules us. But even after we are living by the formula that adults have created, we can’t hide the raw human lying within us all.

03
Dec
09

Somewhere is Not Particularly Anywhere

There is one thing the Cheshire Cat taught me, and I will put his words into my own:

If anything is what you are looking for, then it’s impossible to find nothing. If you are looking for nothing, then you will find something.

This means that traveling through life, through our journeys we are bound to have, if you have no goal to which you are working to succeed at, then you can succeed by doing anything.

When we are going through life, exploring, learning et cetera, is it better to not look for anything in particular? Are we better off not having set destinations? In terms of our collective happiness, we might be better off not setting any sort of limit or destination to be reached, for if any destination is your destination, then any destination you reach will make you happy. However, humans are not that simple. Desire and jealousy step into equations dealing with happiness. If one presumes that they will be happy anywhere they end up, so long as they end up somewhere, they most likely will not be happy if they end up working at a construction company. Unfortunately the ideal lifestyle is laid out in front of us so much that happiness is hard to attain when we keep setting up hopes to live ideally because we desire it. It is in this way that the Cheshire Cat philosophy has lost it’s splendor.

Consider this:

After Alice is finished with talking to the Cheshire cat in chapter six, Alice takes one step and proclaims she has arrived at the “somewhere“. It’s safe to say that she will not particularly be satisfied about the place she has arrived at, for she does most likely desire to be somewhere farther. But, she said she didn’t mind where she arrived, and in fact she did arrive at a different point in space. But it’s still safe to say that she is not satisfied.

It’s much more complicated then “I don’t much care where… so long as I get somewhere,” because in the back of her mind, humans always have an ideal destination to go. It’s in our nature to know what we want and have  desires. Desire and opinion play such massive yet reserved roles in our motives.

And all of this was a very long and probably confusing way of saying,

If anything is what you are looking for, then it’s impossible to find nothing. If you are looking for nothing, then you will find something. But regardless, something still may not be what you want.

03
Dec
09

Counting the AEPs

It’s the last night. We’re all sitting in the most uncomfortable chair, our heads hurt, our fingers have memorized the fastest way to type Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and after tomorrow our we are allowed to be done. Since day one, we’ve had the great cosmic pressure of knowing the entire world can look at the fools we make ourselves and the geniuses we make ourselves. We were given fresh slates to decorate with our personal discoveries and inquiries and now that we’ve done that, where do we go?

It may be so small and unnoticed, but we’ve been teaching ourselves this entire time. We’ve played teacher! We’ve been the ones telling ourselves to stop sleeping in class and seizing our phones because we looked at it for the time once… We’ve become the species of human which dumb T.V. shows like Saved by the Bell promote us to loathe! We are supposed to crawl into air vents and lift off their toupees with a piece of gum attached to a string, not read books in our spare time and then share our ideas with the world!

We are the students… we’re not supposed to learn…

Oh! But wait! We have learned, oh so much. We’ve learned a great deal more than the plot of Carroll’s greatest story of all time; we’ve learned more about ourselves.

From this story, we’ve learned things about life, society, imagination and the devotion one can have to their childhood. From this experience, we’ve learned how to teach ourselves. At first glance, this ability may appear useless, but in time is can help us understand so much more about the way things work.

Think of it like this: a teacher gives you a formula, you memorize the formula and use it. A teacher gives you a book about making formulas, and you learn the formula yourself, then use it. This method of teaching is much more effective, as it will prove to be in the years to come.

If you were the Internet, you would be so busy with all the other stuff buzzing around inside of you to even notice one tiny class’s attempt to explore literature and technology. However, if you were a 11th grader in Oregon who needed desperate help making connections between Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland to Harold and the Purple Crayon, our project might be the Holy Internet’s miracle.

I’m almost sad to say goodbye to sleep deprivation, speed reading and unnaturally deep finger cuts only given by those thick pages, but then I look at my colossal stack of AEPs (Alice Experience Points) and remember that now I am equipped with references up the wazoo.

02
Dec
09

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.

01
Dec
09

Dealing With My Fascination

It’s far out! It’s filled with extensive notes about notes about notes! It’s got laws which defy defying physics! Yes, it’s the mad tea party, and it is jam-packed with places to let our pulsating little minds wander and play.

I quite enjoyed this passage:

“What a funny watch!” she remarked. “It tells thee day of the month, and it doesn’t tell what o’clock it is!”

“Why should it?” muttered the Hatter. “Does your watch tell you what year it is?”

“Of course no,” Alice replied very readily: “but that’s because it stays the same year for such a long time together.”

“Which is just the case with mine,” said the Hatter.

Alice felt dreadfully puzzled. The Hatter’s remark seemed to her to have no sort of meaning in it, and yet it was certainly English.

What strikes my fancy is that because anything is English, it must have some sort of meaning in it. Of course, this could be the reader once again twisting small details into arguments which the ghost of Lewis Carroll would rise out of his grave to prove wrong.

It hardly makes any sense. Just because something said is put into a language you can comprehend, it doesn’t necessarily mean there is any meaning in it. Of course, nothing really makes sense in this scene. Is that it then? Is that the lesson found in this scene? Sometimes one mustn’t waste time and effort contemplating the meaning of meaningless things which in time might not accomplish anything. What do riddles help us accomplish? I’m sure they challenge some sort of cortex we utilize up there in those pulsating little minds of ours but other then that, is there any point in solving them besides social purposes?

Asking this question is as ludicrous as asking, “Well what’s the point in reading? Why should I write?” Aren’t there reasons why have to ask questions and challenge ourselves? Let’s say one has no desire to move through society as an average human would unless given a purpose to do so. What would that purpose be? Nothing has a purpose or meaning or makes sense. Nothing needs to makes sense, have purpose or meaning if it eventually vanishes. But everything is created with purpose and meaning, however minute it may be.

Purpose, motives, reason, meaning, sense: All things to be uselessly battled with until we humans are able to encounter out-of-body and out-of-mind experiences which include losing our judgment, prejudices and ourselves in order to answer the big questions of “Why…?”.

This is a useless battle I’d prefer to take off the blogosphere and perhaps into a well thought-out novel at a later time.