Archive for the 'Devon's Blog Posts' Category

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

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

Disney’s Attempt of Alice

The other day I was reading a post by Rivu called Congratulations Disney, You Failed. I hated to agree with him just on the front of going against something Disney, but I must.

Disney produced the story of Alice in Wonderland in 1951 and it was both a success and not such a success at the same time. In the short scheme of things, it was utter “epic fail” as some people would say, but in the long run it managed to maintain the status of a “Disney Classic.”

Based on the reactions and criticisms of the Disney production, it’s puzzling as to why it became so popular and well-known.

When Alice first came out on th big screen it was not taken well by many British critics. They said that Disney “Americanized” Alice too much that it took away from Carroll’s original text. A good point that Rivu brought up was that the movie did not really appeal to all audiences, while the book was able to appeal to all ages. Carroll wrote the story of Alice for the little Alice Liddell and her sister, but he was able to insert many details that make this story enjoyable for adults as well as a children’s story.

One aspect that made Alice a little more popular was the fact that Alice had the most songs out of any Disney movie. The Alice Soundtrack is composed of catchy tunes such as “The Unbirthday Song” and other songs that end up stuck in your head for the next week. In most movies, one of the most prominent aspects is the music. The soundtrack and how it fits with the storyline partly determines our thoughts of the movie, whether we really listened to the music or not.

02
Dec
09

Alice and… Gwen Stefani?

The video for Gwen Stefani’s song “What You Waiting For” is very much inspired by Alice in Wonderland. In this video Gwen is trying to get some inspiration for a new song. She goes to this agency because of a flyer she sees on a board in her recording studio. At the agency she signs up, watches a video, then all of a sudden she is back in her recording studio…

She stands at the piano when she hears this ticking noise. She thinks it’s coming from this clock sitting on the piano, but it’s not the clock making the ticking noise. She sits in the chair to ponder the sound when all of a sudden this little, pink, toy on the piano starts running towards her and in a slow motion movement she throws the clock out of her hand as she goes into this trance. Then the actual song begins and she makes the switch into “Wonderland.”

The actual lyrics of the song have nothing to do with Alice, but they are a little weird and out there. The video, on the other hand, is all Alice. So, if you wanted you could just watch the video on mute and still get everything out of it that I want you to.

In the video she includes all kinds of common references to Alice in Wonderland such as the caterpillar, the Queen of Hearts, and the Hatter’s Tea Party. Now that I have read Alice in Wonderland, I understand even more of the references. For example, when I first saw the video I never understood why she was holding a pig in part of it. I now know that the pig was a character in the book. The bridge of the song has her falling into a pool of water that symbolizes her Pool of Tears.