Archive for the 'Philosophy' Category

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.

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23
Nov
09

Now We’re Mad

While re-reading the scene in which we first greet the puzzling Cheshire Cat, I simply had to ask this question:

Because we students have decided to go (or rather have been shoved down by a man with good intentions) down the rabbit hole, are we mad?

Once we’ve decided to enter Wonderland in search of whatever we might find, we can find anything, can’t we?

If all we want to learn is something, and we have, then our job is done. We’ve become mad by asking questions and following ideas which may lead to intellectual epiphany. But if one is mad, by what means are they mad? There must be an alternate reality in which everybody is deemed “not mad”. If this is true then, everybody on earth who lives is “not mad”. But once they journey down the rabbit hole, they can become mad, which may be a good thing, because I certainly can attest that Alice came out with some useful lessons and experiences.

But what does a “not mad” person have to do in order to fall down this life-changing rabbit hole? I personally believe that we must simply ask questions. Anybody living in ignorance who lacks a genuine curiosity or thirst for information is “not mad” in my eyes. But gravity doesn’t force one to keep moving through the passage between mad and not mad. It is easy for ignorance to take a peek into the hole and decide not to go through. It’s a choice to accept the seemingly backwards world and learn from it.

Wonderland is certainly a place that functions in awkward ways, but we can’t all just plop down a hole and find it, because unfortunately we live in a place that is dependent upon sunlight and worlds like Wonderland can’t exist in the way that Carroll wrote about it.

So how does one arrive in Wonderland? Where is it? On earth?

29
Oct
09

Perplexing Nonsense

What a remarkable human being the little girl Alice is.

Her slice of cake enlargened her to 9 feet tall, she’s crying tears larger than Dhina’s head, and she spends her time worrying if she is still Alice. She worries that because yesterday was such a normal day, and today is such a “queer” day, she must have changed, as the day has changed. On page 23 of The Annotated Alice, Alice tries to prove to herself that she is still Alice, and says: “I’ll try if I know all the things I used to know.” Then, a cataclysmic flood of absurd facts start spurring out of her head, such as loony times tables, silly parodies of current day poems and wonky geography.  These facts are what I personally assume Alice knew or was taught in the world outside of Wonderland. Then, once Alice struggles to remember her “things [she] used to know,” we move on in the story and start having new facts presented by other characters in the story, like the Cheshire cat, and Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum, giving confusing, yet essential to help Alice move through out Wonderland.

This was the most peculiar(for me) rabbit in chapter two. It had neon lights dangling from it head, and was dashing across the page like spider man.

So, my question is:

If the knowledge she knew from the real world is nonsense, does that mean the knowledge from the nonsense world is real?

I believe that the things Alice will learn in Wonderland and the things the reader will learn will prove to have more truth and meaning than they do in the ‘real world’. My AEPs (Alice Experience Points. see more about what I mean by reading More than a Silly Little Girl?) lead me to see that Carroll often throws some physics theories being pondered by the scientists of the time, which relate to Dodgeson’s world and Alice’s ‘real world into Alice’s dialogue. Perhaps Carroll leaks in these current theories into the text because in the real world, not everybody would agree with the scientists and the theories may be regarded as preposterous. Then in Wonderland, they might make more sense because nothing makes sense and everything is “queer”.

I get the impression that in some ways this world of ‘wonder’ might actually become more clear than “London is the capital of Paris, and Paris is the capital of Rome, and Rome…” which Alice knows of the real world.