The "Alice Project"

A 10th Grade Honors English Tour of "Alice's Adventures in Wonderland"

Day 21 Recommendations November 17, 2009

Filed under: Student Entries,Week 3 of the Project — Christian Long @ 2:39 pm

Due to a week-long camping trip (with the entire 9th grade), Mr. Long has fallen slightly behind on offering up recommendations of various student blog entries.  Fortunately, the “Alice Project” 10th graders have continued publishing without interruption.

With that said, enjoy their latest submissions, all 170+of them this week alone. Perhaps I oughta go away more often!

Team 1:

  • The Combination of Two Already Great Beings – Hagen F. “This is Alice’s Wonderland, and she may not have wanted to have a ferocious animal anyway. The Gryphon may also represent Dina because as I mentioned earlier, a lion is just a big cat. As a child, kids always want their animals to be able to speak to them and tell them what they are thinking of. The Gryphon may be that outlet that Alice would be looking for.”
  • Order in Wonderland – Erin M. “It is very amusing how Carroll used playing cards as members of a royal kingdom. It ties so well into the strange happenings of Wonderland. At the same time, playing cards also fit into our own world. They each have their own classes. Spades as gardeners, Clubs as soldiers, Diamonds are coutiers and the Hearts are the royal kingdom. The most interesting thing about is the fact that they remain adequatly with the behaviors of actual playing cards. Such as, they lie flat on their faces, they cannot be identified from their knacks, they are easily turned over, and they bend themselves into croquet arches.”
  • Alice’s Adventures in DREAMland – Rachel L. “The caterpillar speaks in a sleepy, languid voice which we can only assume is an effect of the hookah. Why is hookah present in a children’s story? I believe that maybe in 1865 when the story was written that people did not know the harm in smoking hookah. Perhaps in Carroll’s mind there was nothing wrong with providing knowledge of adult matter to children. He did see children in a different way than most people, therefore he may have seen nothing wrong with the idea.”
  • Childish Minds – Alex C. “When we read a book, how do we know if that book is too young for us, or not “cool” enough for us (teenagers) to read? Is there a limit on how childish a book is when read by a teenager? Why don’t teenagers read children’s books? Why is there a genre called children’s, when you go to the library? Why are books “segregated” between adults, young teens, and children’s?”
  • Meaning – Alex C. “What I am confused by is the story itself. Mr. Long’s in-class essay really stumped me. What is the meaning of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland? I see it only as adventures, but its almost as if its too simple. He has only given us stories with a MUCH deeper meaning then what is seen. What is the plot?”
  • Transforming for the Sake of Transforming by Hagen F. “Alice’s transformations in size seem to come to us fairly often throughout her journey. Her size does not alter her personality, but perhaps alters her understanding; in addition to ours. What do Alice’s transformations mean to the story, to the reader? Alice does it quite often, which can mean one of two things. Either her transformations are highly important, or since they occur regularly, the have little relevance. The latter of the two is ideas is most likely not the answer, but still an option when deciphering the ‘code’ in Alice’s story. While Alice is a dynamic character through her size, the same may not be true for her actual person.”
  • Carroll and Alice Intertwined by Erin M. “Throughout Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland she changes from being extraordinarily small to being massively big. There are twelve occasions in which this change takes place. Richard Ellmann suggests that this could represent the little girl Alice, whom Carroll loved, but with a love transfixed to her youth. The bigger Alice represents the older Alice, which she would soon become. I believe that Carroll was expressing the way he felt about Alice’s growing older through the changes that take place in Alice throughout the story.”
  • A Quote and Italics by Alex C. ““There ought to be a book written about me, that there ought!” -Alice. Its funny that Carroll puts this quote, because he actually did write a book about Alice. This leads me to question that maybe Carroll wrote this book because Alice asked him to. Maybe it was their little secret that she had asked him to write a book about her, and this is his little way to hint at us. What’s your opinion, do you think that Carroll wrote this book because he loved this little girl, or did he write it because she asked him to, and he agreed because he loved her?”
  • Sense and Nonsense by Rachel L. “Yet on another level Alice is simply verifying her own sanity. She is trying to make sense of nonsense. If she can bring some sort of reality into this chaotic universe. We see this theme of making sense of the chaos all throughout the story.”
  • “12 Trials” by Alex C. “Keith gave me interesting idea on one of his blog posts, A Staged Arrival to Wonderland?. He talked about Alice going through trials and being watched over. His idea reminded me of a movie I watched not too long ago. The movie is called 12 Rounds featuring John Cena.”
  • The Race by Hagen F. “In spite of this, Alice has become more comfortable with all the creatures around her and they try to come up with a way to become dry. The animals simply want to be rid of the water, but could it not mean, if we were to embellish this idea, that subconsciously the animals want to be rid of Alice?”
  • Labels by Rachel L. “Is this one of Carroll’s stabs at society? I believe so. Today’s society is so dependent on something warning them of the dangers of their decisions that if left without the flashing warnings they would do whatever they are told to do. We are no longer encouraged to think for ourselves. We have technology and other sources of information to do the thinking for us now. Everything is advertised to make it look good so without the warning labels we would do whatever the marketed item was displaying. Take away the labels and we are lost.”
  • A Mouse Tail? No, a Mouse Tale by Hagen F. “Carroll is telling us that the way we interpret ideas and words change our views. Alice was thinking of long whip-like tails, while the mouse was thinking of stories and histories. These two thoughts are far from the same category of idea. This dichotomy is caused form the seemingly simple words that cause great confusion between two speakers. This, again, mirrors the seemingly simple story of just a girl in a different world. We know, though, that much bigger ideas are being presented and it is up to us to reach out and grab these ideas. Just as Carroll eludes to with the English language. Confusion is just the first part, it can only be followed by abandonment of the confusion through actual abandonment, or through understanding. Understanding is what leads one to the epiphany stages and what ultimately teaches us the overarching meanings being simple ideas.”

Team 2:

  • What’s the “Porpoise?” – Jenna K. “They cause a lot of confusion, and like the Caterpillar make her recite poems. Unlike the other chapters there are all more parodies on early poems in this chapter, I don’t know if there is something important about that. Why does Carroll make fun of some many published writings? Why were there a bulk of parodies in this chapter? I don’t know.”
  • The Duchess is a criminal? – Meighan A. “When I was looking through the illustrations I noticed in the picture where the Duchess is walking with Alice that she had a shaded nose. Now it was one thing for the Queen to have imprisoned her for something silly like talking to loud or some such thing; like her threats to behead her guests that she never carried out. But it is an entirely different thing for the Duchess to be actually guilty of something where she would deserve punishment.”
  • Hero’s Journey Part II – Samuel M. “Okay. I do not know if the Hero’s Journey has to go in order, but I doubt it since all stories do not utilize all the elements listed. That being said, two elements are experienced in the summary. The first of the experiences was the crossing of the first threshold. Sure, I said Alice crossed the first threshold in and earlier plot summary/analysis, but she had not finished the crossing. Even though she couldn’t of had stopped her fall and climbed back up to earth, her decent to Wonderland was not finished.”
  • The Confusion of Dreams and Reality – Jenna K. “I mean it’s very easy to say that you are dreaming when you are in the world where you’re flying from building tops and running on water. But, it’s not so easy to that you are dreaming when your dream world consists of you going to school and seeing your friends everyday. Everybody’s had these realistic dreams. You wake up and you have to think about what just happened. If it weren’t for the fact that you were laying in bed you would think that it was all real.”
  • The Picture of Alice Liddell – Meighan A. “It happened by chance that I was reading The Picture of Dorian Gray and noticed a similarity between Basil and Dorian Gray, and Carroll and Alice Liddell. It is after Basil has painted the magnificent portrait of Dorian that Dorian says to Basil,“I believe you would, Basil. You like your art better than your friends. I am no more to you than a green bronze figure. Hardly as much, I say.”  “Yes,” he continued, “I am less to you than your ivory Hermes or your silver faun. You will like them always. How long will you like me? Till I have my first wrinkle, I suppose…””
  • Curiosity of Roses – Meighan A. “The gardeners accidentally planted a white rose. White roses are just as beautiful as red roses, if not more. The difference is they do not hurt you with cruel thorns. This could reflect on the gardeners being meek and nonviolent. The gardeners and Queen are all cards, and the roses are types of roses, but they have their differences. One kinds doesn’t hurt you, and the other one does.”
  • Alice is Rude? – Meighan A. “When conversing with the Mock turtle she acts rude and questions everything he and the gryphon say. She looks very stupid in their minds; not knowing what to them is logical. She never considers that she may be the rude on asking so many questions when stories are told or explanations are given. It seems like everyone she talks to she ends up arguing with or upsetting, except perhaps the Cheshire Cat.”
  • A Rant on Pigeons and Law – Meighan A. “Once again we see the logic and illogic at play here. Alice having a long neck is deemed illogical in our world, but in wonderland that is ok. Her talking to a pigeon is illogical but logical in wonderland aswell. The pigeon fearing snakes and wanting to protect her eggs is natural logical behavior mixed in with the illogical logic of wonderland.”
  • Er, I Changed My Mind – Jenna K. “Throughout this entire project I have said, and said again, that the mind is what defines us, the mind is who we are, the mind is the important part of us and the body is simply a vessel. But I was mulling over all this over my morning Cheerios and I had a little change in direction with my thoughts. I think it may have something do with all the thoughts about my surgery going through my head. I was trying to imagine what it would be like when I couldn’t use my whole left leg, what it will be like when I have to use crutches and can’t run and jump and go up stairs. What it would be like trying to work my way through the hallways at school. That’s when I realized that the body couldn’t possibly JUST be a vessel for our mind. And I think I  was right in thinking that.”
  • Heartless Irony – Carl K. “With that being said, a particular point is brought up in mind. Does Carroll mean that the English monarchy hasabused some of its given powers? With unlimited control and power, one could easily choose to behead people left and right. From further, of my, analysis I sense that Carroll was using Alice to see the people’s side of view of a ruling tyrannt. And to also point out that ruling in such a way will only lead to calamity. So from what I see, the Queen of Hearts represents a couple of things: 1) an amusing ironic joke 2) how fear spreads when one has limitless power and control and lastly 3) a dictatorship/or tyranny doesn’t win friends and influence people, so it’s important not to rule a kingdom in such a manner.”
  • Representation? – Meighan A. ““Thus, if Alice represents humanity, what could Wonderland represent other than the trials, tribulations, and experiences humans encounter in the real world?” This really struck me from Kristen’s post , and the more I thought about it the more I noticed one could look at it as that and more. Wonderland is like Heaven and Hell on Earth. If you have an optimistic view there are many things that you can see as wonderful experiences and there are also many things that as a pessimist you could see as total hell for a little girl to have to face.”
  • The Mad Hare and March Hatter – Jenna K. “The March Hare and Mad Hatter, most of what they said makes sense. Most of their thoughts are a mixture of ideas purely based on the denotation of a word and ideas purely based on the connotation. Like ’say what you mean and mean what you say’ – that’s all about the denotation of the language. But, ‘beating time’ – that’s all about the connotation and personification of the language.”
  • Do I Really Have To Wait Until I’m 18 – Miles W. “At her young age, she has no idea how to deal with the situations around her and with maturity she would be able to better comprehend what was happening. You could argue that Alice’s new world is crazier than any real-life experience, but the real world is a crazy place and if you’re not ready for it, which the government has set out for you too be, it will get you.”
  • Alice is Messing with my Mind! – Meighan A. “Realizing finally how incredible absurd it all was I shook my head at myself and shocked myself back into reality, and behold! I was still in the office sitting in front of the computer with a half eaten Milky Way bar in the trash beside me and a blank document titled ‘blog’. If this is what happens to me just reading a few chapters of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, I’m worried to see what will happen when I have to stay up really late and then go to bed right after reading some strange occurrence in the story.”
  • Alice and the Moon – Meighan A. “It was fascinating to imagine that because of being a different person or animal, you might find different meanings for general terms and such a simple thing as ‘finding’ something could mean ‘finding’ anything. So, now I wonder, Alice found a bottle that said, “drink me”, but if I were in wonderland…would I have found that same bottle? Would I have found a mouse and a giant puppy? Would I have even found that door leading to the garden? Maybe…I’ll leave that up to my imagination. Now, the really BIG question. What would you find?”
  • The Reality of Dreams – Jenna K. “The whole conversation between Socrates and Theaetetus on page 67 of Annotated Alice has put everything in perspective for me. Or rather, it has put everything out of perspective and left me very confused.”
  • Who Are You? – Jenna K. “What would you answer if you were faced with this question? Would you be like Alice and say you’re not quite sure? Or would you reply with a simple first and last name? How do you define yourself? Do you define yourself by what you do, what you say, your ethnicity or religion, your species and gender, your personality, your likes and dislikes? There are so many different responses to a question like this.”
  • Much Pleasanter at Home – Jenna K. “We all know that curiosity is a big instigator of peoples actions, but how could it possibly overpower a person’s reluctance to do something? How can you not want to do something but your curiosity pushes you do it anyways? Is our human will really that weak? Can we be easily manipulated through our curiosity? It’s like the little magic bottle saying “Drink Me” is a commercial ad to Wonderland and Alice is being sucked in like we get sucked in to the Billy Mays’ commercials.”
  • A Literary Jungle Gym – Jenna K. “To me, it seems that the play on words, such as these, are what makes Wonderland a ‘nonsense’ world. Unlike the ‘real’ world, there is no reasonable thinking going on that comprehends strange metaphors, literary devices, and grammar usage. In fact, I would almost  say that all of Wonderland is practically mocking the English language. That might be going a bit too far, Carroll may just have been trying to get the girls to laugh because he knew they were old enough to catch the play on words. That, I am not sure of.”
  • Hero’s Journey – Samuel M. “If you were to integrate Joseph Cambell’s “Hero’s Journey” into the story, you could say that Alice recieved the call to adventure when White Rabbit appeared. If White Rabbit had never appeared, then there would be no story – no Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland or any of the sequels. You could also say that by quickly following White Rabbit down the rabbit hole, she did not reject the call to adventure, she eagerly and readily embraced it.”

Team 3:

  • A Tale of Morality… – Ryan S. “Look at what we are doing, here and now, sitting at our desks, either reading this blog, making your own, or scanning through your copy of The Annotated Alice. We are all finding a moral in everything around us. The entire point of these “Alice Projects” is to find morals in every action Alice takes.”
  • “Nine in the Afternoon” -Panic (!) At The Disco – Abbie P. “For me, Wonderland is like “a room where it’s nine in the afternoon,” because it’s a place where the impossible is possible. It’s either 9 in the morning or 9 at night in the real world, but in Wonderland, it could very well be 9 in the afternoon. Animals can talk, cards can paint, and hatters have tea parties with hares! This aspect of the story almost reminds me of “The Veldt,” where the children have a room that would become anything that they wanted it to become.”
  • Magical Madness – Alex F. “As the Cheshire Cat most wisely put it, “You must be mad, or you wouldn’t have come here.” Certainly it seems that nothing can exist in Wonderland with out being mad, or heading in that direction rather quickly.”
  • Tea for Three (Plus a Rodent) – Alex F. “One has to wonder why these characters were introduced. Was it simply for entertainment, or was there some underlying reason that the Hatter and Hare were added? There’s certainly enough madness in Wonderland that they could have done without these characters.”
  • A Taste of Frank Philosophy – Alex F. “I’d like to stop a minute and think about how many different ways that question can be taken. There’s the obvious and most used “Who’re you?” Just asking who this person is that interrupted a caterpillars smoke break. Or there’s the more surprised and angry “Who ARE you?” which is more of an expression of surprise at something that is strange and unusual. But the Caterpillar puts the emphasis on “you”, so we can safely assume that he meant the third way of taking the question; as an eternal question on who is a person? What is I? And the rest of that headache-inducing mess.”
  • VoiceThread of Ch2 Pictures – Vance L. “This is another VoiceThread of The Annotated Alice. We have posted and verbally commented on John Tenniel’s illustrations in Chapter 2. Feel free to add comments of your own.”
  • “It’s hard to say that I’d rather stay awake when I’m asleep” -Owl City (Fireflies) – Abbie P. “Just a few lines from the song “Fireflies” by Owl City, but I feel that it really relates to this, (you should really listen to it if you haven’t before, it’s amazing). Dreams are anything we want them to be, and despite the fact that nothing is normal, it feels so real. In Alice’s “Wonderland,” everything is queer, as Alice puts it. Nothing is as it usually is, and yet now she can’t seem to look back at reality. Now that she’s been exposed to this “wonderland,” nothing back at home is going to be normal anymore. No more talking rabbits, no more cats that smile, and no more footmen with fish heads. Reality has now become something very unreal. So, my last question is…does that mean that Alice’s reality has become unreal, and her dream real, or is Alice insane?”
  • “In the Beginning, I tried to warn you. You play with fire, It’s gonna burn you” -Good Charlotte (Victims of Love) – Abbie P. “If you recall Snow White and The Seven Dwarves, the protagonist was given an apple. No one suspects anything bad to come of an apple, especially from an elderly woman, so she eats it. This apple is not just any apple, though. It stops her heart. Not everything is as it seems, so “the wise little Alice” still isn’t really being safe by checking it for a distinct label. It’s very trusting of her to drink from this strange bottle.”
  • VoiceThread of Ch1 Pictures – Vance L. “This is our first VoiceThread of The Annotated Alice. We commented on the three illustrations by John Tenniel in Chapter 1. Feel free to view/listen to our comments or even add your own.”
  • A Sense of Blue… – Ryan S. “Throughout history and pop culture, whenever there is a profit figure they use drugs to either get a spiritual “high”, or else to enter a dream or trance like state, that allows a better understanding. Examples, are everywhere from, Native American Indian warriors, to Kobala form “Battlestar Galactica”. One thing Alice is famous for is its political and spiritual humor through the use of wonderlandian characters. By accepting that the Caterpillar and its hookah are a part of that we get a better understanding of why Lewis Carroll would have this character, “under the influence””

Team 4:

  • Hookah for the Soul – Brittany M. “Although everyone may have their own opinion of whether he is or not we simply do not know. I do not think he is advertising hookah for children but  putting in a little piece of reality. Alice never smokes the hookah and is never offered a smoke but simply watches the catipiller smoke. It is still a good children’s book although it refers to drugs but honestly, drugs are a big part of life.”
  • “Birds of a Feather Flock Together” – Derek M. “Not only does outward appearance affect the groups, but state of mind can also be found in creatures of similar stature. If anything, just try to find these subtle innuendos in Alice and you will be surprised on how much it mimics the real world. Birds of a feather always flock together.”
  • All You Need is Love, Love, Love is All You Need – Brittany M. “In the words of the notorious Beatles, “Love is all you need,”. In Alice in Wonderland the Duchess lists off morals to Alice and proclaims that the world is filled with morals, you just have to find them. Although the Duchess may seem a little on the insane side she says,” ‘Oh, ’tis love, ’tis love, that makes the world go round!’ ” All during life we are constantly hearing people say to follow your heart and to love one another,and although it may seem sappy to the non romantics, I think love really is what makes the world go round,aside from gravity.”
  • Size Matters – Brittany M. ““I do hope it’ll make me grow large again, for really I’m quite tired of being such a tiny little thing.” This is something Alice is constantly battling during her wild adventure in Wonderland. She is either too big or too small to partake in events or to be able to fit through doors. She changes size constantly and is always wanting to be what she is not. It is very similar to in life how we are always wanting to be what we are not. When we are younger we are so eager to become older and drive and have freedom,but why is it once we reach our age of  what should bring joy to us, we wish our youth back.”
  • From Child to Pig – Angela W. “All of the lines Alice says to the child are very motherly, just like Carroll wanted her to be. This is another example of Carroll giving Alice an adult like figure. Anyways, Alice desides to get rid of the child just because it is a pig now. Before it was a child that had charachtoristics of a pig and when it took phyisical characthoristics, Alice wanted it no more. Throughout Alice’s adventure in Wonderland, Alice is showing more signs of maturity.”
  • A Very Merry Unbirthday to You! (yes, you) – Derek M. “When I read chapter seven, I was very disappointed to not see the Unbirthday Song in the book. I assume that the song was a Disney alteration to reach out towards the kids, but I believe that is one, if not the most, influential and memorable scenes in the entire movie of Alice in Wonderland. The Unbirthday song has an obvious significance to the visual innuendos of the story. Although the song seems to be Disney’s interpretation, The Unbirthday Song ties into the theme of the dichotomy between the real world and the fantastical wonderland.”
  • Is Alice Still Relevant? – Kyle M. “Perhaps the book is indeed more than an artifact after all; on a rare occasion, a work is created that transcends any and all cultural and historical boundaries. Does Alice fall into that category? That’s too broad of a question for my purposes; regardless, it has retained a healthy amount of its wit and charm over the years, which is no easy feat.”
  • Transformation from Hookah – Angela W. “As I was reading Melissa H.’s blog entry titled, Hookah for everyone, i came to realize that Carroll is using a caterpillar to smoke hookah, which is odd because when the caterpillar is done smoking hookah, he transforms into a butterfly, but only in the movie.If you watch the Disney movie, the caterpillar transforms into a butterfly, but it is odd that the transformation is in the movie and not the book. Usually children would understand and accept concepts more if they visualize it and that could be the reasoning.”
  • “Of Mice and [Wo]men” part two – Derek M. “Alice’s relationships with animals in this world may prove to be strong for a few short minutes, but they soon fade away. The mouse tried to give Alice the benefit of the doubt and tried to assert his authority, but due to the fact that Alice was not receptive to this, thus leaving Alice alone. Carroll uses Alice’s innocence and inability to rationalize because she is a child, to advance his story. He would not be able to make a story about any person older than Alice, because thought processes become more advanced with age. This idea of innocence allows Alice to explore the world without skepticism.”

Team 5:

  • Mature and Dark Subjects in a Children’s Book? – Alex E. “But there is also when she is falling down the Rabbit-hole and she says that she would tell nobody about her falling, even if she fell off the top of the house, on which she thinks that this is probably true. Alice also has a habit of talking about how great her cat(Dinah) is good at killing animals. Why would Alice continue in bring Dinah into a conversations with the creatures of Wonderland if she knew that they feared and hated cats? Dinah is Alice’s several connections to the real world in Wonderland and that killing of animals was a sport during these time before animal rights becomes a reality.”
  • Wonderland’s Issues vs. Government – Katherine H. “In Wonderland, animals have exemplified their authority over humans. Though humans seem to be rarely seen in Wonderland, who is to say the government is not as warped as the positions of Wonderland’ society?”
  • Alice Definitely Got Ripped Off – Sylvia A. “It seems like this is no wonderland after all. For one, all the sweet talking animals, such as the white rabbit and mouse, portray older figures of authority for Alice. They talk down to her and are not necessarily her friends even though they help, directly and indirectly, guide her through Wonderland. These animals aren’t the imaginary friends Alice , as a little girl, would have dreamed of having, so why are they in her ‘wonderland’?”
  • Step 4: Crossing The First Threshold – Melissa H. “So… if you say that the supernatural aid is the white rabbit, then entering the first threshold could either her falling down the hole or going through the tiny door. But, if you say the drink/food is the supernatural aid it would only make sense to say that crossing the first threshold would have to be after, which in that case would be going through the door behind the curtain. Maybe I’m wrong, but this is my opinion. What is yours?”
  • Step 3: Supernatural Aid – Melissa H. “I’ve written two blogs earlier about Joseph Cambell’s “Hero’s Journey” you might want to read those blogs so you can catch on quicker.  Step 3 of the “Hero’s Journey” is meeting the Supernatural Aid. This is usually after the “hero” has committed to their journey. Like I said before, I did not think Alice really ever committed to her adventure. So how do I make the connection with the supernatural aid, and get that to fit in the story? Well I guess I don’t really have to make the connection sense it is my opinion. But I find the supernatural aid as the white rabbit. He is the one who guides her through the hole and becomes her guide. Well we do know he mysteriously keeps disappearing and keeps mumbling about being late and talks about the Duchess.”
  • Leave the Little Guy Alone! – Sylvia A. “This sort of hierarchy exists in the real world as well. Your status is what determines what happens to you in life and looking at poor Bill, I can tell he got the short end of the stick. With Bill being the socially weakest amongst the animals with his “little feeble squeaking voice” (page 43) how do you think this is reflected upon society? Why does society always pick on the little guy? From the little boy with glasses at the school playground to the quiet guy at work who never seems to get ahead- its universal. The strong pick on the weak and the little guy never has a voice. Carroll may be trying to let us know about this unfair side of human nature and gets us thinking about how we treat other people.”
  • Congratulations Disney, You Failed. – Rivu D. “I am certain that many a Disney fan boy or fan girl only opened this post to disagree with me based on the title of the post, but you should keep in mind that this post is more factually oriented than the title suggests and is not simply my ridiculous opinion on why Disney failed in making a decent reproduction of Lewis Carroll’s beloved Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. Keep reading fan boys and fan girls, you may find out some surprising things about that movie you loved so very much as a little child.”
  • Forcing an Answer – Rivu D. “When reading many of the annotations in The Annotated Alice, it always manages to shock me as to how obscure some of the symbolism and hidden meanings in the annotations are. It doesn’t feel as though Lewis Carroll actually intended for there to be a connection between some of the events in the book and some of the events in his own personal life as many of the annotations say, but it seems more as if  though scholars and analysts merely found vague and obscure connections between Carroll’s life and what he was writing and then decided that Carroll was being symbolic and referencing his own personal life in his story.”
  • A Little Less Insane – Rivu D. “It’s interesting to see how when Alice comes to the realization that the Queen is merely a playing card, her adventure finishes. It’s as if once she sees that her logic can actually be applied in wonderland, her illogical world disappears, as she proceeds to wake up from her rather curious dream after realizing that wonderland “doesn’t matter a bit”. Perhaps Carroll is insinuating that dreams are a way of equalizing our existence, as we live one life embodied by logic, the “real” one, and we live another embodied by what our mind creates, or our own personal wonderland.”
  • Morals. Morals. Morals. – Melissa H. “I have been criticizing this book a lot, but this made Alice learn more by the “mistake” she made. It may have not been a mistake but done on purpose for her to go through new things in life. You know what they say… “Everything happens for a reason.” As for the Duchess’ morals, I think that those were very random. I didn’t really see how they related to the things that Alice was saying. But maybe they mean something that I don’t see.”
  • The Hatters Riddle – Alex E. “In this party the Hatter told his curious, unanswerable riddle, “Why is a raven like a writing-desk?”. To what purpose does Carroll make this riddle? Many, including Carroll himself, have tried to find answers to this riddle that will fit. This riddle, in my opinion, is simply a mind twister that shows the insanity of Wonderland and the Hatter himself.”
  • If a Mushroom Was a Mushroom. – Katherine H. “These annotations really caught my attention. The whole story thus far is based on Alice’s strange encounters. In the beginning, she had difficulty gripping what was going on in this strange place. Wouldn’t eating a poisonous mushroom make it difficult for someone to decipher normality? The annotation states that Carroll may have in fact read books that describe the effects of certain mushrooms if ingested. This may mean that he wrote into the story Alice’s mushroom predicament in order to subtly justify just a fraction of her peculiarity. Throughout the story there has been multiple hints as to why Alice is experiencing these strange situations, or ‘normal’ considering she is in Wonderland.”
  • It’s Creepy, but Why? Rivu D. “Finally, to the point. Many people say that there are many things that would be considered too mature or inappropriate for children in Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. However, maybe that is only true for the children of today. Children back then were not treated with the same protection as they are today, and perhaps Carroll was not concerned with putting in references to drugs or death when he knew perfectly well that his audience, the children, were themselves working in factories and possibly being mistreated and that they were more than likely mature enough to handle the references if they even understood them in the first place.”
  • “Wonderland”= Drug Reference? – Melissa H. “What do you think Carroll means when he says “wonderland”? It’s obviously NOT an innocent title. Could it possibly be stating that she has been on drugs and got “high” so she is feeling good and different. This could be a story of her life on drugs and how she feels and what she goes through. Wonderland could be her own world that she is experiencing while on these drugs and she doesn’t know what is really going on, because this is usually a side effect when people get on drugs. Will Alice ever wake up from this, or will she permanently be like this forever?”
  • Illogical Logic, Irrational Rationalization. – Katherine H. “To think of reason for the day’s peculiarity would be logical. However to be changed into a different person over night? Not so much. This entire story thus far seems like a story of illogical logic, the reason for the rabbit’s rush versus the reason he is even speaking, the solution to Alice’s size issues versus the reason for her changing so radically and Alice’s social inclination to worry about offending someone versus the fact that she has offended a mouse are only a few examples.
  • Poison, Death, and Drugs: The Unholy Trinity – Rivu D. “There are also many subtle references to death in Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. According to The Annotated Alice, when Alice falls down the rabbit hole and compares it to falling down the stairs in her house,  a “death joke” is being made. It may be a bit extreme to say this, but perhaps falling down the rabbit hole itself is a metaphor for death. Another subtle reference to death is where Alice claims that she will drown in her own tears. This could possibly be symbolic of how the lack of control of ones own emotions can lead to ones ultimate downfall. However, the most obvious thing in Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland that can be related with death is a key plot point itself, the plot point being the actions and statements of the queen of hearts. The queen is known to issue death sentences oh her own personal whims if something displeases her, possibly a reference to the “Reign of Terror” in France, as it is assumed by many that Lewis Carroll made many references to the French and their language in his tale. Her catch phrase is “Off with their heads!”, a line implying the intent to kill. Notably, the king of hearts often gives pardons and the queens sentences have a tendency to not get carried out. Perhaps this is a nod to both of Carroll’s audiences, the mature and the young.”
  • Anthropomorphism: Banned – Rivu D. “This blog entry is a reaction to this post by Melissa H. *** Sometimes, due to political, cultural, or social reasons, things such as books, poems, and other forms of literature, get banned or ordered out of print, no matter what time period or era. However sometimes, there are other, more ludicrous reasons for the banning of literature, such as a persons own pride. In the instance of the banning of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, a harmless book originally written for a little girl, this pride belonged to the Chinese governor of the Hunan province all the way back in 1931, about 70 years after the book was published.”

Team 6:

  • “For legs good, 2 legs bad” – Haley M. “First, I named this post “Four legs good, two legs bad” because throughout the time we have been reading The Annotated Alice, I keep thinking back to Animal Farm and how similar these two stories are.Just like Animal Farm, the story is using animals to represent people, and they are acting out situations from their lifetime. Just like in Animal FarmThe Annotated Alice has lessons to be learned throughout the plot.”
  • The Ease of a Dream – Caroline M. “I was slightly disappointed to find that the end was not really an ending at all. Someone once told me that to finish a book with “it was all a dream” is the easy way out. I believe that Carroll took the easy way out. However, if I was a child reading this book, the age it seems intended for, then I would be more than happy to find out that mopey turtles and queens who wish to behead me are only real in my dreams. Alice was pleased to learn that all of what happened to her did not really exist,and it was just a part of her peaceful rest.”
  • Are You Angry?  I Can See Why… – Mike N. “I would recommend reading my partner Kristen’s post, as it covers the same topic as my post: A Malapropos Ending. But I hold a slightly different viewpoint. At first, I was somewhat angry when I read the end of the story, finding out that it was only a dream.  Wouldn’t you be?”
  • Do Annotations Ruin A Reader’s Own Discovery Process? – Kristen K. “Just like watching a movie before reading the book it was based on, I feel that reading The Annotated Alice without reading Carroll’s original, unannotated story first spoils the latter. Upon completion of The Annotated Alice, I found it difficult to, as Mr. Long would say, ‘discover’ anything that had not already been noted in the annotations. It seems just when I would get an idea for an interesting argument or I read something that would prompt further research, I looked at the next note and the thing I hoped to ‘explore’ or ‘discover’ already had been–and in extreme detail.”
  • A Malapropos Ending – Kristen K. “But what of his unintended audience? What of the audience of adults that read the story to their kids, the same adults Carroll left hidden jokes and messages for earlier in the story? As an adult, a dream ending seems overdone and unfitting for Alice. Perhaps the dream ending is meant to put the story in perspective for young wondering minds and save an adult some explaining after the book is closed. While the dream conclusion has its merits, when coupled with Carroll’s style it seems malapropos, or unsuitable.”
  • Analyzing the Madness: Part 2 – Kristen K. “If this is true, it seems plausible that everything Alice has drunk or eaten could have been laced with a bit of absurdity, with a dash of impossibility. Perhaps that is the reason why Alice “had got so much into the way of expecting nothing but out-of-the-way things to happen,” (p. 19) so early in her journey through Wonderland.”
  • Analyzing the Madness: Part 1 – Kristen K. “It’s possible Carroll felt that time stopped when he was with Alice Liddell, thus the clock at the tea party stayed still. As for switching hours with years? Perhaps Carroll wished that in mere hours Alice Liddell could grow up to marry him rather than years. I also believe it is plausible that Carroll wished his age differed by solely hours rather than years.”
  • Daydream or Nightmare? – Caroline M. “Alice’s story reminds me of The Wizard of Oz in that characters can be related to people in Alice Liddell’s life. So in a far-fetched way Carroll may have written about real people and events in ’ life through the fictional adventure of Alice in Wonderland. This does not explain the above question, but in fact poses more. Could Carroll and Miss Liddell have had a wonderland of their own, and played a game that involved funny creatures and “queer” situations? Was Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland entirely made up from Carroll’s eccentric brain with Liddell on mind, or was it fully based most peculiarly on Alice Liddell’s life.”
  • The Dangers of Habit – Kristen K. “Could Alice become addicted to the thrill of changing size? Or, perhaps a more plausible question, could Alice become so enthralled with the excitement of her own curiosity that she ends up becoming the source of her own ruin? What worries me is the fact that Alice deduced after only one success that all would be successful. What other perilous habits could Alice develop? And what would have happened had she not developed said habits?”
  • Alice’s: Child or Adult? – Michael P. “Does Alice herself represent something, or is she just a little girl in a strange land? Maybe she represents the transition between childhood and adulthood, or maybe a child’s reluctance to grow up. Her growing and shrinking could parallel becoming more mature, then reverting back to immature, childish tendencies. She switches between logical, mature actions, and childish ones.”
  • Wonderland:  A Figment of Alice’s Imagination? – Mike N. “If this is the case, it could be explanatory of how, like Keith said, everything seems setup for Alice. If it really is in her own mind, everything in the story can be explained. For example, her mind would set things up for her so that she would be able to accomplish her goals, like (again, as Keith said) how the bottle just happened to be waiting for her to drink it.”
  • Alice vs. Wonderland – Haley M. “As Mr. Long pointed out, everything in Wonderland is abnormal to Alice, but now, maybe, she is the one that is abnormal in their everyday world. This really stood out to me because I have never thought of this. In some way I think this relates back to real life: Along with lessons being learned, maybe this is a lesson for people reading the book. It might be saying Alice is used to her own world, which she knows as “normal”, but now that she has come into this new Wonderland, everything seems so unreal and strange to her. The moment she is in the house with her arm out of the window, it seems strange to the White Rabbit and to Pat. So the lesson is..”

Team 7:

  • Cover Alice Live – Whole team. “We discussed many topics over Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and asked each other questions we had over the book. We also took some Live polls during the chat, and you will be given some questions as well for us to see what you think about the story so far.”
  • What About Alice’s Family? – Keith C. “Throughout Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, little has been said about her family. In the beginning Alice is sitting with her sister. That is all that mentions any of Alice’s human family members. Although, from time to time Alice talks about her cat, Dinah. Why has Carroll kept us in the dark about her family? Is this because he is trying to form a whole other world for Alice and doesn’t want her looking back at her old one? Wouldn’t a girl Alice’s age get homesick and want to be back with her parents? It’s not like Carroll set it up to be a story like so many others where the child has a rough home life and their parents don’t treat them very well, so where ever they run off to is better than home. As far as we know Alice’s home life is normal.”
  • Growing Pains – Alex D. “Part of growing up is new beginnings and more freedoms, but once you have experienced those things, you miss how you used to live as a whole family. After that line, Alice talked about how it would still be interesting to live in Wonderland; she is curious about becoming more mature, but still talks about how maybe in Wonderland she won’t have to age and become an old woman. This is paradoxical, how Alice wishes to experience the grown up life, but wished to remain a child. My point is, Alice is stuck in a house.”
  • Is Alice Enjoying Wonderland? – Keith C. “Later on Alice is told to eat a mushroom to adjust her size. After she grows so high that she can see the tops of the trees beneath her, she is attacked by a bird. The bird continues to attack her because it mistakes her for snake. All these events would certainly frighten Alice. If all this is true, why is she still there and not looking for a way out?”
  • The Cheshire Cat Has Spoken: Analysis of Chapter Six (2 of 2) – Connor M. “Alice understandably finds this to prove nothing at all. She’s not even convinced that the Cat is mad, himself. Maybe nobody’s mad. Maybe everyone’s mad. There really is no way to tell, but these remarks open up to the possibility that the Wonderland dwellers are aware of the “real world.” This connects to the question of why the Rabbit was even in the “real world” to begin with, which I inquired in another of my entries. However, it is clear the two worlds differ in every way.”
  • The Footman, the Duchess, and the Pig: Analysis of Chapter Six (1 of 2) – Lindsay R. “Alice first notices that the soup has a lot of pepper and that she believes that there is too much pepper. In the side notes it says the pepper is symbolizing the Duchess’ peppery ill temper. Also in Victorian England it was custom to use excessive pepper to mask the taste of slightly spoiled meat and vegetables. The Duchess’ baby did not like the pepper because it continuously cried and sneezed.”
  • Serpent!: Analysis of Chapter Five (2 of 2) – Keith C. “Then Alice takes a bite out of the other piece of mushroom and grows extremely tall. However, the text describes the growing to mainly occur in her neck region. This also seems to be the case when she grows the first time in the hall with the door leading to the garden. In Sylvia’s Blog, A Picture Says a Thousands Words, she associates the majority of growth in Alice’s neck with the fact that she is losing her mind. Could this be the same scenario when she is peering over all the treetops?
  • Advice from a Student: Analysis of Chapter Five (1 of 2) – Alex D. “In the annotations, Gardner says that the caterpillar has read Alice’s mind. I’m thinking this may be because her mind has changed so much since she fell into Wonderland, that her thoughts are no longer her own. Is Alice just being influenced by the world around her, because her mind has become so weak?”
  • A Pinch of the Real World: Analysis of Chapter Four (2 of 2) – Keith C. “In fact this dog acts quite natural. I didn’t think I would ever say this about anything in Wonderland. This is also ironic because that is the same phrase used by Alice when she describes the Rabbit in the beginning of the story, which isn’t natural at all. Why didn’t Alice think that this was natural, a regular barking dog that played fetch? I think that this dog is a little pinch of reality or memory from the real world. Alice runs away from this dog, reality, and travels deeper into the Wonderland.”
  • Deja Vu All Over Again: Analysis of Chapter Four (1 of 2) – Connor M. “Well, first of all, I’m surprised about the Wonderland inhabitants’ reactions to the changes Alice goes through throughout the story. Now I’m not saying that these shrinking and growing results are a regular sight in Wonderland. So far there hasn’t been any other shrunken or grown beings roaming about. However, we must consider the fact that the Rabbit and the others tossed cakes at Alice. Obviously, no one just goes and throws cakes at dangerous-looking giants and expecting everything to be alright. They shrunk her. This establishes that they in fact have knowledge of the possibility of growing and shrinking in Wonderland. This opens the possibilities to why the Rabbit was surprised at first sight of the first-enlarged Alice, which I discussed in another of my posts.”
  • Alice? It’s Me, Dinah. – Alex D. “In Alice’s situation, reaching the garden has become her priority. Whenever there is a place in the book after Alice escapes a sticky situation, I expect her to say “… Now if there was only a way back up,” but instead all I see is her desire to get to the garden. My question to you is… Do you think Alice will ever get to the garden? Or is it just an unreachable thought pushing her through the story.”
  • Here You Go, Alice – Keith C. “After thinking about the multiple times Alice has changed in size it seems as if someone is tricking her. At first I though that someone was watching her and guiding her through stages, but now it seems like they are trying to trick her. When Alice first drank the liquid and ate the cake, the liquid made her shrink and the cake made her grow. However the second she came across a bottle it effects were the opposite if the first and it made her grow. Like us, the readers, Alice probably thought that it would make her shrink, like before. Then the cakes also had the opposite effect and made her shrink. Does this mean that someone is setting Alice up for failure now that they have her in Wonderland?”
  • Mouse Tails and Tales: Analysis of Chapter 3 (2 of 2) – Lindsay R. “Alice thinks the Mouse is actually talking about his tail. Then we read the mouse’s tale shaped as his tail on the page 34 which, in the side notes, is called an emblematic verse. This tale is supposed to explain how he dislikes cats and dogs, but the tale doesn’t even mention a cat.”
  • The Circle of Life Isn’t Always Round: Analysis of Chapter 3 (1 of 2) – Alex D. “First of all, notice that the animal with the idea for the race was a Dodo bird. The Dodo has been extinct for hundreds of years, so why did Lewis Carroll chose this animal to suggest the race? He may have been pointing out that this crazy method of living, (simply attempting anything to achieve a goal) doesn’t always turn out well. In this case, he shows the results with the bird that had gone extinct by living with this mentality.”
  • Take a Walk in Wonderland’s Shoes – Keith C. “Have you ever thought of what Alice looks like to the inhabitants of Wonderland? Have you ever thought of how she might be the weird random one to them. Imagine some girls comes falling into your world constantly changing size. She makes a pool out of her tears. Then runs into your cottage and grows to fill up the whole room. When you read it like this it is a completely different story. It makes you ask, Who does this Alice girl think she is, barging into Wonderland?”
  • The Death Threats – Lindsay R. “After reading Gabriella B.’s The Morbidity of Moral, I was thinking about all the dangers that Alice has in this story. First, Alice keeps drinking and eating these random drinks and food. She doesn’t know if they are poison or not.”
  • What Happened to the Hall? – Connor M. “This was yet another random occurrence in the story so far next to the fan (as I discussed in my analysis of Chapter Two). What I mean by random is not “Wonderland random,” but rather a random hole in the plot that goes unexplained, and frankly, leaves me a bit disappointed. Soon after, Alice is able to travel to the White Rabbit’s home. Clearly she is somewhere else than the hall after the little transportation. Or is she? The White Rabbit is also where she is, and was also in the hall with her at one point. Were they both “teleported?” Did the room change? If the room did in fact “change,” (which is a random hole in the plot) then this would eliminate the theory I had in my other entry in which the hall is depicted as a sort of security for Wonderland.”
  • Too Many (Bizarre) Characters – Connor M. “To sum up some of the things that have played out so far here is a list: Talking rabbit, growing and shrinking, pool of tears, and more talking animals such as a mouse, a dodo, a lizard, as well as some other animals. To go even further, what we have to come is a smiling cat that disappears, a caterpillar smoking a hookah, more talking animals than you can count, and much more illogical talk. This is one story that packs a lot of nonsense. More than most other stories, I might add.”

Team 8:

  • Alice Was Just Dreaming? – Katie R. “It seems very odd that the story would end with Alice waking up from a dream. Either Alice has a very good imagination, or her boredom is what caused her to doze off. This is where the reader starts to ask questions. Did Alice really think that what happened to her was real, or was it just make believe? Did any of the characters that she meet real, or were they just dreamed up by her?”
  • Is Alice Still Alice? – Katie R. “It’s like she’s treating her feet as if they were a human being. By now, it is made clear to the reader that Alice has gone absolutely crazy. Could her sort of “second person” still be coming into play here? If so, is it still there, or is Alice still acting like she’s herself?
  • Why Reading Guides Should Be Banned – Jackson H. “When a book with ambiguous meaning hits the shelves, critics swarm to be the first to pick all the nits. Within days, all aspects of the pristine novel are being looked at with a microscope. When you look at the analysis themselves, you see almost nothing to do with the real text of the book, and merely a few randomly drawn conclusions. Over-analysis is one of the major enemies of a good book.”
  • The Gryphon’s Confusing Language – Katie R. “You may notice that the word “nobody” is in italics. Doesn’t it seem rather confusing that the Gryphon doesn’t just say that they never execute anybody? This is sort of a multiple negative in a way. Some may think that he is supposed to say anybody instead of nobody. I am sort of confused at this myself.”
  • Who Are We to Decide? – Hersh T. “What really struck me is that maybe Carroll is simply challenging us. As we read Lord of the Flies in class, we analyzed it thoroughly and at first I questioned whether even the author, Golding, had thought of everything we had come up with and I realized that it was a challenge. Now the same thought is occurring.”
  • What Children are “Supposed” to Like – Jackson H. “On page 98 in The Annotated Alice, the annotator, Martin Gardner, notes that “Children find puns very funny, but most contemporary authorities on what children are supposed to like believe that puns lower the literary quality of juvenile books.” In this, he notes that the real judge of entertainment is those who the material is pitched to. Why should I care if the entire audience roars at…”
  • Morals Have Their Own Morals – Hersh T. “It is easy to see why people can easily become obsessed with morals and want to use them in any situation. The duchess is an example of an overzealous person trying to attribute each situation with a rather transcendent moral. Morals have their own morals. We must follow them.”
  • “Everything’s got a moral, if only you can find it” – Daniel L. “In Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, the Dutchess told her that “everything’s got a moral you just have to find it”. This is something that I disagree with because there were times where the Dutchess would contradict herself.”
  • Alice’s Long Journey – Katie R. “However, helping Alice can sometimes be costly to Alice. In the croquet game, the King is the first person to notice the Cheshire Cat, and immediately orders him to be beheaded. The Cheshire Cat got out of trouble by disappearing, but he learned to be cautious when coming to Alice’s aid.”
  • Who Are We? – Hersh T. “Who are we, to force our ideas upon the nonsensical world of Alice? Who are we, to allow the idea of a nonsensical world to even exist? Who are we, to question whether we have to right to question other people. And of course, who are we to question the right to question? Humans have automatically placed themselves to the forefront of the world and of common day practices and rituals. What happened to the watering hole? To circle of trees the watering hole was in? To the circle of trees around that circle? And overall to the overall forest? Why do we think that we are so much better than our “peers”, our “colleagues”?”
  • “high” – Daniel L. “Am I the only one that is noticing how creepy this story is? I know that everyone wants to talk about how this is not really a childrens story and stuff like that. Well that’s not the point. The point is this story is extremely creepy but extremely creative.”
  • Will Alice Live to See the Present Day? – Katie R. “It always seems that no matter where Alice goes in this strange world, she will always meet some form of a character, and then go on forever about her situation. When she meets the blue caterpillar, the first thing that she notices is its appearance. The “thing” has a hookah in its mouth, and doesn’t seem to notice her at first. But, the caterpillar seems to notice her in maybe 10 or so minutes, and asks her, “Who are you?””
  • Self-Realization – Hersh T. “Throughout the book, the idea of the “self” is continually brought up. What are we? Alice does not remember who she is, she doesn’t know where she is going, she doesn’t know why, where, how, or even what. Are we that important? Is Carroll showing us that it truly does not matter where we are, creatures will always act in the same way, out of selfish, arrogant, and egotistical greed. In wonderland and here at home. If we could simply take a step back and see what we are we could realize ourselves. What is “you”?”
  • Nevar – Hersh T. “At first glance it seems as thought the answer is even more confusing then the question. However, if we think for a second, raven spelled backward is nevar. The idea that he purposely misspelled a word comes to us now, but the editor who butchered this unique answer who thought he caught a mistake of the great Lewis Carroll clouds the ingenuity. The ego search that the editor was on ruined a very different style of answer that now will “nevar” be as well known.”
  • ESP – A Personal Stance – Jackson H. “The Caterpillar instructs Alice that “One side will make you grow taller, and one side will make you grow smaller.” Alice is confused as to what object the Caterpillar is referring to, but does not vocalize her befuddlement. Nevertheless, the Caterpillar replies “Of the mushroom.” The commentary reveals an interesting viewpoint on the matter: the Caterpillar has read Alice’s mind.”
  • The Democratic Dodo – Jackson H. “As I look at this passage, I can’t help but think that this is a quite literal commentary on the American system of politics. From the start, there is chaos, as people attempt to shout, wave their hands, and dominate the conversation. All this gesturing, however, doesn’t really matter, as no one gets anywhere. The only determining factor is when someone finally cries for a halt, and the madness can wind down. And, after all is said and done, no one, or maybe perhaps everyone has won. And, of course, prizes must be awarded.”
  • A Mask? – Hersh T. “However, in the book Lord of the Flies, the boys use paint to help mask themselves. Not to not get caught, but simply to lose themselves and not be responsible for their actions. In the ancient ballroom tradition of having the mask over your face so you do not know who you are with is an innocent example of masks and rather heartwarming. However, the idea of a mask often has a negative connotation. As an experienced writer, Carroll was most likely aware of this.”

Team 9:

  • “Lewis” the Ripper – Beth A. “I don’t believe that Carroll could have committed such horrendous murders. He was too preoccupied in pleasing Alice or something of that sort, and he was a somewhat celebrity, how could have he have done these things without being caught? The idea itself is rather intriguing and eerie. The thought of the author of a beloved children’s story being a serial killer?”
  • Truth and Opposition – Beth A. “I think the deeper meaning is rather harder to find, and it took me a great deal of time to figure out. Opposition and speaking the truth can either be seen together or separate. Sometimes opposing someone/something means speaking the truth, other times stopping opposition means speaking the truth. In this case, opposition and truth are joined at the hip. Taking a stand and opposing a person, or force, or some sort of authority to cause an uprising against them, requires some sort of truth to help back up that opposition.”
  • Guilty Until Proven Innocent – Beth A. “The predetermination basically shatters the whole meaning of the legal system, innocent until proven guilty, so why does Carroll use it this way? The evidence against the Knave is pretty much nothing, just witnesses cracking under pressure, or giving no evidentiary support towards the Queen. Notice that Alice does take a stand more, and speaks out against the Queen and her very odd rules. Not only the rules, but the questioning in general. She has grown up and is more of a lady now, than in the beginning of the story.”
  • Turning Wisdom on Its Head – Gabriella B. “I would have to hypothesize that Carroll planned the griffin to be exactly the opposite of what most would expect the wise mythical creature to be. He represents the absence of wisdom and order in Wonderland. It seems as if as the story progresses things become less and less clear. The story itself seems to become rather haphazard losing even the slight remnants of purpose that Alice possessed at the beginning. So by turning the personality of this majestic creature on its head he erases any remnants of reality from wonderland, removing any still clinging thoughts of normalcy from the reader’s mind.”
  • The Moral of Having a Moral – Deron M. “After the Cheshire Cat’s appearance on the Queen’s croquet ground. Alice talks to the Duchess. The Duchess tells Alice many morals that have very confusing meanings. The most interesting one is that there is always a moral if you look hard enough for it.”
  • A Cat May… – Gabriella B. ““A cat may look upon a king” Such an interesting statement, no? Although the Cheshire-Cat itself does not voice this particular thought it seems to apply to him admirably well. Originally a proverb implied that “inferiors have certain privileges in the presence of superiors.” I feel that in the context of Alice it can take on a whole new level of meaning.”
  • Love is a Battlefield – Beth A. “So, love makes people go crazy and act out. Love can change people. Love definatley did for Carroll, love changed his life. He was a somebody and a celebrity (though, for only a while) because of his love for a 10 year old child. Love can affect our lives for the better, or worse, or it could do nothing to us at all. There are some that are impervious to love, and they save themselves from hurt and perhaps the best feeling ever.”
  • When Pigs Fly – Beth A. “So, in Alice’s world anything can happen. So, Alice does have a right to think, and Alice can change anything and manipulate anyone. Alice does have the power to control and have a reign over Wonderland, though she doesn’t have a clue to that. So I care to wonder, what might happen if Alice manipulated everyone to her own power, and eventually was able to control Wonderland? How would she as a person be different and how would the people surrounding her be different?”
  • Isolation – Benedikt K. “So what if we, as social animals, are our own downfall? Alice, while in Wonderland, talks to everyone she sees, but never actually forms a group. She remains sane, but all the characters around her are parts of groups, and they are undoubtedly insane. How would humans develop as solitary beings, or beings that have no permanent ties?”
  • Off With Our Heads – Deron M. “In our society, we generally condemn such violent punishments for minor crimes. Could you imagine how the world would react to someone having their head cut off for planting the wrong type of rose bush? Thankfully society as a whole has advanced out of the strict and often murderous political structure of monarchies.”
  • A Hundred Different Roads and No Destination – Gabriella B. “So in truth for Alice it matter’s not which way she goes for she has no objective toward which she wishes to move towards. I feel that Alice only questions the Cheshire-Cat out of ingrained habit. As children we assume that if we are unsure or befuddled someone older, bigger, or more experienced obviously knows better than us and will tell us what we aught to do. And this assumption is generally correct in the real world, however in wonderland, where each person seems to follow a path unto themselves.”
  • Those Old Hags – Beth A. “So far, I have noticed that all the “older” women have been very unattractive. Carroll may have told Tenniel to draw the women a certain way-to make them look old and ugly. Alice, on the other hand, looks older than only 7 (we are told that she is 7 in an annotation in Chapter 7). So, did Tenniel have no creative direction from Carroll? Or did Carroll tell Tenniel specifically to make the older woman just dreadful looking? Yes, we know that Carroll had an obsession with Alice, so did this contribute and spew over in the illustrations?”
  • Warning: This Post Will Give You a Major Headache – Deron M. “Alice experiences two worlds in the story: the “real” world and a fantasy dreamland known as Wonderland. The real world is influenced by logic and physics. Wonderland is different. Those concepts that we take for granted do not apply there. For example you have babies turning into pigs and cats that can grin from ear to ear. You can grow (or shrink) to any size at anytime. Wonderland is a world where the practical is illogical and the impossible is possible.”
  • Sanity is Relative – Gabriella B. “For the sake of argument let us say we mean the more innocent form of madness. If that is true then of course, we are all mad. For how boring would one be if they were normal. Plain, boring, white bread indistinguishable from the multitude, but very happy within our sphere of normalcy. Furthermore, if one was “sane” how could we possibly survive surrounded by the delightfully strange people we meet everyday? We couldn’t, to live surrounded by the harmless eccentricities of today we must learn to accept these quirks much the way Alice has accepted the strange realm of Wonderland.”
  • Gaming Life – Benedikt K. “By taking life as a game, as one big fall down a rabbit hole, we are able to make better decisions based off a bigger perspective. If we resist our impulses, oftentimes we can achieve more over the long run. But we are also quicker to decide if we see it as a game, because we are bound to look at it within the terms of the game and recognizing that while sometimes a single moment can ruin a plan completely, oftentimes these moments, while embarrassing, have no impact after all.”
  • Size Does Matter – Benedikt K. “Poor Alice. Poor us. We, like her, are expected to grow as fast as possible. But somewhere along the way we will loose our innocence and our childhood. So it is up to us and those who try to help us with this to retain some youth within us. For us it is too late. The fact that I am writing a blog post, voluntarily, which is over 500 words long and am doing it on a nice Wednesday night is proof enough that I am too far gone already, along with at least a large portion of my classmates. But we can try to prevent others from falling into the same trap, and maybe reagin some of our inner child.”
  • This is Madness – Deron M. “We view Wonderland as a crazy, imaginary world. What would the inhabitants of Wonderland think of our world? Would they view us as a sane and stable society? Of course not! They would see us as insane beings that try to over-think everything while ignoring our creative voice inside of our head.”

Team 10:

  • The Peppery Pig – Brendon O-L. “In chapter 6, Alice wanders up to the Duchess’ house. When she walks in she see the Duchess, a cook, the Cheshire Cat, and a baby (which the Duchess is holding). Later in the chapter, the baby turns in a pig. To many people, this just seems to be some random event, but it is much more. Carroll is again making a subtle remark about man. Pigs are unsanitary and often represent ignorance, sloth,  greed, and evil. Babies are the opposite. They are regarded as innocent and pure.”
  • A Game of Cat and Mouse – Rachel M. “Interestingly, the cat is  an ancient symbolic animal that was considered the guardian of the Other-world. Similarly, cats embody mystery and it is said that cats are symbolic of magic, reincarnation, and independence as well as sensuality and detachment. Some big lights start flashing there. These implications are very appropriate considering the cat’s role in wonderland, giving Alice a sort of friendship as well as direction (in a roundabout way) and acting as an improvised sort of guardian to her and to Wonderland.”
  • Freudian Psychoanalysis – Brendon O-L. “With Freudian slips in mind, I would like to point out all of the scenes in Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland where Alice continues to offend the characters and her tongue continues to ’slip.’ There are many directions one could take using Freudian slips and Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. “

Team 11:

  • Hypercritical Much? – Devon H. “As Alice goes through Wonderland she becomes less of the well-mannered, well-behaved girl she started off being. As she starts her adventure she is thinking everything instead of saying it out loud. At the tea party she first slips up and speaks her thought out loud.”
  • Are These Really Annotations? – Scott M. “I’ve noticed that some of the annotations are just some obvious things that Martin Gardner may have noticed. These “analyses” are things any person could have seen. I’m starting to not really see some of the annotations as good analysis just obvious explanations for some of the happenings in wonderland. After all, it’s already been noted that the Wonderland is an “opposite world” so it’s not that hard to see how some things in this world are playoffs of things in the real world.”
  • Faith in Imagination – Darcy S. “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?”
  • Faith in the Protagonist – Darcy S. “As a child follows Alice to the point where she meets a rather malicious drug-using caterpillar, the child will certainly not feel encouraged to immediately try this drug. The drug is presented by the naturally disliked Caterpillar. From that point on, anything associated with that character will be disliked as well. If Alice displays any sort of aversion to the Caterpillar, which she does, then the child certainly will too.”
  • Supreme Motives – Darcy S. “As discussed in my previous blog post, Brutal Hostility of Adventure, there has been an unusual level of aversion expressed towards Alice as she journeys through the mysteries of Wonderland. Although, she is never discouraged by sour words or confusing logic. She is indeed a very tough cookie.”
  • Lessons Learned – Morgan P. “As I was reading chapter five, I began thinking about the strangeness behind childrens’ stories.  Most children stories are focused around death. Why? Then, when I thought about it, every story we hear or read teaches us a life lesson. Maybe there is a point behind these deep, twisted stories.”
  • Out of Place – Connor S. “Alice is starting to realize that Wonderland is a dog-eat-dog world, or in this case, a dog-eat-Alice world. Nobody goes out of their way to be nice to her like the real world. The book is essentially exposing children to the fact that in the real world, people aren’t always going to be nice to you.”
  • Alice and Freddy Mercury – Devon H. “The other day I was listening to some of my favorite songs. “Bohemian Rhapsody” by Queen came on, and the verey first line caught my attention.“Is this the real life, is it just fantasy?” Freddy poses an interesting question. As we are reading Alice in Wonderland we need to think if what we are reading was real life, or was it just the imagination of Alice? I”
  • Brutal Hostility of Adventure – Darcy S. “Every single chapter thus far, theres been a disturbing level of antipathy towards this curious innocent little girl. She seems so normal to we readers, for she has the same thought process that we do. Whereas the ever so insightful characters in Wonderland analyze and process life in a different way than young Alice. It could be in this way that Alice seems to keep insulting them: she just doesn’t function like the atypical inhabitants of Wonderland, so they are offended by her questions. After all, nobody in an insane world would question the insane.”
  • Hello Again Alice – Scott M. “It seems to me that everyone in this wonderland somehow recognizes Alice. It’s obvious that there aren’t any other normal looking young girls running around the wonderland but still no one makes a big deal out of it. It’s like they’re all used to it. Almost like they know Alice from the past, or have seen her before. Perhaps there is an explanation for this.”
  • I’m Going MAD. – Darcy S. “As it happens, the word “chortle” originates from Lewis Carroll’s Through the Looking Glass. Coincidence that we are reading Carroll’s book, and I happened to use this word in a previous blog entry? Entirely. While conducting a deep investigation upon this word, I chortled when I discovered it’s origin. Indeed, the word “chortle” is a mad word, and it comes from the mind of a mad man.”
  • Good Guys Wear White – Connor S. “This contradicts the image that Carroll seems to be giving off by making the White Rabbit seem like an innocent little rabbit wearing a white jacket. I feel like this builds up the element of surprise that someone experiences when the rabbit suggests burning the house down and killing Alice.”
  • Perplexing Correlations – Darcy S. “But, whilst chortling, I began to question how/why Carroll would have this mouse knowing the things of the outside world that he knows. Supposing that the information the mouse knows of the outside world is supplied by the White Rabbit’s trips in and out of Wonderland, there is a one way flow of information between the two worlds. He ventures outside, takes care of whatever business he desires to take care of, perhaps learns something from a German squirrel on holiday which is then carried back into Wonderland and shared with the other characters. This system (or flow, if you will) of education intrigues me. The real world plays teacher to Wonderworld via a speedy, curious rabbit.”
  • The Real Alice – Scott M. “She also seems concerned about what other people think of her or how what she does affects other people. This occurs first when she is scared of dropping the marmalade and is scared of hitting someone. Or how she might offend someone by asking what country she’s in. I believe that Alice L. may be mature in the way where she is concerned about other people’s feelings and is like a person who always says sorry when they might have not done anything at all.”
  • What Was Alice Thinking? – Morgan P. “As I was reading chapter one, there were a few things that really stood out to me. The thing I questioned the most was the character of Alice. I don’t know Alice’s exact age, but to me she seems very immature. Alice handles these strange situations differently than most people I know would. When Alice saw the rabbit, it seems as though she wasn’t too shocked by what she had just seen. If I had seen the rabbit I probably would have run to my mom. I can not help but to wonder why she seems so curious.”

Team 12:

  • Permission to Reason – Vivian H. “The moral “Be what you would seem to be” also makes one wonder. How do you know what you ’seem’ to be? Is that referring to the way others perceive you, or the way you see yourself? Or perhaps this can be taken as a suggestion to protect one’s own individuality? This quote can, once again, tie back to Alice discovering identity. A possible  implication of wonderland functioning like a mirror, where Alice meets the reflection of herself through her experiences.”
  • Unjustly Bizarre – Vivian H. “We think ’sensible’ in terms of fairness quite a bit more than we realize, and if one takes a step back to observe the way we work, we may some to the conclusion that our regular coherent customs are far from the normal we think. In this way, the world Alice is in may be a closer reflection of our own world than we thought. The rules that make no sense, the irregular impulses of the characters, are we really that far from it?”
  • Is Alice Becoming Smarter? – Adam K. “One thing that caught my attention in chapter 10 was when The Mock Turtle asks Alice if she’s seen the whiting, and she responds by saying “yes, I’ve often seen them at dinn-.” Notice how she doesn’t finish her sentence and say dinner, most likely to not offend the mock turtle. This reminds of when she’s swimming with the mouse in her pool of tears and talks about cats to the mouse, which offends him.”
  • First Thought? Of Course I Ought! (Ch.12) – Emma L. “By the way…What ever happened to Dinah? Carroll never says that Alice picked up her cat and ran off to drink tea. Could Dinah have fell down the Rabbit Hole and become the Cheshire cat? Was Dinah ever real? She was a major thought of Alice in the beginning although as the story progressed she never mentioned Dinah. Any ideas?”
  • First Thought? Of Course I Ought! (Ch.11) – Emma L. “I wonder why when the Rabbit presented the case at the beginning he said that the Queen baked some tarts, although at the end of the chapter it was the Duchess’s tarts that were questioned. Did Carroll mean for this to happen? & why did Alice grow when she did not eat nor drink anything? Could this be a sign that it was not the “Drink Me” or the “Eat Me” objects did not change Alice’s growth, it twas what she was thinking and feeling that made her grow either larger or smaller.”
  • First Thought? Of Course I Ought! (Ch.10) – Emma L. “I also noticed the several times Alice actually checked herself when talking to the Gryphon and the Mock Turtle. She is learning how to control her thoughts and start becoming patient with herself. I believe this is a perfect example of how Alice is transforming through Wonderland.”
  • First Thought? Of Course I Ought! (Ch.9) – Emma L. “In the beginning of this chapter, we see the Duchess again, yet her personality has changed dramatically. She shows affection, kindness, and sympathy unlike her grouchy, violent, selfish attitude when Alice first met her in Chapter 6. I agree with Alice’s assumption with “perhaps it was only the pepper that had made her so savage when they met in the kitchen” (pg. 90). Could other object/elements change other personalities of the creatures and Alice throughout Wonderland?”
  • Turn It Inside Out – Vivian H. “For instance,saying what we mean is not the same thing as meaning what we say. When we contemplate the ideas in our head, they always morph into a different idea by the time it comes out of our mouth. This implies we do not truly understand what we are saying most of the time. Seeing how the nature of words themselves are tricky to grasp, one needs to possess the ability to wield them correctly.”
  • Going Somewhere? – Vivian H. “A little madness is also what makes us unique, what defines us. For instance, one persons’ interpretation of “mad” is different from another’s interpretation. This is just like the way a person views the world in terms of their own perspective. Our perspectives affect our actions that take us on a path we are traveling. Therefore madness may be one vessel through which we discover a new route.”
  • First Thought? Of Course I Ought! (Ch.8) – Emma L. “By the way, what a weird ladder the cards are using. I don’t think I have ever seen a ladder with one of the legs a straight poll/stick. Anything can happen in Wonderland I guess.”
  • First Thought? Of Course I Ought! (Ch.7) – Emma L. “By the look of the title I have a pretty good feeling we will be saying “cheerio!” and putting our pinkies out while sipping cups of tea with the Mad Hatter and March Hare. I was disappointed that the Disneyfide “Happy Un-birthday!” was not originally in Carroll’s story although the ongoing conversation of Time did entertain me throughout this chapter.”
  • First Thought? Of Course I Ought! (Ch.6) – Emma L. “One of the things I like about Carroll’s writing style is that he describes the scene in detail that allows the reader to picture the scenery and have a thought on how the voices of the characters are suppose to sound like.
  • First Thought? Of Course I Ought! (Ch.5) – Emma L. “One of the aspects of this chapter that interested me was how the Caterpillar never really explained any of his answers to Alice. He either asked more questions or replied succinctly to Alice’s questions. Could this be because the Caterpillar wanted Alice to discover the answers to her own questions by herself?”
  • First Thought? Of Course I Ought! (Ch.3) – Emma L. “I find it odd that Alice keeps referring to things in Wonderland as “queer”. I could understand if she just entered Wonderland, yet she keeps emphasizing the fact that everything is not what it seems. Although, for me, its just annoying. I can’t help wondering if Carroll is symbolizing the mouse and the other animals as people in the “real” world. I know from the annotations, it says the Mouse represents Miss Prickett the children’s governess, yet could the Mouse be more than that?”
  • First Thought? Of Course I Ought! (Ch.4) – Emma L. “Was there anyone else who was confused on Alice’s comment on trying to find the lovely garden she saw through the key hole of the door? Is Alice still in the room of doors but just keeps adjusting her size to her surroundings? That is an interesting thought though. What could be a giant in the W. Rabbits house could be very tiny, perhaps even microscopic, in the room of doors. The transition from the doors to the sea of tears and then to the bank was so smooth and unnoticeable that one can just accept Alice is somewhere else other than where she started.”
  • Multiple Me’s – Vivian H. “Alice has also been quite easy going given all the odd situations she has been in. She is quite accepting of the queer ordeals. Not only do the characters seem to be a part of Alice, but also the events that occur. Alice can not seem to recall the exact words of the verses she memorized, but instead makes the verses her own. This could mean her experiences now are her own, and not what she was taught by other people. The distortion in her size also relates back to Alice herself. Her body grows, shrinks, and stretches representing the her own experiences in her journey.”
  • And Up We Grow -Vivian H. “The “lessons to learn” Alice refers to, once again reflects her naivety towards thinking there is always a set way to experience life, and a definite answer for every experience.”

Team 13:

  • Risky Business – Kathy B. “Similarly, when Alice plunged down the rabbit hole, she did not consider the consequences of her actions. Anything could have been at the bottom of that hole, but her only focus was to follow the curious rabbit. Then, when things started to go haywire, she says that she almost wishes that she didn’t go down the hole, but, at the same time, she is glad she did. Why is this? Why do people always regret something, but never enough to push that metaphorical reset button?”
  • The Origin – Edward C. “Charles was a mathematician, logician and a clergyman. Though he was a logician, his work, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, is full of unreal moments. It is hard to understand how someone who is so logical can write something so illogical.”
  • Is Wonderland the Island?-The Duchess’ Baby – Kathy B. “The Duchess’ baby is another character of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland that reminds me greatly of Lord of the Flies. The baby reminds me of all of the boys that embraced their surroundings on the island to the point that they greatly resembled the pigs that they hunted. Recall that we are first introduced to the baby when it is being terribly mistreated by the duchess. This, in a way, is similar to the boys’ misadventures on the island.”
  • Is Wonderland the Island?-The Cheshire Cat – Kathy B. “I have noticed many similarities in characters of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and those of Lord of the Flies, especially in Chapter 6. This will be my first blog entry for “Is Wonderland the Island”, focusing on the Cheshire Cat.”
  • The Late Rabbit – Susie C. “During Mr. Long’s quiz, he mentioned that if the Rabbit were late then he would be dead. As I thought about this statement, I realized, “It is a pun!” If the Rabbit is late then he shall become the “late” White Rabbit, as in the deceased White Rabbit. I am not sure if this is one of Lewis Carroll’s many word plays, but I thought it was worth sharing.”

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