The "Alice Project"

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

Day 26 Recommendations November 24, 2009

Filed under: Student Entries,Week 4 of the Project — Christian Long @ 1:07 am

Team #1:

  • Parallel Personalities – Rachel L. “Suddenly ideas and questions began to rush into my head. Is the entire story a reflection of Alice’s previous life? Are all of the characters a reflection of a portion of Alice’s personality? I know it is a stretch but just think about it.”
  • In Between* – Rachel L. “For the fictional Alice this is simply a terrible inconvenience, but for Alice Liddell this was her life. She must be able to retain some of her child-like self even as she makes this transition to adulthood. Otherwise she would lose it forever. Perhaps Carroll wanted Alice to be able to read this story that way she would never grow old. So that her inner child could live on even after her body gets older.”
  • Stories Linked – Alex C. “Here’s an interesting comparison inspired by Caroline McCarten and her blog post: Daydream or Nightmare? She says that Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland is similar to The Wizard of Oz. I began to think, is The Wizard of Oz based on Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. I mean we can link The Matrix and Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, why can’t we link The Wizard of Oz. Alice falls down the rabbit hole, and Dorothy’s house gets sucked up in a tornado. They both have adventures in their different “Wonderlands.””
  • Hidden Meaning Is Not Required – Erin M. “Carroll said himself that this was intended to have no meaning, yet people continue to attempt to make sense out of a nonsensical writing. The fact of the matter is, this book should have been left alone.”

Team #2:

  • Business as Usual – Meighan A. “Wonderland seems to have a past since the characters seem to have histories and day-to-day lives. You would think, since it is all a dream, that Wonderland would have fresh new characters dreamed up who wouldn’t have been able to know each other before because they didn’t exist until Alice fell asleep.”
  • Finding Yourself – Jenna K. “Perhaps she has regained sanity and now, she finds it odd to forget who one is. Perhaps her journey is about to end because she has found herself. Like the only way to leave Wonderland is by finding yourself”
  • Is Lewis Carroll Actually Wonderland? – Meighan A. “Now thanks to Vivian’s entry, “And Up We Grow”, I have come to adopt her opinion of Wonderland being a place of innocence. If that is so, then it seems  reasonable to me that Carroll would have based Wonderland and its characters off of himself. He didn’t want to see his friends grow up and change and he created a world where Alice literally couldn’t grow up. As Vivian said “Alice also thinks “at least there’s no room to grow up any more here.” this might also imply that she can retain her innocence in this world, while in the world she left, sooner or later she would have to face the realities of growing up.” If he could have, he might have made himself a barrier for their growth. “
  • Alice’s Adventures in the Kitchen? – Miles W. “From the “ORANGE MARMALADE” to the Duchess’s pepper, food makes many important appearances in Alice. First let’s skip the random marmalade she sees on the shelf going down the rabbit hole and start off with the “DRINK ME” bottle. This triggers the story and Alice would not be the same story without it. It’s possibly the most renowned occurrence within the story and the only thing I remembered from seeing the movie when I was in preschool”
  • Don’t Enter a Land of Wonder Looking for Anything Except Things to Make You Wonder More – Meighan A. “We can observe symbolism and bring it to each other’s notice, and formulate opinions on what we read, but in the case of Wonderland itself – not Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland but the place- we cannot rationalize anything for sure because we don’t know what was going on in Carroll’s mind.”
  • Is Reality Not Good Enough? – Meighan A. “Throughout the story we are presented with abnormal creatures and places, But why? Is our world not good enough that one must escape it through a dream, or for us; escape through a story about a dream?”

Team #3:

  • Simple Schooling – Alex F. “It rather amuses me that even in a mixed-up world like Wonderland, school is still an unpleasant experience. In fact, even if Wonderland is an odd and mixed up place, the characters still seem to be more intelligent that Alice. They’re constantly badgering her about being a “simpleton” and snapping at her for asking silly questions. Now, seeing as this is such a strange place, it makes a bit of sense that uglification wouldn’t have the simple, obvious definition that the Gryphon gives. But, since it’s Wonderland, then you might be able to assume that since nothing is as it seems, then everything is as it seems in the most simple and obvious way. And that is why this book is giving me a headache”
  • Curiouser and Curiouser… – Ryan S. “Why is it when one reads Alice, we get the distinct feeling that we are seeing half the image? As if there was something we are missing?”
  • The Caucus Race – Colton C. “A caucus race symbolizes the government of that time. Like the race, the politicians would just run around thinking that they were going to get something done, but never would. Also when the mouse’s idea fails, it can be interpreted that Alice’s governess was hardly ever right. As I was browsing through some website I came across another idea about the caucus race. It said that the race can signify that there is no meaning to life itself.”
  • Who are You? – Colton C. “y having the caterpillars asks short questions but emphasizing you and me allows us to think about it. It makes us take a question like, “who are you?”, and try to really understand who we are. The caterpillar smoking the hookah allows the caterpillar to ask whatever it wants without any question. Like in ancient times, the philosophers would take drugs to get in a dream or trance like state in order to understand the deeper meaning of things.This is probably why the caterpillar is asking “who are you?” and not just “who are you” like what is your name.”
  • Pig Boy – Colton C. “But then I realized that the baby turning into a pig does not contradict his idea at all. The baby turning into a pig is what he says is supposed to happen. So after further analyzing, I had to change my thoughts, and I realized that Carroll had not contradicted his ideas after all.”

Team #4:

  • Fantasy Nightmares -Brittany M. “Hersh has inspired me in his post, Dream Ending? Oh, Please. He brought up the fact of how authors often introduce us to amazing fantasy worlds that later end in the traditional “It was all just a dream.” This frustrates me to no end.”
  • Trial of Reason – Brittany M. “When Alice attends the hearing for the mystery of who stole the tarts, she is looking for some sanity. Wouldn’t it make sense that after all this time in a land of unsolved riddles, mad hatters, and queens obsessed with beheading, that she could possibly find some sanity and reasoning for everything at a court of justice? Wrong.  It is in fact possible that there is no reasoning for anything in the book and there is nothing deeper than what there appears to be; but how many times do we try to find meanings in meaningless things?”
  • When You Mix a Cup of Carroll…Part Two. – Kyle M. “This highlights not only another divide between Carroll and Disney as artists, but the notable distinctions between the two mediums in which they worked. For a blockbuster release, an 80-90 minute run time is ideal, for both profit (More showings can occur each day) and audience satisfaction**. Despite the fact that Alice is rather short by book standards, if a beat for beat, line for line adaptation was to be made, it’d be rather lengthy and, to be frank, utterly dull. While a film does not have to be a skeletal, hollow structure that moves from plot point to plot point without time for emotional development, it needs to maintain a healthy pace to keep the audience engaged and invested in its characters (to give an example, some might say Peter Jackson’s King Kong violated this fundamental tenet***). If one is to consider the notion that Disney held very little interest in painting broad political statements with his Alice movie, it’s understandable that he would leave out an extended Dodo sequence.”
  • The Timeless Tea Party – Derek M. “A tea party is supposed to be formal and relaxing. Not in Wonderland. The dichotomy between the dream and the reality is noticeable by any figment of the imagination. Imaginary worlds entail strange events, which should be expected. Expect the unexpected! A place without time is unexpected, so expect it. Wonderland is an unexpected place to live, so expect the oddities.”
  • Where is the Rabbit Going? – Angela W. “I wonder if it upsets Alice that the rabbit never pays attention to her. The last time we see the rabbit is during court and the rabbit is the person that calls for the next witness to go to the stand. It seems to me that he was never trying to reach the Duchess. Is the rabbit a symbol of people in the real world? people of our world usually have those days or moments when we are late, get lost and get confused about where we are going. What was the rabbit doing out of Wonderland anyway?”

Team #5:

  • Queen of Hearts – Alex E. “Why would Carroll have made the queens attitude to be the opposite of the card type that he choose for her? Prehaps he was trying to show how woman would sometimes be if placed in a place of power. But other than making her be the opposite besides that it is Wonderland that the Queen holds domain over, but what other reasons could be hidden in the story. In the margins Carroll wrote that the Queen was supposed to be a blind and aimless fury, which describes the Queen perfectly. Could the Queen be simliy a funny part for children with a angry Queen, or did the Queen have a darker purpose, or both?”
  • Your Dream World and the Real World are One and the Same – Rivu D. “Many people have brought up different thoughts about dreams and reality and how they are connected, or in some cases how they aren’t connected at all. If you were to ask me however, there is only one world, the real world, and dreams are apart of the real world and not a separate entity entirely. That’s not to say that there isn’t another wonderland somewhere far off in god knows where, but dreams are a part of reality, albeit a rather quirky part of reality.”
  • The Big Dream – Melissa H. “So Daniel Lott wrote a really good blog about the whole concept of this book being a dream, and I am going to feed off of what he wrote. His question at the end of his blog was, ” So is this really all a dream?” I also think that it is very odd that Alice could recite every single thing about her dream and then her sister then had a dream about Alice’s dream. This is a little ironic right? More like very ironic. But do we really know when the actual dream started?”
  • Step 5: The Belly of the Whale – Melissa H. “But I think that Alice’s time in the “belly of the whale” is really when she gets past the point of the curtain. Even though she doesn’t technically get out through that way, but when she cries. Alice cries because she is very confused and doesn’t know what to do anymore. She is sad and misses home. So this is the point when she is very confused but when all the animals come and talk with her she feels better and I think that starts on the point of her feeling more welcome and interested in her journey.”
  • Pat the Apple Digger – Alex E. “There is the Irish brogue, or a strong accent, the Irish slang and Pats status. Was Carroll prejudice against Irish? From what I could find, he did have a little of Irish blood in him, but I have failed to find if he was prejudice. But the British were and still not in some areas not friends with the Irish, so he could have shared that trait and included a Irish farmer that served a timid white Rabbit. This is just another point of how different our culture is today then Carroll’s time and how we don’t understand Carroll’s writing.”

Team #6:

  • More on MoralsHaley M. “In chapter nine “The Mock Turtle’s Story” of The Annotated Alice, the Duchess has many morals that she shares with Alice. She tells Alice, “Every thing’s got a moral, if only you can find it”. As they begin walking the Duchess gives Alice morals for many things. Some of her morals include:”
  • Funbus – Michael P. “I like how the lyrics are saying how everyone seems to think that we have to keep doing the same boring thing. Any of the lines could really be applied to something in Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. I don’t even know what some of the lines could mean, but I think all of them could be applied to the story some how. What do you think?”
  • Why Kids Love Alice – Haley M. “Now that we have finished reading The Annotated Alice, it is quite clear that it is not a book understood by young children. No, there are no princes and princesses in the story and no “happily ever after” but maybe that is why this book became so popular. Sure, it did have few similarities like the Queen of Hearts could be associated with the “big bad wolf” or the “mean step mother”. But overall it is unique, really unlike the others.”
  • Risks: When Should They Be Taken? – Mike N. “I was thinking about the risks Alice took while she was in Wonderland, and whether or not she should have taken them.”
  • No Right Answer – Michael P. “I do not think that Carroll wrote Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland with a goal to send a specific message or make the story mean one specific thing. I think Carroll merely hinted at, either accidentally or on purpose, at certain subjects using Alice, Wonderland, and the various characters and situations within the story. There is no single “the meaning of this story is this” moments. You have to figure it out for yourself.”
  • Does There Always Have to Be a Meaning – Michael P. “Does literature need to be deep and philosophical with hidden themes and meanings to be good? Well it seems so. All of the “classics” that we read in school have other meanings. Well at least, according to our teachers. Why are there no famous “simple” books? Because for whatever reason, we seem to have a need to complicate things.”
  • Just a Girl with Her Toys – Kristen K. “This entry was inspired by a thought that occurred to me while commenting on Hersh’s post, Who Are We? Yes, mine is another entry about sizes. But instead of thinking about the significance of Alice’s sizes, what of the other characters’?”
  • The Queen: An Older Sibling – Kristen K. “The Queen appears to be somewhat of an older sibling. While she acts that way towards Alice, she seems to act the same way towards every other character as well. For example, the Queen is constantly shouting “Off with her head!” to whoever she sees. However, she never acts on those threats. This is reminiscent of an older brother (or in this case, sister) that always raises their arm to hit their younger sibling but never actually hits them. Additionally, the empty threats link up with an angry sibling’s own meaningless bluffs, such as “I’m going to kill you!””

Team #7:

Team #8:

  • Does Carroll Know? – Hersh T. “We can obviously tell that Carroll is leading us somewhere. The only question is where? And, does the journey he is taking us on matter more than the actual place he is taking us? Maybe that realization is the destination itself? But, he must have known that when written with such wit and character that this book would gain national recognition and fame. And so he must be trying to give the world something to chew on as subtly as he could. This idea of journey versus destination has already been discussed in a previous blog post.”
  • Was It Real? – Daniel L. “I thought it was very odd how Alice could recite everything that had happened in her dream. Then her sister ironically had a dream about Alice’s dream. Which brings me to the question: was it all really a dream?”
  • Dream Ending? Oh, Please. – Hersh T. “Why do authors do that? They have weaved a fantastical world and imaginary rules that govern this place, and then at the point where we are finally beginning to question and perceive, end it? The ending of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland irritates me to no end. Why even begin a book if it is just going to end in, “Oh and she/he woke up, it was all just a dream.” Why?!”

Team #9:

  • To Question Authority – Gabriella B. “On a more meaning based query, what if the cat is questioning authority. To what end does he wish the line of questioning to come to? For arguments sake let us use the generic coming of age theory. As we grow up we are forced to find our own opinions and perceptions in life. Will we follow what our parents believe in? Or will we make a new path? Follow our friends or charter a course on our own?”
  • Are the Rich Getting Richer (or Snobbier)? – Deron M. “Going all the back to chapter 7, one thing that struck me was how much of a brat Alice acted like during the tea party. She rudely planted herself down in an open seat without even asking if it was taken. The March Hare took offense to Alice assuming that the seat was hers. Alice should have kept quite and apologized for her actions but instead became angry when the Hare got back at her by offering wine that really wasn’t there.”
  • Martha Stewart Better Watch Out – Beth A. “In our last CoverItLive session, our group came up with a metaphor for Alice’s entirety. Basically, Carroll does have all of his ingredients laid out for this story, and when he puts them all into the bowl, the batter is lumpy and doesn’t work out so well, yet when you back that lumpy mix, his cupcakes came out to be delicious-but a different type of delicious. A type of deliciousness that no one has ever tasted before, but the overall feedback of his cupcakes are high. So high, to where it puts Carroll on the map, at least amongst London.”
  • The Evolution of the Cheshire-Cat – Gabriella B. “Due to my fascination with the Cheshire-cat I was curious as to what comes to mind when we think of this cat. As we all know the moment an author creates a character, that character is up for the interpretation of the reader or in the Alice in wonderland movies the viewer.  So for your viewing pleasure I created a Prezi presentation (slide show with the amazing ability to make you motion sick) which shows a small collection of the varied metamorphosis our beloved cat has undergone:  Cheshire-Cat presentation”
  • CoverItLive Session #3 – whole team.So, here is our full-team CoverItLive session where we talk about: the morals mentioned by the dutchess in chapter 9; the puns and references made by Carroll, in particular to math and victorian society; and what values Carroll tried to embed in his readers, especially Alice Love to hear what you thought about our conversation.”
  • All Babies Grow Up to Be Pigs – Gabriella B. “What if we assume that Wonderland is only a reflection of the real world? Then perhaps Carroll is insinuating a general statement on the level to which mankind has fallen to. In fact this line could and probably is used by green activists all over the world. They seem so convinced of the general depravity of mankind going so far as to call us “earth pigs”, is it so far of a stretch to say this statement is truly reality?”
  • {nihil} – Benedikt K. “But if we cannot distinguish in between our existence and non-existence, then how can the concept of existence even have any meaning? Existence itself mean nothing, leads to nothing, is … nothing. There is no meaning to Alice’s existence in wonderland. She cannot prove whether she is there or not, thus there is no meaning in her being there. Whether or not she is sleeping or not is irrelevant, since we cannot even prove she exists.”

Team #10:

  • The Fairy-Pillar – Shannon L. “In chapter five Alice meets the Caterpillar. As I read this chapter, I couldn’t help but think that the Caterpillar reminds me of the fairy godmother in Cinderella.”
  • What of the Mock Turtle? – Rachel M. “I also understood that the Mock Turtle was melancholy and forlorn because he used to be a real turtle. It is never revealed to us what caused this change because the Turtle goes off on tangents frequently. The turtle did explain that when he was young he was still a normal turtle. I suppose one could conclude that sometime between his childhood and his current state something caused him to become artificial and false (in other words, “mock”). Perhaps Carroll is suggesting that maturation causes someone to change in upsetting ways, thus favoring the allure of simple childhood?”

Team #11:

  • Now We’re Mad – Darcy S. “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.”
  • What was Alice Thinking? part2 – Morgan P. “I have to give Rivu D. credit for the inspiration of this post…Rivu made a point in his team’s blog that the readers aren’t exactly “attached” to the character of Alice. That really made me think! I agree with him. For some reason I seem to feel unattached to the story and to Alice. The main reason I came up with is that Carroll did not give us much insight on Alice. We barely know anything about the character. The character of Alice does not have any of those qualities that generally draw the readers in. We really have not seen her personality be portrayed in the story. We as readers, don’t have an emotional connection with the character. This was probably a big mistake on Carroll’s part. Why aren’t we attached to the story? Is it because Carroll wrote it for Alice Liddell?”
  • What Is It about Alice? – Morgan P. “In class, Mr Long told us that his son, Beckett, loves to watch the show iCarly. Mr Long thought it was strange because his son is only three-and a half years old. The show iCarly is meant for middle school or high school age kids. It is funny that Beckett loves iCarly even though he does not really understand it. Beckett probably does not get the story of the show or the technology and dialog in it. That made me wonder. What is it that attracts kids to the story of Alice?”
  • Alice the Movie – Scott M. “The other day, before I had finished the book, I was getting curious as to how the story ended, so I whipped out the old VHS player and got the cartoon Disney version of Alice in Wonderland, and started to watch it. I was very anxious to see the movie I watched when I was a kid and see what I thought of it now. I was actually very surprised at what I was watching. I hardly understood what was happening.”
  • Identity Crisis – Devon H. “Now to play a different card of this situation is to say that Alice’s journey in Wonderland actually shows her who she really is, instead of who she acts like. She just thinks she doesn’t know who she is, because she doesn’t recognize this person that is coming out during this adventure.”
  • Who is Carroll? – Morgan P. “If you could, please answer the following questions: What was your first impression of Lewis Carroll? Did your impression change after reading this and learning about him? Did you get a better or worse impression of him?”

Team #12:

  • The Not-So-Heroic Journey – Adam K. “Many people have blogged about Alice’s supposed Hero Journey, I would argue the opposite, not because I agree with the opposite point of view, but because no one has blogged about it.”
  • Meandering Musings – Vivian H. “One other thought that occurred to me was that there is no justification regarding the ideas that have been given to Alice since birth, for instance the invisible rules of society. How do you know, what you know is really true? You might merely think you know the reason for something. I would say overall, Alice has learned to think in a different way, and when she returns back to her world she will begin to question (or even wrestle with) the very idea of what we see as logical.”

Team #13:

  • Life is Just a Game of Cards.. – Amber W. “The quote, ”Life is fair in the way that it is unfair to everyone” relates so well to this part of Alice’s journey. Amongst the real world there are tons of cheaters, liars and thieves. Being young and naive, Alice may not realize this. Carroll does a nice job of showing these little lessons about life through the game of croquet between Alice and the Queen. Through the croquet game, Alice is shown not everything is fair and people aren’t always so nice no matter how nice she is in return. Life is simply just a game of cards, you never know what it might throw at you.”
  • Judgement Day is Every Day – Amber W. “Throughout this project, I had a very bad case of writer’s block. Not knowing what to expect my first time reading Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, I found it difficult to analyze the story. I was told to write about anything I found interesting. Yet, when I read the book I saw it simply as a confusing story with no meaning, written only for entertainment. I found this to be untrue though, as I really started looking into this classic story.”
  • Where in the World Did That Come From? – Susie C. “Was anyone else wondering where in the world the shore came from?”
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