Why Not?

The Parabola Of Insanity by Jackson
December 3, 2009, 7:44 am
Filed under: Jackson

I’m noticing that Alice follows a strange path of mindset as she gets deeper and deeper into Wonderland.

When Alice arrives in Wonderland, she is confused by the strange new people, places, and events that take place. This is natural, as she has just arrived in Wonderland, and is sane. However, she eventually goes insane once she has spent enough time in this strange new world. With each passing moment, she is drawn deeper and deeper into the framework of Wonderland, and she slowly loses her “real-world mind” as she becomes sane in Wonderland. However, once it is time for her to leave, she slowly begins becoming saner and saner in the real world, until, at the point at which she is perfectly sound of mind in the real world, she escapes from Wonderland. This means that she becomes confused as she is leaving Wonderland, as well as entering it. Here’s a visual representation of this effect.

(Chart made by me)

This simple chart shows Alice’s sanity decreasing rapidly after she enters Wonderland, making a smooth curve as she reaches her furthest into insanity, then rising back up again to make her escape. Insanity follows a smooth path, and it is this that makes it such a slippery slope to descend.

Our CoverItLive discussion by Jackson
December 3, 2009, 7:44 am
Filed under: Team

Hersh, Daniel and Jackson had an awesome CoverItLive discussion, and we thought we’d share it with anyone who happens to read our blog.


Who or What is Strange? by Katie R
December 3, 2009, 7:43 am
Filed under: Katie

First of all, what is the definition of strange?

To many, it is something that is rather out of place and doesn’t seem to belong. This can pertain to Alice in many ways. When Alice is first arriving in this strange place, she is the one that doesn’t seem to fit in. All of the characters that Alice encounters perceive her to be the one that doesn’t blend in with their surroundings. For instance, when Alice meets the characters at the tea party, (The Mad Hatter, The March Hare, and The Mouse) they carry on a conversation that would seem ridiculous for a normal person like Alice to comprehend. However, to them, Alice is the one that doesn’t understand what is going on. Throughout the story, Alice is constantly coming across situations that would only be appropriate for a dream.

It depends on the circumstances on what is normal and what is not. In Alice’s dream, talking animals, disappearing cats, and talking playing cards are not considered out of the ordinary. Sometimes, in real life, things that appear to be strange do have a place in reality. If the situation calls for it, we can also change our ways to fit the circumstances. If we don’t know how to fit into our environment, we would appear strange, just like Alice. It would be nice to be like Alice. Somehow, even though she is the odd character, those around her accept that she is strange. Even though they realize this, they somehow go on with their lives and get to know her better. Alice is just like everybody else on this planet. Every single person on this earth wants to be able to fit and blend in with everybody else.

Recap of the Cover it live session by Daniel L.
December 3, 2009, 7:41 am
Filed under: Daniel

Last night Hersh, Jackson, and I did a CoverItLive session. The session went really well and we had a lot of good arguments that really helped with the questions that I had in the story. One of the questions was if it was good that there is a movie coming out for The Adventures of Alice in Wonderland. We all came to an agreement that making movies out of books, takes away the reader’s imagination.

Also we had a good argument about the Cheshire Cat. We talked about how creepy it was that the Cheshire Cat kept disappearing. Also how the Cheshire Cat was always watching over everything in wonderland. Jackson made a good point when he said the Cheshire Cat may have been the God of wonderland. He backed that up by saying that the Ancient Egyptian’s used Cats as God like figures. Which then ties into the author because the author of of Alice in Wonderland was into supernatural things.

The last argument we had was about Alice’s dream. We all came to an agreement that it was very odd how Alice woke up, and her sister also knew about the dream. Which made the question of was it all really a dream? Or was it one of those dreams inside of a dream? Also maybe her sister was trapped in the same wonderland as Alice.

Poll by Hersh T.
December 3, 2009, 7:40 am
Filed under: Hersh

A question that has been bugging me for some time is in this poll. Please tell me what you think.

Mixmaster Alice by Jackson
December 3, 2009, 7:40 am
Filed under: Jackson

I love music. I’m always a fan of interesting tunes, indie music, classic rock, and my closet interest, electronica. So I was ticked pink when, while doing my Alice homework, I made a harmonic discovery. An audio artist, by the name of Nick Bertke, has taken sounds from the animated Disney movie “Alice in Wonderland,” and, using only those sounds, has mixed together a fantastic, dreamy electro-pop song. Listen to it here, before going further (headphones are strongly recommended).

I love this piece of music. I think that the song flows well from element to element, and that the bass and the treble are mixed together well to provide a tone that is neither too deep or too high. I also think that the variety of sounds used, as well as how ingenious Bertke is in mixing them, is astounding. I really do think that as a semi-instrumental piece, it’s one of the best I know. While it is, in effect, a simple loop, it’s very pleasing to the ear, and I find myself coming back to listen to it time and again.

It also provides an interesting metaphor for Alice’s adventures. Alice, in her adventures, is broken up and pieced together. It wouldn’t be strange to see the chapters presented in an entirely different order. I think her adventures in Wonderland are so building-block like that they really could be shuffled and rearranged, at least some of them. For example, the Mad Tea Party could go almost anywhere in the story, as could the caucus-race.

I think that overall, the song provides a good analogy to the story itself. When the clips are shuffled around, the story too, can bend with the musical wind. The song and the story both provide an example of how almost anything can be bent to a common will.

Bast To the Future by Jackson
December 3, 2009, 7:39 am
Filed under: Jackson

Lewis Carroll is not the most conventional of writers. When he puts his pen to paper, cliches fall before him as he deftly maneuvers around trap after common writer’s trap. Metaphors rise from the ground in mighty pillars, climbing to the sky to become the framework of his planet, supporting the massive, expansive demesnes he creates. Connections fly from the earth, flying from his world to ours and threading themselves together in an immense web of correlation and understanding. Gracefully, he tosses a completed manuscript to the floor. The tome shudders, pauses, then expands upward and outward, covering the distance between worlds in mere seconds. In a few moments, a completed bridge lies between our rational world, and Carroll’s personal universe. In his world, as well as a growing part of ours, he is a god. It seems fitting that he has chosen to outsource his work, and to create a sub-god to watch over one of his worlds. This god is none other than the Cheshire Cat.

In ancient Egypt, there were more than a few gods for the people to worship and please. There were gods for almost all things that were necessary for daily life, and some of these overlapped. There were several gods of death, and almost all the gods had a strange backstory that would have each filled a book. One important goddess was Bast. Bast was the protector of Lower Egypt, and the goddess of cats. Cats were very important to all societies of the time, as they kept away vermin (and, in desert lands, snakes). No vermin = no loss of crops due to pests. Cats, then were revered by the Egyptians. Laws prevented any individual from harming a cat, on pain of death. Cats were so sacred that the Persians used cats as a shield in battle when fighting the Egyptians, who would not harm an deified species.

Because of this feline apotheosis, Bast has become one of the better-known Egyptian gods. It stands to reason, then that Lewis Carroll would have used the ancient Egyptian religion as a basis for deifying one of his characters.

The Cheshire Cat is one of the best-known characters in Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, for one reason or another. However, the cat is much more than a humble giver of advice. The Cat is always looking over all the other characters, stirring up trouble, and helping Alice along when she needs it. Seen here, the Cat is the source of the dispute between the King and the executioner.

It is obvious to see the omniscience in the picture. The Cat is not only pictured above the other characters, but is also larger than life. In all the mayhem, it’s a safe bet to assume that the Cat is not at all harmed in the scene, let alone executed or beheaded.

The Cheshire Cat is one of the most interesting characters in the entire book. Throughout the novel, he makes mischief, guides Alice, and oversees his subjects. While Carrol maybe the master of the Cat, the Cat is the master of Wonderland.

The Cheshire Cat by Daniel L.
December 3, 2009, 7:37 am
Filed under: Daniel

One of the questions that I have is, what is the Cheshire Cat? The Cheshire Cat is a very mysterious character in the story that we dont really know anything about. The Cheshire Cat gives off a very creepy personality by the way he is always looking over everything in Wonderland. Also the Chehsire cat is always disapearing. He also doesn’t speak very much. When he does speak, he says that everyone is crazy. Which is kind of ironic because he looks pretty crazy himself the way he is always smiling.

The Cheshire cat has a very creepy smile that makes him more like a trickster. Whats weird about this though is he never does any tricks or pranks on people in wonderland. “The grin like a Cheshire cat” was a common phrase when Lewis Carroll was alive. Cheshire was the county where Lewis was born. So that is obviously where Carroll got the character’s name. Why did Lewis Carroll feel the need to put this character in the story. What did this character represent?

In the English County of Cheshire it is said that the cheeses were sometimes molded into the shape of a grinning cat. Also there was a painter in Cheshire that would paint grinning lions on side boards all around the area in Cheshire. Why is it that this English County is so obsessed with grinning cats? Also in the story, the queen told Alice that all cats grin.

What is Lewis Carroll trying to portray with the character of the Cheshire Cat?

Shouldn’t She be Trying to Escape? by Daniel L.
December 3, 2009, 7:36 am
Filed under: Daniel

There are many things that interest me in The Alice in Wonderland story. Also there are many things that confuse me in Alice in Wonderland. One of the main things that have confused me is why Alice does not try to escape from Wonderland. Alice seems like she doesn’t feel that she is in a weird place. Its almost like she thinks everything is normal. For example, when she was falling, all she could think about was her cat and if it would be fed. I know that if I was falling for a long period of time, and I didn’t know where I was going, Im pretty sure I wouldn’t be thinking about my pet at home.

As Alice is in Wonderland, it seems that Alice doesn’t mind being there. She is not confused at all about just seeing a rabbit with a watch and how shes all the sudden in some very odd place. Why isn’t she confused? Why isn’t she trying to escape? I just found that very odd about how comfortable she is in a place that she has no idea about. When she meets very odd characters while she is in Wonderland, she still isn’t weirded out. I guess maybe when you are dreaming, everything seems normal. Still though usually in a dream there is a point in time where you know that you are actually dreaming. Alice never knew that she was dreaming, she thought everything was real. All I know is if I saw a rabbit with a watch run down a rabbit hole, first off I dont think I would follow it but if I did, I’m pretty sure I wouldnt be as comfortable in Wonderland as Alice was. Even when Alice was getting smaller after she drank the drink, she was still worrying about things that had nothing to do with her shrinking or getting taller.

All I know is, if I was in wonderland I would of tried to find a way to escape, especially after I saw all the weird things that were in it.

The true hero by Daniel L.
December 3, 2009, 7:35 am
Filed under: Daniel

In the story of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, everyone is trying to compare Alice with the ” Hero’s Journey¬† steps, and they are trying to come up with reasons of why Alice is the hero.

For one thing, there are alot of steps that are missing in order for Alice to be a hero. Also I dont think that there is just one hero in this story. Even though Alice obviously didn’t refuse the call. She followed right after the rabbit which was the call in the story. Alice really doesn’t have any heroine qualities.

When doing the CoverItLive session, Hersh made a very good point when saying,

“Maybe alice isn’t a hero, or in this case a heroine. Sometimes a story does not need one clear hero but actually has several characters that make up one hero.”

I really agree with this statement by hersh because I think that there are many characters in Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland that make up one hero. The question is though, which ones make up a hero? Which characters meet the “Heros Journey” steps?

Jackson made a good point when saying,

“Alice is more like a guiding light as we explore Wonderland.”

Then Hersh followed up with that statement by saying,

“maybe she is the vessel that guides us, the true hero/heroines. Meaning that Alice helps us discover the real heros in the story.”

So then I asked,

“who are the heros/heroines?”

Then Hersh replied by saying,

“the heros are the reactions of the reader in this story. Their different reactions and actions are the effects of the book on the people.”

So really I think that the heros are different for everyone that reads the story.