Why Not?

Stages of Sensitivity by Jackson
October 30, 2009, 3:08 pm
Filed under: Introspective, Jackson
At the beginning of the first chapter, Alice is hot, and feeling sleepy and stupid. As she lays on the riverbank, she is passed by by a rabbit. At first, she doesn’t realize that this is a spectacular instance, and from the information given at the start of the scene, neither do we.
However, this soon changes, as we are told that this rabbit can talk! We, the aware readers, who are not hot, sleepy, and stupid, are quick to notice that this is an extraordinary event. However, Alice has still not arrived at the conclusion that this is something to take note of. In this state of stupor, her “awareness level” has diminished severely, and is not comprehending the scenario. The rabbit has to remove a watch from its waistcoat pocket for the incredulity of the situation to dawn on Alice.
Because of this, we can conclude that there are several “awareness levels” that are exhibited by people:
  • The top level would be that of a person that is perfectly awake, alert, and aware. In other words, if something at all out of the ordinary happens, they will notice it. This is the kind of person who would have possibly noticed the rabbit running by, as rabbits don’t generally run straight by people.
  • Next down the scale is someone who is distracted, or not paying much attention to things at hand. This person might not have noticed the passing by of the rabbit, but would have noticed a talking hare.
  • Alice is one step further down this ladder of sensitivity. The heat of the afternoon has made her stuporous, and she is not able to comprehend the situation, until the rabbit is revealed to be garbed in a waistcoat, and carrying a watch.
  • The furthest step down on the scale of awareness (without being unconscious) is likely that of pure ignorance. Anyone who is incapable of not understanding what is and is not normal is likely to be the least aware of any given situation. This goes to show that the first step away from being unaware is to be knowledgeable, and ignorance is the beginning of stupor.

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