Why Not?

Who Are We? by Hersh T.
November 10, 2009, 10:05 pm
Filed under: Hersh

Who are we, to force our ideas upon the monsensical 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”? Sure, the human being possess the ability to reason and be introspective and we can go on and on as we have just continually built ourselves up. The one good thing is the idea of how we are truly the weakest, in size, the elephant, in strength, the lion, in swiftness, the cheetah. The human being is not nearly as physical but in this situation intelligence wins.

So, what Carroll does by bringing the animals into the story and making them instrumental, struck me as very powerful. He may not have meant to, but the conclusion that has been drawn is that Carroll was trying to exemplify the power and might and true equality of our surrounding animals. However, in his story, he makes the dodo bird the one who provides the idea of how to dry off. This elevation of animals above humans may be going to far. Human nature is to always try to increase our self-image and power. The driving force in this world is first of all, the search for true pleasure, the second force is the drive for power and egotistic enhancement. However, an idea that continuously occurs to me and truly frightens me is that it takes a story, a child’s story, that may or may not have had a higher meaning, to bring all of these ideals to the forefront of the human race. There are many examples throughout histroy that exemplify the ideal that if a human speaks out and brings forth an idea that scares the rest of the humans then that human is either jailed, persecuted, or as in many cases, simply killed. The more subtle way to put this idea into the minds of many, and into the minds that matter, is to use literature. Who are we? You tell me.

8 Comments so far
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Hersh, just for your information, our conversation inspired an entry for me.

Just a Girl With Her Toys?


Comment by Kristen K

Could he be conveying size does not matter at all, or that age doesn’t matter at all? After all, he was in love with a child that was decades his junior. And, assuming that it is true he meant to convey age with Alice’s size changes, does that mean at the end of the story, when Alice grows and grows, does that signify her growing up (in years)? Perhaps that is why she awoke from the dream, because she had matured to the point of no return to childhood fantasy. What do you think?

Comment by Kristen K

Wow, I had never thought of that. In truth, you are right, they very well could have been minute play things so that the size would have made sense for the cards. However, we are thinking about wonderland 🙂 So, Carroll could, theoretically, make anything, any size. We could be seeing gigantic playing cards, or mini cats. I believe though, that according to Alice’s several size changes, and when she feels that she is a “normal” size, that Carroll is trying to convey the feeling that size truly does not matter at all. What do you think?

Comment by Hersh T.

Very true. I always wondered, though, since the King and Queen etc. are playing cards, and therefore relatively small, how big are the animals, then? Theoretically, the cat could not be the size you and I think of if the King card was not cowering away in fear from the giant cat. So could the animals not be animals at all, but perhaps minute play things, like a playing card?

Comment by Kristen K

This is very true. However, the king is simply a playing card, representational of idea of king that probably is held in Lewis Carroll’s mind. So, as humans have different degrees, so do animals. And maybe, these degrees can overlap?

Comment by Hersh T.

Hersh I like the concept you proposed here. My question for you is what of the Cheshire Cat? The king tries to slice off his head but the Cheshire Cat simply vanishes, thus getting the best of the king. It seems to me that the Cheshire Cat does not follow the model of humans superior to animals you propose. However, I am willing to reconsider, should you propose an explanation!

Comment by Kristen K

Thank you Brittany, I had never had Dr. Martin but of she really uses that phrase I think that is hilarious. Thank you very much

Comment by Hersh T.

wow, I never thought of anything that way. As humans we often put ourselves above everyone whether they be human or animal ,but what honestly give us the right to make ourselves so royal? I also think it is interesting that of all the animals to think of a solution it was the dodo bird. In most cases we as humans use the phrase
“dodo bird” to refer to someone as mindless or stupid ie: Dr. Martin. It is interesting that he would have the dodo bird come up with the answer as oppose to Alice or one of the other animals. Good idea Hersh.

Comment by Brittany M

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