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.

5 Comments so far
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The chart is great! It illustrates your point perfectly. Next time I read Alice I’ll definitely be thinking about her evolving sanity!

Comment by Tyler Reed

I doubt that I would have been able to have created such a wonderful chart to summarise your impression of this element of the story. You are to be commended on the way that you have visualised the text in this way.

Comment by Drew Buddie

I really like your chart. It puts the entire story into perspective and also provides a broad outline of the events. Now that I have seen it laid out, I agree that there is a method to the madness. As she descends into madness, Alice stops questioning some of the crazy events, but as she starts to rise out of her madness she begins to question them again. This starts when she meets the Queen. She shouts,”nonsense!” at the Queen, and I believe that is the beginning of Alice’s return to logic.
I also really like your last line, “Insanity follows a smooth path, and it is this that makes it such a slippery slope to descend.” Awesome idea!

Comment by Susie C.

My reaction was perhaps the converse of Miles’s; as soon as the word ‘parabola’ was dropped, I desperately needed to pay this blog an overview. Great job with the chart. It displays a profound amount of insight. Personally, I wouldn’t quite say Alice’s sanity was a ‘parabola’; it appeared a bit more up and down to me. Still, excellent work.

Comment by Kyle M.

Wow. At first when I read the word parabola I was like uhh this isn’t for me. But I really connected with the visual representation. I also agree that there is a strong decline in rationality with Alice. Also, I agree that the meeting with the Queen marks the return of sanity. She sees the irrationality of those around her and gets her senses back. But wait? Did she have senses or was the whole thing growth.

Comment by Miles W III

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