The Pecularity of Thought

Alice’s adventures in Wonderland highlight the mind of a child infused with quaint tales to capture the imagination. For children these trips provide the perfect vessel to fully explore the realm of childhood creativity, but beyond the simple bedtime story, the musings of a mathematician reveals its play with logic.

Charles Dodgson, also known as Lewis Carroll, infuses the tale of Alice with two parts of his voice.

First and foremost the story was written for the enjoyment of children, more specifically a little girl named Alice Liddell. Carroll understands the mindset of young children, shown through the tendency of Alice to pretend to be two people. Carroll also fulfills the wishes of children by including a factor of whimsical nonsense. The wordplay used, such as “Do cats eat bats? Do bats eat cats?”,  is by nature fun to reiterate. Moreover, the overall story was not written to address a specific moral rule, so commonly found in young literature. From one aspect, Carroll’s work can be purely enjoyed as it is written, with no deeper thought other than its entertainment.

The other voice of Lewis Carroll is brought forth by the implications of more complex thought, and the mathematical aspect of Lewis’ personality. Within this land of speculation, one can find many unconventional questions of logic. Might the inclination of Alice to follow the instructions labeled “Drink Me” imply something more?

Alice checks to see if there is a label marked poison, and when there is not, she drinks the contents of the bottle not truly understanding its contents. As humans we believe we understand the world around us, but how much are we like Alice? Carroll once again plays with parameters of logic when he portrays the scene with Alice eating the cake. He skews the understanding of normal verses abnormal, by allowing a normal slice of cake to be nothing out of the ordinary. Up to this point Alice has been wondering “Which way? Which way?” will she shrink, but to her dismay magic does not run its course.

Life once again regains its mostly common ways, with a quirk or two hidden in its paths.

Advertisements

3 Comments

  1. I agree that Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland is a story written for young children. Alice is a great story for children that can stimulate their imaginations. However, Carroll does voice himself through Alice. This suggests that this story is a bit more complex than it appears. When Alice follows the instructions on the bottle saying “DRINK ME”; could this be Carroll sending a message to adult readers. It might be him trying to say that humans have to struggle for survival and always be on the watch for something that could harm us. Others may think that Alice is simply showing the obedience of an ordinary child. Either way it does go along the lines with human nature; obedience and the struggle to survive. What Carroll may or may not have been trying to say, is left up to us to decide.

  2. Your title alone makes me wonder about the very act of thinking…and being able to reflect upon our ability to reflect, in other words.

    Being self-aware (and to really be ‘aware’ of our world and the human condition) is one of the true traits of being human, if you really dig into it.

    What causes this?

    What inspires it?

    And what allows us to really know what we think we know…and know that we do know it?

    P.S. Anyone who doubts your writing skill/voice only needs read the first paragraph to be re-corrected:

    “Alice’s adventures in Wonderland highlight the mind of a child infused with quaint tales to capture the imagination. For children these trips provide the perfect vessel to fully explore the realm of childhood creativity, but beyond the simple bedtime story, the musings of a mathematician reveals its play with logic.”

  3. I completely agree with the fact that young Alice expresses her childish mindset constantly throughout the chapter. The fact that Alice seems to be obedient to the “DRINK ME” label on the bottle may mean something more, she not only thinks it may be poison but actually searches for a label as if it would really inform her of the danger. Her inclination to just follow the directions exemplifies her naivete, as her awareness expresses the corruption in society; a realistic occurence in life. It is like a parent telling their child to have fun but don’t talk to strangers. Alice naturally should be curious as a child, whether or not to act upon her curiousity is the question. Of course we do not hear about people harmed by drinking a bottle of poison labeled “DRINK ME” on the news everyday, but poison may simply act as the equal for true acts of the corrupted society. The fact that a child of Alice’s age would think of someone trying to poison her proves what one must be aware of to survive in society.


Comments RSS TrackBack Identifier URI

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

  • Welcome to the “Alice Project”

    What happens when a group of insightful 10th grade students explore Alice's journey into Wonderland?