Meandering Musings

Chapter 10 is one of the more nonsensical chapters in my opinion, with even more puns about the predictable ways of daily life. I find it rather odd that when Alice repeats her lessons out loud, the Mock Turtle and Gryphon know the original version, and not a version with a unusual twist to it. In fact they find it very confusing when what Alice repeats is not the “normal” lesson. You would think that since this is wonderland, that things would be naturally warped, like the song the Mock Turtle sings about Soup being a spin off of a song called “Star of the Evening”. Isn’t it very wierd that the Mock Turtle himself would say, “What is the use of repeating all that stuff, if you don’t explain it as you go on? It’s by far the most confusing thing I ever hear!” Perhaps Carroll is adding a bit of irony into his scenes, something other than his clever parodies to draw in the audience’s attention.

It seems Alice has also learned some lessons from her trips through wonderland. The Gryphon asks Alice to offer some of her experiences, with which she replies “I could tell you my adventures-going back to this morning, but it’s no use going back to yesterday because I was a different person then.” Before Alice would have gotten very confused, trying to figure out how she had changed. Now she at least knows its no use looking at the past to figure out who your are, instead she focuses on the present. It seems Alice had been looking for the answers back home, when it may be she is to learn her lesson here in Wonderland, and she could miss that if she was too focused on what she thought she knew.

One other thought that occurred to me was that there is no justification regarding the ideas that have been given to Alice since birth, for instance the invisible rules of society. How do you know, what you know is really true? You might merely think you know the reason for something. I would say overall, Alice has learned to think in a different way, and when she returns back to her world she will begin to question (or even wrestle with) the very idea of what we see as logical.
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3 Comments

  1. I like this. Until now I hadn’t noticed the unique irony of the mock turtle’s statement. How exactly can anyone in wonderland find it in themselves to point out what makes sense. Nothing in wonderland makes sense. Even the mock turtle’s song is mindless. So one must wonder how the mock turtle can expect Alice’s lessons to make sense. It’s an interesting concept since because of his ornery behavior you can’t be sure if he’s actually questioning her to question her or if he actually wants to know.

  2. I really like your take on the characters being part of Alice’s consciousness, therefore knowing what she would know as well. I hadn’t thought of it in that perspective. As to how Alice will act when she returns to her world…. I think that is worth pondering.

  3. I too saw chapter ten as really “out there.” I think the Mock Turtle and Gryphon knew the poem because they were apart of Alice’s dream. Usually when one dreams, they tap into their subconscious. Since these two animals were in Alice’s subconscious, they knew all that Alice knew. I’m not a big fan of puns, but I liked how Carroll used his wordplay to confuse Alice more and more. The irony he injected also puzzled Alice. I’m starting to ‘Wonder” if Carroll’s mission is to confuse Alice till the breaking point, then showing her that she is the one in charge of Wonderland.

    I really digged that quote myself. It makes really good sense; it doesn’t matter what you did, it matters what you’re doing now. What I’m curious to see is if Alice would return to her world and act “mad” in comparison to the rest of us…


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  • Welcome to the “Alice Project”

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