First Thought? Of Course I Ought! (Ch.2)

Summary: What quirky images/ thoughts pop up in my head as I dive into each chapter of The Annotated Alice? Let’s dive into the “the pool of tears”. (Chapter 2)

(Note:  If you’re interested in these ideas, feel free to check out the earlier post I’ve already written about Chapter 1, too, if you want.)

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My first thoughts?

My Disney senses are tingling!

My prediction of this chapter: Alice will grow into a giant (for the 1st time) and will try creating a “pool of tears” in which she drinks the rest of the “DRINK ME” bottle and becomes tiny (for the 2nd time) which leads to her adventure in the garden behind the door.

As I reiterated in my “First thought? Of course I ought!” (ch. 1 continuation) Alice’s memory is slowly deteriorating. Alice mentions she forgot how to speak good English (which should be one of the top things one doesn’t forget). This clearly shows how when someone is removed from reality or the “real world”, one can lose sense of ideas and lessons ingrained from birth.

Carroll does not specifically say the exact length of time when Alice falls down the Rabbit-hole to her discovery of the “EAT ME” cakes. In theory, one could say Alice has been in the Rabbit-hole for days or perhaps even months. In contrast, one could say she has only been there for an hour. This could be factual, of course, if Alice is not dreaming, hallucinating, etc.

Who knows?
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Adult wisdom vs. child innocence is a reoccurring theme thus far. From Alice’s thoughts about how people would portray her at home to feeling ashamed of herself whenever she is emotional conveys Alice’s struggle to conquer adolescence and discover the adult Alice within. During this struggle, many childhood elements still act as an aid to her which probably allows her to keep her sanity(how little of it she has left). The White Rabbit, for example, is a small, soft and gentle animal that scurries around eating out of Mr. McGregor’s garden. (This is true unless one is talking about the killer rabbit, for which one can only kill it with the Holy Hand Grenade!) *wink*

I believe throughout Alice’s journey through Wonderland, she will find a balance between innocence and maturity, which in the end will be the most beneficial factor of her whole experience.

Stay tuned for “First thought? Of course I ought!” (Ch.3)

The first image can be found here. The second image here.

First thought? Of course I ought! (Ch. 1 Part 2)

Summary: What quirky images/ thoughts pop up in my head as I dive into each chapter of The Annotated Alice? Let’s pick up on Alice’s adventure after she falls down the Rabbit Hole.

(Note:  If you’re interested in these ideas, feel free to check out the earlier post I’ve already written about Chapter 1, too, if you want.)

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My first thoughts?

It is not until the moment where Alice realizes all of the surrounding doors around her are locked, that reality sets in and she wonders how she will get out. I understand that in the heat of the moment, when she is following this Rabbit, she hand not considered where she was going or how she would get out. Carroll refers to too many of the events happening as “again” as if Alice has journeyed on this adventure before. Carroll especially emphasizes this when Alice ponders how in the world she would ever get out “again”.

Perhaps this déjà vu feeling will appear throughout the story and she will use her previous experiences to help her find a way out of Wonderland.

A coincidence? I think not!

One of my favorite and most fascinating scenes, yes I know it is only the first chapter yet this is my favorite thus far, is the trial and error Alice goes through to open a door. The mere fact that a bottle appears on a table, when she consciously knew it was not there before, sugests that this world has a mind of its own. Let’s count the numerous signs the world gives Alice to discover her way out of the room of doors.

  1. tiny golden key
  2. low curtain covering the 15 in. door
  3. little bottle “DRINK ME”
  4. little glass box “EAT ME”

These numerous signs could possibly demonstrate the many opportunities one has to solve a dilemma. Of course, the room could also be playing tricks with Alice since Carroll contrasts the “dark” room with the “bright” flower beds on the other side of the door.

This leads me to my observation of Alice’s thought process. For such a young girl, Alice’s knowledge is highly advanced compared to the average little girl. Carroll even refers to her as the “wise” Alice!  The depth of which she thinks through the consequences of drinking the bottle conveys a part of Alice’s complex personality. The way Alice copes with the realization of not having the key also expresses another part of her personality. In the end of the chapter she comes to the conclusion that she does not care what happens. The ever so quick transitions between consciously thinking through her actions to not even caring, reflects her impatience and her desire to go home.

I will end the fact that Alice could not remember what a candle looks like when it is blown out. This shows that the connection between her and reality is diminishing. Her forgetfulness follows when she leaves the golden key on the table while drinking the bottle.

My prediction: Her connection to reality will continue to reduce as her adventure carries on, until either she wakes up or perhaps even dies.

Stay tuned for “First thought? Of course I ought!” (Chapter 2)!

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“Lay it where Childhood’s dreams are twined, In Memory’s mystic band, Like pilgrim’s wither’d wreath of flowers, Pluck’d in a far-off land.” -Lewis Carroll

This image can be found here.

First Thought? Of Course I Ought! (Ch.1 part 1)

Summary: What quirky images/ thoughts pop up in my head as I dive into each chapter of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland? With that in mind, lets begin with Chapter 1.

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“Down the Rabbit-Hole” is the title of Chapter one in The Annotated Alice,  introduction and notes by Martin Gardner and Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll.

My first thoughts?

From my past knowledge of the Walt Disney version I suspect Alice will find a White Rabbit and follow him “down the Rabbit-Hole”.  Kudos for Disney!

Sure enough, Alice discovered a White Rabbit, only it is peculiar that her curiosity is not sparked until the White Rabbit takes out a watch. She believes a Rabbit who speaks out loud is quite natural; perhaps this is because she is a child. I have also noticed Carroll’s use of very in what is processing through Alice’s mind. Of course, we must take in to consideration this is a child’s mind and generally children exaggerate the simplest of matters, yet could Carroll be using this word in italics to emphasize this? The use of very and other words in italics could very well be similar to the emphasis William Golding places on symbolism in his book Lord of the Flies.

As Mr. Long would say, I will chase this rabbit and see where it leads me and I will keep everyone updated on my findings.

I will touch more about this issue in my next blogs yet I cannot help but mention the quite frequent death references. It’s only the first chapter!

For example, Alice is falling down the Rabbit Hole and is afraid of letting go of a jar for “fear of killing somebody underneath” (pg.13). If I was falling down a hole the first thought that would come to my mind would not be to think of what might happen to the creatures below me. I would probably be wondering if I myself was going to die. Many children’s stories are based off of the dead or fear of dying: Goldilocks and the Three Bears, Hansel and Gretel, Little Red Riding Hood. I am not surprised that death is mentioned, the frequency is what I find peculiar.

The appearances of repetition are also frequent in this chapter. Carroll is creating a mood and creating tension for the reader by repeating “Down” and “thump!”. The dark references play a factor into whether or not Carroll is symbolizing evil or bad, or if Carroll is just stating the hole was too dark to see anything. This could also tie into the death references and/or the drug references. Could Alice be dreaming or could this be a hallucination or perhaps a concussion?

I will leave on this note: anyone can enjoy Alice in Wonderland without analyzing any part of the text. Carroll, after all, did write this for a little girl to enjoy, not the entire world to analyze and critique. Although analyzing to the point where only the owner of the book can read the comments and shorthand notes in the margins is always interesting and, I believe, a fun way to get a full understanding of a text.

Stay alert for Part 2 of “First thought? Of course I ought!” (Chapter 1)

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“Let us once more adventure, hand in hand: Give me belief again—in Wonderland!” –Vincent Starrett, in Brillig (Chicago: Dierkes Press, 1949)
This image can be found here.