Fear of the Unknown

Prompted by Mr. Long’s remark on one of my comments on another students comment, I will write about fear; fear of the unknown.

Society keeps us in check, but fear drives us to push away the new, odd ideas. Alice herself rejects the smoking caterpillar because she does not know about him. The caterpillar is odd and unknown, and in a different way, she is afraid of him. She does not know what to think.

We fear what we can not explain. Death can not be explained, or rather there are a lot of theories of what happens to us when we pass on. We fear death because we do not know what happens when we die. We fear different people from other countries because we do not know them. We can not explain what we do not know, therefore we are afraid of it.

Alice becomes afraid of changing size because she does not know what her changing of size brings about. She is frustrated and confused about her size change; her size change is unknown. She becomes afraid to change size.

Fear drives us to do wild things; irrational responses. These responses are to simple problems that if we sat down to think about, we could overcome our fear. Fear of the Native Americans caused us to kill them and take their lands. Fear of a nuclear war caused mobility of more nuclear warheads, that ultimately spiraled out of control. Nuclear fear led to the cold war. America had fear; fear of the what the Russians were doing with their missiles; fear of the unknown. That fear drove America to make decisions that caused more fear for the Russians as well. The double fear caused more and more mobility and production of nuclear warheads. All this happened because of fear.

If we overcome fear and talk to one another then we can solve the unknown part of the equation. If we solve the unknown, than the fear works its way out of the equation. There would be no fear, no bad decisions, and no unknown.

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Published in: on December 3, 2009 at 16:18  Comments (4)  

Society’s Pressure

I lied, I have another blog I would like to do because my comments have inspired me to write another.

Society governs our every move, whether we like it or not. We do things because society accepts them as the best or better choice. Just like Alice when she believes the Mad Hatter is being rude. In Wonderland, he may not be rude, just inquisitive. We do not step out of line because of pressure forced on it by our society or peers. We do not break the status quo because we do not want sideways glances at us; we want conformity. There are some who want it more than others, and some who do not want it at all. These people are the shakers of society, but because we do not step out of line as a whole, society ignores these ‘radicals.’ Society prevents society form changing, how odd.

There are multiple people who try to change the world, but unless they have a large group supporting them, then their ideas never are carried out. What difference does one man by himself make? There needs to be support of his ideas, but without it, that person is a whisper in the wind. The Queen wants to behead her subjects, but no one supports her. She has no support, and therefore, as the king says, the beheading is never carried out.

Society has molded us. We go around everyday doing what we always do, but taking a sabbatical every now and again. We have no change, but society continues to do it. Society has molded us; never doing what we may want to do. Alice does not want to help the White Rabbit, but she does in order to not be rude. We “fit in” because we are afraid. Fear works with society’s conformity.

Published in: on December 3, 2009 at 10:16  Comments (3)  

How Alice Transforms Us

As my last blog, I would like to identify what this odd, short book means in the long term for me. This may also affect my classmates, but I do not want to vouch for them because the book will have different effects on all of us.

This book has put in perspective for me the value of reading a children’s book. Just like my colleague, Alex Chan wrote, “What constitutes as a children’s book?” What does indeed. Is it the low-level words and the pretty pictures alongside the text? Well why shouldn’t adult like to read that material, we all did at one point in our lives. These books, if reread, may open up doors we previously did not know about. When we first heard the story, we ‘saw’ it for what it was, nothing more or nothing less. Now that we hopefully have grown smarter, we can better understand those books. We can possibly discover little remarks to adults. That is what this book has done for me; it has opened up a new door. There may be ‘little’ books out there for kids that hold a deeper meaning for the adults that will read them to the children.

This book will help me later on when I read higher-level books too. Not only do I understand symbolism easier, but I can find it easier too. I hope this is the same for my fellow classmates.

What Alice has done through her simple journey has hopefully changed us all to become better readers and analysts. Alice bumps in to all sorts of little creatures, but they have more meaning to adults than they do to kids. We see them as larger concepts than just a loud, outspoken man with a huge hat on, or a caterpillar that makes funny shapes with his smoke. This is why Alice is such a valuable resource, it opens our eyes for the literature ahead.

Published in: on December 3, 2009 at 03:33  Comments (3)  

The Process

As one of my final blogs, I thought I would devote it to the whole assignment.

This assignment really helped to better understand the adult part of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. Without my friends help, I could not have understood the book as well as I did. This process was very helpful for me, and I hope it will extend out to others to help them. Since this blog is public, I may be helping another student in another school with their assignment on this story. I think that that is what is so meaningful about this project. Our blog has so much information withheld in it, that anyone can better understand the book because of us. I know this. Our diligence and hard work helps not only the people we see almost every day, but other students across the globe. The whole entire world; that is a huge deal.

Alice does not grow form her experience, but I know that I have because of her journey. I learned how to better use technology to help out my students and other students out in the world. I grew to easier identify symbolism that is apparent throughout the plot of most books. This will help me out for later books and through me, will help out my other students, peers, and friends. The process was a little daunting at first, but now I feel much better about it, and am ready to ‘tackle ‘ the next book.

Published in: on December 1, 2009 at 20:33  Comments (6)  

Creepy Crawly

In chapter five, Alice encounters a smoking caterpillar on a mushroom. Instantly our minds jump to the conclusion that it may only be hookah, but we believe the author is saying, “drugs.” That may or may not be true, but i think that the Caterpillar is just enjoying his life in Wonderland. The caterpillar is a bit of a hypocrite because of his constant nagging of who Alice is. Then when he is asked he sates, that why should he tell Alice, and Alice has no reply. Alice gets very angry when the caterpillar infuriates her with his confusing topic and speech. The Caterpillar does not seem to be thinking straight, which is possibly brought on by the still legal hookah he is smoking. This confuses Alice, and we see her at her most angry mood in the story. Never again throughout the entire story will she be angrier. This caterpillar really shakes Alice up, and the whole conversation he has with her seems to be pretty unnecessary. Alice can not discover herself anymore and is tired of changing size. The caterpillar is of no real help and just make Alice even angrier.

As much turmoil as the caterpillar causes, he is still a vital character. As one of my fellow students wrote about, the caterpillar i something that kids will identify drugs with. Alice dislikes the caterpillar and if Alice is a link to kids, while the caterpillar is a link to drugs. If Alice (the kids) does not like the caterpillar (the drugs) then the kids will not like drugs. His mean, and ‘bad’ character is what will hopefully cause less children to take drugs when they grow older. This is why the caterpillar’s role is so vital to the child audience listening to the story.

Published in: on December 1, 2009 at 20:20  Leave a Comment  

Family Matters

In my previous post (“Apathy”) I talked a little about what I believe Carroll’s spin on families is.

In that post I stated that “maybe he did not have the best family life and he wanted a daughter (maybe it was the real-life Alice).”

Was Carroll’s family life bad?

It is apparent in the book because he mentions nothing of family except a cat and a sister. The sister which is only talked about in the beginning, and she is not even described. Maybe Carroll believes that pets are more important than family, and that is why Dinah is constantly talked about. It could just be because Dinah causes so much controversy because she is a cat. Ultimately I think that Carroll had issues with his family. Family is one of the most important things in life, and is usually always mentioned in some way or another in a story.

Lord of the Flies, one of the books that my class has most recently read, is one story which family is talked about in a great deal.

The boys find themselves lost on an island with no adults.  In the opening chapter, the two first characters (Ralph and Piggy) both speak of their family.  On the other hand, Alice gets “lost” in a wonderland and never once thinks of her actual family. She may be in a dream, but in the beginning it is supposed to seem like reality. Wouldn’t most girls around the age we presume Alice to be want their mothers or fathers? I know that I would and I am sixteen, so why wouldn’t Alice?

I think it has something to do with the author, more specifically-Carroll.

What do you, the reader of this blog, think? Is Carroll insecure about his earlier or more latter family life? I think the answer is yes, but you could have insight that I overlooked. Maybe it is simple and Carroll just left out family matters…or maybe not.

Published in: on December 1, 2009 at 10:28  Comments (4)  

Apathy

This book, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, was not one of my favorite books. The book was odd, repetitive, and quite frankly a little annoying. Alice never seemed to grow form her experiences that she had in Wonderland. She kept going and going, continuing her bad habits the whole way. I would think that after seeing what her constant talking and apathy for people’s feelings, that she would stop what she does. The entire book is confusing, and we are supposed to decipher the hidden meaning behind it. I find that hard to do because I, just like Alice, have apathy too when it comes down to books I dislike to read. If I do not enjoy the book, there is no way that i am going to do extra work on it and “annotate” it.

Throughout the entire book, I found my self asking, “Why are these scenes written?”

The book seemed to just have random scenes that Alice encountered on her journey through the Wonderland she fell to. I realize that these scenes have more meaning than I can discover, but it is not easy to do so. Multiple classmates of mine feel the same way. We are lost just like Alice.

One thing does intrigue me about the book, however, and that is that Alice never once commented on her family (say for her cat, Dinah). I dabbled on this subject earlier, but it still brings wonder to me.

Once I discovered it was a dream, I realized why she did not want her family. I once got conscripted into the army with my best friend in my dream. We were to fight the incoming Alien forces, and we would not live out the night. During this horrific scene, i never once said a word of my family. None of the conscripted soldiers did. We are not ourselves in our dreams, Alice even “forgets” who she is. She thinks that she has lost herself, and that reasoning is why she does not comment on her family. Although it might just be Carroll saying something about families. Maybe he did not have the best family life and he wanted a daughter (maybe it was the real-life Alice). We can not, well I, can not be sure, since no one has ever divulged this information to me.

That seems to be repetitive in my posts: confusion, lack of knowledge, and now apathy. Lack of knowledge causes confusion, and I lose care for the subject that I can not comprehend.

Published in: on December 1, 2009 at 10:26  Leave a Comment  

Double Shift

What intrigues me most about Carroll as a writer is that he is not a writer at all.

His true profession is a mathematician, not a writer. How could a mathematician write a book that is so trivial and cryptic? He is no writer, his job involves numbers, which hardly show up in the book at all. Yet here is a book that everyone wants to read and decipher. It just shows how anyone can be anything, Carroll knew this. He was a man of numbers, who wrote a book of words and an odd landscape where everything was different. He changed previous notions about children’s stories, and brought in hidden messages to the adult readers. A mathematician did this; not an author.

Is it that hard to write a children’s story though?

I mean it would seem simple enough, but odds are it is quite a challenge. Yet in the whole scheme of things, it would be easiest to write a book for children. Carroll did not write a children’s story; he wrote for adults. Now, like my previous entry (“Lost, just like Alice”), the book could be either for adults or kids. I think that Carroll’s original plan was to write his book for kids, much like the Alice he wrote it for. Then as he began writing it, he himself grew bored of writing it. To intrigue him, he slipped in little messages, which is why the annotations seem to be so far fetched and odd. Carroll had math in his annotations, so it is hard to understand for us non-mathematicians, Then Carroll began to enjoy his book, and that is how his book evolved into what it is today. I have no facts to prove my theory, but that is how I believe the book became what it is today; confusing and odd.

Carroll did something through his work that not many authors could do. His other job showed us that we all can be one thing, but it is the other things we do outside the one thing, that really matter

Published in: on December 1, 2009 at 10:22  Comments (2)  

“Lost, Just Like Alice”

After reading the entire book of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, I can not say that I fully understand the book. I could not see, and still can not see, the symbols that Carroll is writing about. I attend a college prepatory school, but I still can not decipher what he is writing about. I am not saying that I am incredibly smart, but there should be some level of understanding. The drug reference with the caterpillar was the only synbol that I caught.

This may be because English is not my forte in the academic field. Math is my best subject, but wasn’t Carroll a Mathematician?  It is odd that a student who enjoys and is good at math can not relate or understand Carroll’s writing.

Another property of Carroll’s writing are his references to other materials. This book was written way before my time and therefore contains references to things that I have never heard of. There are annotations in the book that no one could really see unless all they were doing was looking for symbolism. There is an annotation about the number 42. How is someone supposed to know that that number has a deeper meaning than just the number?

It is anotations like that that make no sense to me. I can not read this book and undertand what each reference means because I was not alive then and the oldest year I could have taken a current events class would be 1993; there is no way I should know this. This explains why my class and I received the Annotated Alice. Now we can understand the references he makes, but can other people who have the regular book? Can any adult sit down and read this book, while saying to themselves that they understand almost everything that Carroll writes about. Most of the annotations are far-fetched, perhaps coincidental.

All this forces me to come to the conclusion that this is not entirely an adult book…or entirely a children’s book. No adult can comprehend all of the book, while most children do not comprehend any of it and only see the “child’s” view of the story. With our modern day perspective, there is no way we can understand everything Carroll wrote about because he wrote it in his time. If adults can hardly process it, then how will kids? How will teenagers who are supposed to analyze it?

That is what the Annotated Alice is for: to help us understand. Without it, we would be lost just like Alice in a wonderland of sorts.

This book is meant for children and adults, but not children to adults. I think the book’s meaning is lost on us high school students and college students. We do not like the “child’s” aspect of the book, nor can we appreciate the references Carroll makes and their meaning. That does not stop us from trying to understand the book, and learn of it’s prestige.

The book is for the people who can understand it the best, but also for the ones who understand it the least.

Published in: on December 1, 2009 at 10:20  Comments (1)  

The White Rabbit

In Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, we see the recurrence of a small, rather twitchy (as portrayed by the movie) character. This character is the White Rabbit, who always seems to be late and in a hurry. The rabbit is a constant distraction for Alice. He constantly moves the plot around by making Alice get up and move. He is white, which has some meaning to it, and he can easily be spotted by what he is wearing. He is the one responsible for luring Alice down into Wonderland. What he was doing outside of Wonderland, only Carroll knows. We later learn that the White Rabbit holds great responsibility and nobility in Wonderland. The queen seems to have him as her messenger, which only makes sense since rabbits are fast travelers. The White Rabbit holds more meaning for Alice though than just a figurehead with an attachment to the queen. He is her addiction, her boss, and her drug.

Alice first catches eye of the White Rabbit and is instantly curious about him. The addiction starts. She follows him down the hole, and along the hallway. The addiction thickens. Then she is forced to go to his house under his command. She does whatever for the addiction. i do not like using drugs as reference for anything because it is too easy to assume that. Everybody does, and somehow or another , a person can always make something related to drugs. I do really think though, that the rabbit signifies addiction for Alice. Her first encounter (when she follows him) seems like simple curiosity, but i do not know how many times i have said it. The seemingly simple story is a lot more complex. Now that is the first time i have said that exact phrase, but the idea has been pretty prevalent in my posts. Like I was saying, drugs are easy to relate, but in my opinion Alice is addicted to this rabbit. The way he is portrayed in the movie confirms my suspicions because some drugs cause you to be jittery much like the White Rabbit. The White Rabbit may be Alice’s drug, but there is always room for error on my part.

Published in: on December 1, 2009 at 10:15  Comments (1)