Tuesday, 9 March 2010

Alice's Adventures in Wonderland - Lewis Carroll

I followed it, right up to the end, when it stopped being nonsensical and tried to be semi-serious in contemplating children growing up.  I'm pretty sure everyone who grew up in an English speaking country has at least heard of the story or references to it if they haven't seen one version or another in film or print.  Alice goes down the rabbit hole after the white rabbit, has issues with her size, meets all sorts of talking critters, talks with the Cheshire Cat, has a crazy tea party, plays croquet with the Queen of Hearts, listens to to Mock Turtle's story, goes to a trial over tarts, and lots of "Off with her head!"

I enjoyed the nonsense, and the word games.  I just really really didn't follow the ending.  She wakes up on her sister's lap (got it), and it was all a dream (got it).  She tells the dream to her sister (got it), and her sister sits and contemplates the dream and imagination and holding onto all of it as she grows up and tells stories to her kids (totally and completely don't get it).  Okay, in a way, I do get it, but it makes it seem like the book is supposed to mean something profound, a la Peter Pan and the loss of childhood, which is really jolting.

I know the popular theory is that the whole story is one big drug reference, and I looked for it, but I really don't follow that.  Maybe it is, who am I to say?  Still, it seemed more like sitting down and listening to my brain for a couple of hours, not that mine goes with those particular themes, but the randomness and the jumps and the word games and twisted logic really just seemed train-of-thought to me.  I did a bit of reading after I read it (cause I really don't get the ending), and I didn't find anything to change my view of cocked-eyebrow at people who say it's all a big drug metaphor.  Personally, I'd say that's giving it too much credit for metaphor.  That, and the fact that all of the word games and weird logic make complete sense in their own way really casts doubt on the "made kooky by opium" theory.

Anyway, those are my thoughts on that.  I'm excited to see the new movie (which is why I bumped that from its low place on my list to today).  I don't recall having a fondness for the Disney version, actually it seemed more silly than anything else, but I don't really recall having much fondness for most children's books and I still enjoy the movies, especially when they include Jonny Depp. XD

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