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Alice in Wonderland


We're all mad here. I'm mad. You're mad – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Alice in Wonderland

Alice in Wonderland
We're all mad here. I'm mad. You're mad"
  • Nonsense and its Senses

  • Possible Approaches
  • Quest for Identity
  • Biographical Approach
  • Psychological/Psychoanalytical Approach
  • Sociological Approach
  • Linguistic Approach
  • Cultural Studies

Quest for Social Identity
  • 1) Defined by Appearance "I'm sure I'm not Ada,
    for her hair goes in such long ringlets, and mine
  • 2) Defined by knowledge "I'm sure I can't be
    Mabel, for I know all sorts of things, and ...
    she knows such a very little! ? "I must be Mabel
    after all.
  • 3) Changes in size and roles ?
  • a maid to the Rabbit and then a monster
  • a prey to "a dear little puppy"
  • a serpent to a pigeon.

Following Rules, Taking Orders ? Talking Nonsense
? Repudiating W as Nonsense ? A Curious Dream
  • Chap 2 Oh dear, what nonsense I'm talking! (8)
  • Chap 3 Mouse You insult me by talking such
    nonsense!' (15)
  • Chap 8 just a pack of cards Nonsense!' said
    Alice (40)

Talking Nonsense ? Repudiating W. as Nonsense ?
A Curious Dream
    the voice of Lobster ? Uncommon nonsense (54)
  • 5. You've no right to grow here,' said the
    Dormouse. Don't talk nonsense,' said Alice more
    boldly (54)
  • 6. Stuff and nonsense!' said Alice loudly. The
    idea of having the sentence first!' (64)

A Curious Dream of a Sister and a Mother
  • 1) Continued by her sister.
  • 2) Kept in memory and sympathy she
  • would feel with all their simple sorrows, and
    find a pleasure in all their simple joys,
    remembering her own child-life, and the happy
    summer days.

Biographical Approach
Image Source Left Alice Lidden as a beggar
child right Lewis Carroll in his 30s.
Psychological Approach
  1. Alices Anxiety about her body or Alice in the
    Wonderland Syndrome (illusory changes in the
    size, distance, or position of stationary objects
    in the subjects visual field John Todd )
  2. Charles Dodgson's sexual preferences sublimated
    in child-friendship, or subconscious pedophilia
    and problems such as migraine and stammering
  3. Group Psychology Alices adaptation

  • Split personality always giving herself advice
  • She generally gave herself very good advice,
    (though she very seldom followed it), and
    sometimes she scolded herself so severely as to
    bring tears into her eyes and once she
  • remembered trying to box her own ears for having
    cheated herself in a game of croquet she was
    playing against herself, for this curious child
    was very fond of pretending to be two people.
    But it's no use now,' thought poor Alice, to
    pretend to be two people! Why, there's hardly
    enough of me left to make ONE respectable
  • 2. Speaks to and sends present
  • to her feet (p. 8)

  • Sociological Approach

Social Games in the Novel
  • 1. the Caucus Race, the Mad Tea-Party
  • and the Lobster Quadrille
  • -- involve circular verbal and physical movements
    of the players in their proper place.
  • 2. In the Duchess' household game, the croquet
    game and the trial
  • -- some (or all) of the players digress from
    their assigned roles and move irregularly.

Victorian Society Social Problems and Mannerism
  • Chimney Sweeper Bill
  • High rates of Death As Alice falls down the
    hole, she thinks after such a fall as this, I
    shall think nothing of tumbling down stairs!
    Why, I wouldn't say anything about it, even if I
    fell off the top of the house!' (Which was very
    likely true.) (4) ? mortality in Victorian
    society (Gardner 13)
  • 3) Mannerism (chap 5) Frog footman and Fish
    footman Then they both bowed low, and their
    curls got entangled together

  • traditional public schools in Victorian
    society emphasized Greek and Latin, house
    systems, school spirit, improving character, and
    that the goal of education was to mold the
    student into a young Christian lady or
  • This approach can be seen in Alice, since her
    knowledge seems to consist mainly of maxims and
    morals about obedience and safety. (source)
  • e.g. chapter 1 2 when Alice decides whether to
    eat or drink what shes found.
  • e.g. Pig and Pepper the Duchess
  • e.g. Mock Turtles Tale

Education (2) Pig and Pepper
  • The Duchess moral
  • "Everything's got a moral, if only you can find
  • "Take care of the sense, and the sounds will take
    care of themselves.
  • Never imagine yourself not to be otherwise than
    what it might appear to others
  • that what you were or might have been was not
    otherwise than what you had been would have
    appeared to them to be otherwise.

Education (3) Mock Turtles Tale
  • Reeling and Writhing, of course, to begin with
    and then the different branches of
    ArithmeticAmbition, Distraction, Uglification
    and Derision Mystery, ancient and modern, with
    Seaography then , Drawlingthe Drawling-master
    used to come once a week he taught us Drawling,
    Stretching, and Fainting in Coils.
  • Grief and Laughing
  • Reeling ???reading writhing ??writing
    ambitionaddition ?? distraction ??
    substraction ??
  • uglification ??
  • multiplication ??
  • derision?? division??
  • Seaography?????geography?? Drawling??????drawin
    g?? conger-eel?? stretching????scketching??
    Fainting in Coils ????painting in oils??
  • Latin and Greek ???????

Linguistic Approach Logic Fallacies and Word
Logic Games/Fallaciesof Alices
  • -- (end of chap 1 6-7) binarist thinking
    before eating the cake if it makes me grow
    larger, I can reach the key and if it makes me
    grow smaller, I can creep under the door.
  • -- (chap 2 9) falls into the sea ? and in
    that case I can go back by railway,' she said to

Logic Fallacies of/re. Cheshire Cat
  • -- (chap 6 31) How do you know you are mad? A
    dog is not mad
  • You see, a dog growls when it's angry, and wags
    its tail when it's pleased. Now I growl when I'm
    pleased, and wag my tail when I'm angry.
    Therefore I'm mad.'
  • -- (end of chap 10 40-41) about beheading
    Cheshire cat
  • The executioneryou couldn't cut off a head
    unless there was a body to cut it off
  • The KingAnything with a head can be beheaded.
  • The Queen Off with everybodys head if this is
    not done.

Word Play produces connotations
  • Puns in Mock Turtles Story
  • -- a whiting ?? is called a whiting because it
    polishes (whitening) shoes under the sea
  • -- Boots and shoes under the sea are made of
    soles??? and eels ??, the equivalents of
    soles and heels.
  • Homonyms
  • -- porpoise?? purpose.
  • -- Tortoise taught-us
  • ? Fishing Cooking (reeling and writhing) or
    reversing the process of fishing (throwing the
    lobster back to sea)?

The Mouses Tale TailNot Knot
  • You had got to the fifth bend. (tail enddeath)
  • I had NOT!' cried the Mouse, sharply and very
  • A knot!' said Alice, always ready to make
    herself useful, and looking anxiously about her.
    Oh, do let me help to undo it!'

Word Play (2)? words as signifiers ? confusion,
nonsense or sense?
  • -- change of order Do bats eat cats? Do cats eat
    bats ? A cat without a grin, a grin without a
  • -- change of word form to dry everyone off,
    Alice uses a dry tale (about William the
  • -- science ? tyranny chap 6 29 earth to spin
    on its axis ? axes, Off with her head
  • (chap 7 34) at least I mean what I say--that's
    the same thing, you know. ? not the same thing.
  • "I see what I eat I get what I like.

Word Play (3)? nonsense poem and parody
  • -- Elevated Style for a mouse chap 2 10O
    Mouse, do you know the way out of this pool? I am
    very tired of swimming about here, O Mouse! (8)
  • -- Twinkle, twinkle little bat
  • -- How doth the little crocodile
  • -- wine offered when theres no wine.
  • -- riddle with no answer ("Why is a raven like a
    writing desk?)

Nonsense or Sense?
  • Answer
  • Poe wrote on both,
  • they both stand on sticks
  • they both come with inky quills.
  • because there is a B in both and an N in
    neither (source)
  • ? Language an arbitrary system of differences ?
    suggests survival games or produces social games

Nonsense or Sense?
  • 3 girls in the well
  • they drew all manner of things--everything that
    begins with an M--
  • --mouse-traps, and the moon, and memory, and
  • Mad Hatter, March Hare, Dormouse,
  • M-Alice

Word Play for rhyme, for game and witticism
  • Dr. Seusss Green Eggs and Ham
  • Doublets Word Game --Two words are proposed, of
    the same length linking these together by
    interposing other words, each of which shall
    differ from the next word in one letter only.
    That is to say, one letter may be changed in one
    of the given words, then one letter in the word
    so obtained, and so on, till we arrive at the
    other given word.
  • E.g. 'heal, teal, tell, tall'. (source)

I will not eat them here or there. I will not eat
them anywhere!
Word Play for rhyme, for game and witticism
  • Doublets Word Game
  • Connected by sounds
  • ? ? ?
  • ? ? ?
  • ? ? ? ?
  • ? ? ? ?
  • ? ? ?
  • ? ? ?
  • ? ? ? ?
  • ? ? ? ?
  • (???)

Connected by alphabets SWORD ?? SWORE ?? SPORE
?? PLATE ??????? PLACE ?? PEACE ?? ?????????
??? (source)
Cultural Studies
  • Quest for meanings in a world of nonsense, rapid
    changes and growing chaos.
  • Projected onto a (well-educated) girl whos grown
    too large to be contained/constrained.

  • The Rossetti Family, photographed by Lewis
    Carroll (1863).

  • Left Dormouse/Right "Dormouse surnamed
    Dwanging," by Dante Gabriel Rossetti, c. 1834
    (age 6), pencil on paper.

  1. ?????,?????
  2. Video page from Lewis Carroll Society
  3. A Math-Free Guide to the Math of Alice in
    Wonderland http//