What is madness in Alice in Wonderland?
There are many ways people define madness. According to Google, madness is “the state of being mentally ill, especially severely.” In psychology, the closest definition to madness is insanity. Insanity is defined as, “the mental illness of such a severe nature that a person cannot distinguish fantasy from reality, cannot conduct her/his affairs due to psychosis, or is subject to uncontrollable impulsive behavior.” To others, it could mean the way people think, act, and their perspective on life is different from the norms of society.
There are different themes that come up in Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, such as darkness, curiosity, madness, the emergence from childhood to adulthood, etc. From these themes, madness is the most prevalent because adaptations of Carroll’s original text have been adopted in different forms such as texts, films, music, and art and most of them represent madness in different ways. For this paper, I will be comparing the use of madness between Disney’s and Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland.
In Carroll’s text of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, there is a scene between the Cheshire Cat and Alice where there is a brief discussion of madness. The Cheshire Cat claims that Alice is mad because “’You must be,’ said the Cat, ‘or you wouldn’t have come here’” (Carroll). From here, we are told that Alice is mad because of her curiosity to follow the white rabbit down the his hole. She’s mad before she even enters Wonderland but she becomes more ‘mad’ when she stays in Wonderland. She starts to forget simple recitals of poetry and cannot figure out easy equations. When she meets with the Caterpillar, he asks her, “’Who are you?’” and she responds, “’I–I hardly know, sir, just at present– at least I know who I was when I got up this morning, but I think I must have been changed several times since then’” (Carroll). Alice is slowly loosing herself in Wonderland and seems to be lost among all the strange creatures and environment.
Disney’s Alice in Wonderland, as well as Tim Burton’s, both explores the idea of madness but through the use of different elements. In Disney, Alice’s character is portrayed as a young curious child who is fearless yet childish. She explores Wonderland with open eyes but gets easily frustrated with how the other characters such as, the Cat, the Mad-Hatter, and the Hare drive her to become mad because they don’t follow the proper norms of society and that makes her question her own insanity. In Jeffery Callen’s essay Impossible Things he states, “Alice, overwhelmed with the surrounding madness, begins to cry and wakens herself through fear of the madness” (120). She is surrounded by talking objects that sing and dance, she is told the story of the baby clams that are eaten, she is among all these creatures that challenge her to identify herself and she can’t.
Deborah Ross’s essay on Escape from Wonderland: Disney and the Female Imagination, she claims, “The cat responds that everyone in Wonderland is mad, but he does not go on to say that Alice too is mad, so that already Disney’s Alice is presented as out of her element, the lone sane and rational creature among lunatics.” I disagree with this statement because even though the cat does not explicitly state that Alice is mad, it is implied that she soon will become mad with his sarcastic tone and laugh in the film.
The Disney’s version is similar to that of Carroll’s in the fact that they give the impression that Wonderland is what drives Alice to become mad. Even the scene when the flowers sing a symphony, after they are done with their performance, they call Alice a ‘weed’ and the weeds are usually associated with an object that makes the environment ugly and nobody wants them. It seems as if Alice is not wanted in Wonderland because she is normal; this makes her different, which makes her ‘mad’ and even drives her to leave Wonderland.
In Tim Burton’s version of Alice in Wonderland, it is important to note that Alice is older, around the age of 20/21 and is in that ripe age for marriage. She falls into the rabbit hole because she needs to think about her perposal. When she again falls in the rabbit hole, she is reunited in a different and dark Wonderland that is not so wonderful. Burton emphasizes the darkness and madness of Wonderland through the choice of dark lighting, the semi-scary creatures, bizarre make-up, and creepy music. Wonderland has become a place where if you aren’t mad, the Queen will ‘off with your head’. This takes an interesting turn in Carroll’s version because in Burton’s version, the characters are forced to be offsetting, weird, or have a dysfunction, because the Queen of Hearts has an abnormally large head.
Alice is older and seems to be more mature, she starts to let go of her childish attitude but still tries to search and define who she is. The struggle of identifying oneself, either through being challenged of the norms and being forced to think beyond usual boundaries, or accepting your fate for who you are and who you are supposed to be. Callen claims, “Alice’s finding her way back home as it is of her becoming a “self” through being with madness” (120). Alice in Tim Burton’s Wonderland stays until the end so that she can discover herself; find her “muchness” as the Mad-Hatter calls it. Because of this, normality becomes madness.
Callen, Jeffrey C. “Impossible Things.” Administrative Theory & Praxis (M.E. Sharpe) 34.1 (2012): 120-124. Academic Search Complete. Web. 25 Sept. 2014.
Deborah, Ross. “Escape from Wonderland: Disney and the Female Imagination.” OmniFile Full Text Mega (H.W. Wilson). Wayne State University Press, 2004. Web. 23 Sept. 2014.
Carroll, Lewis. “Chapter 6.” Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. N.p.: Project Guttenberg, n.d. N. pag. Web.
Here is what I submitted as my final project:
Enjoy and let me know what you guys think in the comment box down below!
To make a Twine, you must first download the software onto your Mac or PC.
You open the software onto your laptop and a page with a white box that says “Start” will appear. Don’t change the name of this box. To write on this box, double click it. Now you can start your short story into the passage.
After you’ve written your passage, create a link to link it to the next passage you’ll create. To create a link, you must insert two bracket [[ ]] around the word you wish to link. Once you’ve done that, within the link, you can insert a | after the word you wish to link. Whatever is after the | is the new page that link will take you to. Remember, your reader can only see what is before | and not what is after it.
An orange exclamation point will appear at the bottom right of your box on the original page. This just means that you have to create another box in order to link the start box. Once you’ve done that, make sure that the title of your new box is the same as what you put after the |.
Then you’ve created a new link! Continue with this process and you would have developed a story in no time! After you’ve done a couple of more links, click on story at the top of your computer, then click on Build Story and that will save your story as an HTML on any web browser . And there you have it! You’re first interactive story.
If you have any questions, just leave a comment in the comment box down below!
The newest software upgrade is now available for Mac laptops for FREE! Make sure to get yours a soon as possible!
The new software’s most noticeable features are the IBooks app and Maps, both have been modified in a more friendly user way with cool new features!
To read more about it click on this link: Click Here
I’m personally enjoying the new Software since when I got my laptop I had the older software and did not purchase the latest one. It feels like as if I purchased a new laptop, but again, it was free!
Make sure to go to the App store and get yours.
Ps: Downloading the new upgrade took about 3 hours for my laptop, so make sure when you do download it, to download at a time when you don’t need to use it.
Hope everyone enjoys it as much as I do!
Today on October 23 2013, ISA (Islamic Student Association) is hosting its annual Fast-A-Thon event at 6pm in the Faculty Dining Hall of Seaco.
ISA is a Mary Washington club that talks about Islamic culture in modern days. It teaches students how Islam culture can vary from country to country and the influence that Islam has in art, literature, science, and other forms of studies. It’s a great club for those who have a desire to learn more about Islam and its culture.
Specifically for Fast-A-Thon though, they challenge students to fast (no water!) from sunrise to sunset. The purpose of fasting is to teach humility, humbleness, and patience for oneself and to also to be grateful for the blessings we have.
What are your opinions on fasting? Have you ever done it? Let me know in the comments below!
Towards the end of my freshmen year, I decided to take an exercise class each semester for my years at Mary Washington. Currently, I am enrolled in Beginner’s Individual Exercise where the students are allowed to use the gym freely as they please. We also have the option to work out outside to enjoy it when the weather is nice and cool.
With taking a form of a work out class, I notice a change in myself where I’m happier, more awake, and aware and focused on my studies. Along with keeping my body in motion, my taste buds have taken a turn for more of healthier choices. With that, I’ve just generally felt great in both the mind and body.
I encourage people to participate in activities that make them move their bodies and eat healthier foods.
How do you stay healthy?
For this blog post, I’m honestly not sure what to talk about. Saturdays are days of relaxation, going out, and being about.
It’s funny how our generation, The Millennials, have that fear of “Missing out” or better yet known as “FOMO”. We have the constant need to be doing and talking with our friends but be everywhere at once. Not only that, but we have to need to post it on social media sites such as Facebook, Instagram, Flicker, Twitter, and so on. And with these social medias, family and friends know what we’re doing and it appears as if we’re having the time of our lives.
We live in the digital age and I think it’s important that we do embrace these social medias, but use them in ways that are beneficial to oneself and others.
Every Friday from 5 to 6pm, I play music at the radio station next to the nest. Each week features a different theme from Empowering Women to Sexy Men. I’m hoping that as time progresses, I’ll be able to get more listeners to the point that I’ll get requests and the people will be playing their music. I also talk during my shows sometimes, mostly just saying what the theme is, the song I’m playing, and dedications.
I encongare you guys to listen in if you’d like. It’s a great opportunity to broaden your knowledge on the different types of music that is offered from old pop to modern classical music.
The link to the station is: http://wmwc.umwblogs.org
Yesterday, Tuesday the 15th was a religious holiday for Muslims all over the world. It was specifically for the people who have completed the pilgrimage around the Ka’ab in Mecca.
American Muslims celebrate Eid a different way than they do in the Middle East and other Muslim countries. My family and I usually start the morning off by going to the morning Eid prayer, then listening to the lecture on Islam afterwards. Later, the whole family will join together to eat lunch and converse in conversations. Younger kids usually exchange gifts with each other.
Eid is a nice holiday to just relax and enjoy the company of your family and friends.