Lewis Carroll's Alice in Wonderland Hardcover – September 22, 2009
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|Hardcover, September 22, 2009||
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About the Author
Rodney Matthews began drawing at a very young age and went on to study commercial design. After serving an apprenticeship in advertising, he became a freelance designer and illustrator. Since that time, he has become an internationally acclaimed artist with a unique and instantly recognizable style.
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There are some passages that I find interesting as they are in accordance with my theory. The way the Caucus Race is described is "All the party were placed along the course here and there. There was no 'One, two, three, and away' but they began running when they liked and left off when they liked..." at last the Dodo said everybody has won, and all must have prizes.'' As a player of adapted sports this attitude is in fact not nonsensical but quite normal, as this is often the rules in adapted sports that are made less intense for disabled people. Alice also struggles to hold the Duchess' pig-baby. It says "... Kept doubling itself up and straightening itself out again, so that altogether, for the first minute or two, it was as much as she could do to hold it." I’ve never held a live baby, but being that my right arm is very weak, it seems logical that I would struggle to do this. She also struggles with holding her flamingo during the game of croquet. It says "The chief difficulty Alice found at first was in managing her flamingo: she succeeded in getting its body tucked away, comfortably enough, under her arm, with its legs hanging down, but generally, just as she had got its neck nicely straightened out, and was going to give the hedgehog a blow with its head, it would twist itself round and look up in her face." The fact that the Queen of Hearts, the villain of the piece, who the dreaming Alice has created is ableist to the extreme is how the mind of a disabled person like me, would recreate that person in my head. Alice has experienced ableism in real life, and she emotionally processes it through creating this over-the-top situation in her dream. Lewis Carrol only says of the other players that they were "Quarreling," not that they struggled with their flamingos As a final note, while it does say Alice ran to get to the house at the end of the story, Alice says in "Down The Rabbit Hole" "I shall think nothing of tumbling down stairs! How brave they'll think me at home!" The Line ``How brave they'll think me at home!" implies that this happens more often than it happens to most normally developed children, her Disability may affect some physical abilities and not others, like mine, I have the most control over my legs, and the least control over my hands. There is also how “Involved” the stuff Alice does in Wonderland is to begin with.
The content of Alice’s dream represents her ambitions, which for a disabled person can be the simplest things. Most of the stuff done in Wonderland is simple, day-to-day activities. Alice dreams of swimming, eating, drinking, having a race, going to a tea party, learning a dance, playing a sport(Croquet), playing fetch with a dog, walking around, talking to people; all given a delightfully bizarre spin by Lewis Carroll; which like the quotes in the paragraph above suggest on a normal day her disability may not let her do the simplest things. The poems being repeated were based on real poems, and that means Alice is consciously integrating them into her dream like I do today with popular characters and celebrities. This is why I can see myself AS Alice rather than just identify with her.
Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland gave me confidence in my disabled identity. The Caucus Race had the same rules as the adapted sports I was allowed to play, making the fact that they isolated me from my abled-bodied peers easier. Alice and I both have strong intellect, She thinks about how far she’s fallen, she thinks about how to get into the garden, math, geography, and poetry the typical way we measure intellect, in the first two chapters alone. Alice is disturbed by the fact that she can’t seem to remember the things she used to know, She says to the Caterpillar ``I can’t remember the things I used”.I have Cerebral Palsy, and the one thing I got praise for more than anything else was being smart. None of the other characters seem to notice Alice is smart, this is because there is a stereotype that disabled aren’t smart. Throughout Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland' the characters doubt, or simply ignore Alice’s intellect. The Caterpillar tells Alice of her rendition of “You Are Old Father William'' that “It was wrong from beginning to end' When told by Alice that “The Earth takes 24 hours to turn around on its axis” the Duchess replies “Talking of axes, chop off her head!” The Mad Hatter teases her with “Why is a raven like a writing desk?” and then tells her he has no idea what the answer is. The Mock Turtle and the Griffin let her explain a little bit of her rendition of “Tis the Voice of the Sluggard.'' Soon after saying that the poem is too hard for them; Alice is making progress. When she finally gets to prove her intellect, called as a witness at the Knave’s trial, saying that the evidence “Has not an atom of meaning in it.” and that sentencing someone first is “Stuff and nonsense!” but the response is “Off with her head!” Nevertheless the Queen of Hearts acknowledges that what Alice said makes sense to her, sending the cards upon her, ending her dream and finally validating her intellect. Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland makes me value my intellect, even if I don’t consider breaking stereotypes valuable to myself. The fact that Wonderland is a dream provides me with the opportunity to say “I can go on a adventure, defeat a villain, just like everybody else” because Alice isn’t really doing anything except sleeping! That’s why the “It’s only a dream” ending can be molded into something beautiful.
Alice is dreaming, there’s hardly any way to judge what abilities she actually possesses. Wonderland is more accommodating requiring no physical feats of daring do, just a chance to prove one’s intellect. Her physical struggles in Wonderland reflect her physical struggles in real life. Navigating Wonderland let’s her figure out how to combat ableism and oppression. The idea that MAYBE Alice COULD be a child like me is a magical and realistic ending for intelligent, imaginative, and adventurous girls like me and Alice.
Dali's art is not everything what this edition has to offer. There are two pieces of introduction which I found very interesting. First one is written by Mark Burstain explaining why the surrealists were so interested in Carroll book and the second one of Thomas Banchoff who actually met with Dali many times and provided us with some of stories about the genius. Both of them helped me better understand the madness of Dali, or as Carroll and the surrealists preferred to address: the wisdom.
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the illustrations are quite beautifully done
but on the first page there was a bit of blue ink staining like from a sticker or something I'm not entirely sure what that was about and there was a little bit of wear on the side of the spine but all in all the book was in very good condition definitely happy about buying this book.
I saw a lot of reviews about people disappointed about how big it was despite there being a picture of size in the description I've included a picture to show how big the book is compared to a standard size drink can
Time to explain to child what the hell is happening: 3 hours
While I appreciate the book was written in a different time, and there are some wonderful passages, on the whole the book is just a lot of old nonsense. Which I think was the point. It was an exercise in frippery, of making something nonsensical.
The adaptations of the book do an excellent job of turning this confused half-story into something enjoyable. My daughter enjoyed the fact that she was reading it/having it read to her, but really wasn't grasping much of what was going on.
I read this book back when I was a kid and decided it was time to re-read it and I am so glad I did, it was just as enjoyable to read the second time around. In fact once I got going I finished this book in two days.
It is full of fun and nonsense, there will be no need to sit here and try and explain or analyze the greater meaning of this book or the author's motives as it is just plain fun with no need to really think about what your reading. I have read reviews on this book and I have found that to many people try to delve into the story and analyze it, trying to explain the meanings or try and explain why things are written the way they are but by doing this they take away the fun and nonsense of the story and don't enjoy the silliness of the story.
Alice falls down a rabbit hole, after chasing the white rabbit and comes across a wonderful land of silliness and nonsense. Whilst down there she comes across characters such as the Cheshire Cat, the Caterpillar, The Hatter and the Hare, The Mock Turtle and a Gryphon and lets not forget the King and Queen of Hearts. She battles between being to small or to big and questions if she is still the same person.
It is certainly a fun book to read and I very much enjoyed it. My favorite character (apart from Alice) is definitely the Cheshire Cat. He is completely mad and he's the only character in the book who actually tries angering the Queen.
There are quite a few characters in the book you come across that actually aren't in the Disney film. This is why the book is so good, it's a different story to the film really. You do come across some of the missing characters in the next book - Through The Looking glass.
If you love Disney and Alice In wonderland then you will certainly enjoy this book.
Apart from that the text and story are wonderful. I've never been an Alice fan, really because the terrible movies put me off. So reading it at last is an exciting revelation.
Strange times. Harsh times. If ever there was a time for an escape into 'Wonderland' then certainly 1865 was as good a time as any.
The first thing I will say is that I am amazed this book has stood the test of time. It is wonderful that it has done, but amazing all the same. Not because it's not good, but purely because it is almost entirely insane! At the height of Victorian stoicism and the dour industrialisation of England, Reverand Charles Dodgson decided to write, under the pseudonum Lewis Caroll, a short novel where the main characters are a talking rabbit, a vanishing cat, a deck of playing cards and a depressed turtle - not to mention a smoking catterpillar and a lizard called Bill. Oh and then there is a tea party that never ends because it is always six o'clock, a game of croquet played with flamingoes for sticks, hedgehogs for balls and soldiers for hoops. And the Caucus Race, well...
Although this novel was written by the author for the young daughter of a friend, there is no doubting that it is also for adults. Some of the conversations, particularly involving the Mock Turtle have the same madness about them as do Yossarian's conversations with Clevinger in Catch-22. The puns are superb and the situations entirely Pythonesque. The Mighty Boosh would be a lot less mighty were it not for Alice In Wonderland and you have to wonder at the influence on the likes of Terry Pratchett and Tim Burton. And all done without drugs!
But for all the madness there is at its heart a paen to the loss of childhood innocence. The last couple of pages of the novel are almost heartbreaking in their poignancy as Alice's elder sister looks down upon her whilst she sleeps so sweetly. She is almost willing her not to cross that threshold into adolescence and then onto adulthood - a land with more war than wonder.
Alice sums it all up when she says:
I wonder if I've been changed in the night? Let me think. Was I the same when I got up this morning? I almost think I can remember feeling a little different. But if I'm not the same, the next question is 'Who in the world am I?' Ah, that's the great puzzle!
Has there ever been a better definition of adolescence than that?
Just as one of the characters in Wilkie Collins' Woman in White continually refers to Daniel Defoe's Robinson Crusoe for the answers to life's predicaments so I think I will always keep Alice in Wonderland handy. For these are Strange times. Harsh times. If ever there was a time for an escape into 'Wonderland' then certainly 2012 is as good a time as any.
Later parts were less familiar and I thoroughly enjoyed reacquainting myself with Wonderland. The only reason it doesn't quite hit 5 stars is that the end is rather abrupt and left me feeling like someone had just nicked the book off me before it was supposed to have finished. Otherwise, a delightful romp through a wonderful imagination.
'The master was an old Turtle - we used to call him Tortoise.' 'Why did you call him Tortoise, if he wasn't one?' Alice asked. 'We called him Tortoise because he taught us, said the Mock Turtle angrily: really you are very dull!'
Well, it made me laugh anyway.
The characters Alice encounters are all barking and argue with her constantly. Alice has her head firmly screwed on and is fearless and rational throughout whilst all around her nonsense and eccentricities abound. I can't say there is any hidden message in the book or any moral to grab hold of other than to treat people equally, give them the benefit of the doubt and but stand up for yourself if they give you any stick - Alice does these things admirably.
What strikes me most about this little book is the impact it has had on our culture. It is so very famous and well-known and people will know characters and quotes without even realising it. In fact the two books I read before this one both had quotes from Alice - Cutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese "Begin at the beginning and go on until you come to the end: then stop" and Alice Bliss by Laura Harrington "Curiouser and curiouser, as another Alice would say". It is ingrained in us all and can be quoted at will without any introduction or explanation.
Although this book is a classic it is not to be taken too seriously. It is daft and pointless and there is nothing to compare it too. I suspect some people will not like it at all but I thought it was great.
Alice seems to be a set text for a “Potions” topic for year 4 so it’s a great version to have at home to back up classroom reading.
The pre-face of the book doesn't state whether this novel contains actual grammatical errors (of which there are numerous), or whether this is the product of the old English language. I found many of the sentences too drawn out with constant "and"'s in the description, leaving little break to calculate what is happening. As such, I found it hard to read at times, though it would be unfair to say that I wasn't entertained. Despite the, admittedly, original writing style, I've never had the pleasure of reading such a random and fun book that doesn't, in any way, try attempt anything more than sheer curiosity. Alice is from the off-set presented as a young girl not through the images spread out on the pages, but through her innocence that can turn things like danger into what she would consider silly.
I can only come to terms that the novel has become such a cult hit because we can continue asking what Carroll was actually thinking when he wrote it. There have been suggestions that he 'liked' his Opium during the authorship (which wouldn't surprise me), but given that and despite its flaws, its still a tight story that at least highlights were no better in a world of confusion and non-sensical values.