Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Curiouser and curiouser!

Oh Alice, where do I begin? Alice in Wonderland was written by Lewis Carroll in 1865, aka 145 years ago! It tells the story of a young, blonde girl who falls down a rabbit hole and encounters some of the most zany/ ridiculous/ INSANE of situations. Although these situations associate with solutions that deal with logic, this novel has what is called literary nonsense.

The controversy that surrounds this novel is uncanny. Many people seemed to question this novel and the messages it portrayed when Disney created their own interpretation of the story Alice in Wonderland in 1951 (which was demonstrated through animation). This film revealed to have vibrant colours, eccentric characters, overall representing an extremely whimsical world where anything could happen. YET... when the viewer started to critique this quirky movie something seemed a little off, almost as if it was telling a story based on numerous scenarios that one of a person on drugs would concoct.

Now, as a visual arts student I am somewhat forced to comment that in the hopes of creating depth through art, artists/creators sometimes get pressured to evoke abstract ideas. Therefore, I still have an ounce of HOPE that maybe the creators of this 1951 cartoon and author Lewis Caroll were merely just trying to push their imaginations into abstract thought BUT somehow accidentally made it appear that Alice was a young, blonde, drug addict girl who had experienced many hallucinations.

Nonetheless, there is evidence that does suggest a not as naive opinion as mine, which is as follows...


The White Rabbit
The idea of Alice following the White Rabbit is introduced in the beginning of the movie. Many people have said that the rabbit in Alice in Wonderland symbolizes cocaine. Similarly cocaine is also white. Is this a coincide? Or not?

The Bottles/Food
There are many moments in the movie where Alice eats cookies that say Eat Me and drinks odd looking beverages that say Drink Me. This is done so Alice can grow big or small. However, questions have arose if these foods and drinks represent the idea of Alice taking drugs.


Talking Doorknobs & Flowers

While Alice is on her adventures in Wonderland the Doorknobs start to talk, as well as the Flowers. Although I view this a fun way to characterize banal objects into personalities (so it can be entertaining for children). There are beliefs that this is a hallucination.

Other Hallucinations include the Cheshire cat who appears in and out. As well as the caterpillar who noticeably smokes from a pipe in his entire appearance.


The Tea Party
Lastly, the tea party has been seen as a place where much drug use occurs and the reason why it is so outlandish is because all the characters are delirious from the drugs they have taken. Once again I view this as a way to entertain children who read this story, but others disagree.

In conclusion, it is extremely questionable if Alice in Wonderland was intended to be viewed as a “drug movie/story”. It should be noted that there are critics who believe Carroll was on opium while writing this novel because in the late 1800’s opium was not illegal. On the contrary, there are also critics who contemplate that reviewing Alice in Wonderland, in conjunction with drugs, is rubbish and by doing so it destroys an extraordinarily imaginative story about a young girl who is maturing into a young adult.

This was my favourite picture. So I just decided to put it up because well... it is HILARIOUS.


  1. Man, I love this movie. And I love this book, too.
    Actually, another point to mention would be about the term "mad as a hatter" was used in the creation of the Mad Hatter, which suggests that his job involves many toxic smells, leaving hatters a bit wonky.
    However, even if this is a "trippy interpretation" I love it just the same, and can safely say the original literature was nothing more that a child's story, the Victorian world through a more youthful and whimsical lens.

  2. thanks for pointing that out!
    yeah i've always thought it was really cool that there was possibly underlying meaning to all of it, despite the fact that it was a chidren's story - not necessarily like, the ~trippiness, but the morals and such - love it!
    - Sarah