Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland

Unfortunately, it has become commonplace for the Patriot Rockstars within the Carousel of Carnivores to incessantly demand their audiences to “wake up,” and then once “awoken,” to go “awaken” others. This type of language emanates from The Matrix, a 1999 movie whose characters describe its simulated reality computer program as a dreamworld. Phrases used in that film, from “follow the white rabbit” to “feeling a bit like Alice, tumbling down the rabbit hole,” are all references to a children’s fairy tale that should be examined not only comparatively to political dissident slang, but also on its own merits.

 

 

Wonderland is a figment of Alice’s imagination; everything that happens from the time she sees the white rabbit taking out his pocket watch, to the end of the jury trial, occurs while she is asleep. The only real place in the entire story is the bank on the river, and the only real person, besides Alice herself, is her unnamed sister. Arguably, her sister “arrived” in Wonderland as well, but only after Alice told her about it, so it is fairly dubious whether her sister was “really” in Wonderland at all.

Right from the start, the “awakened” have a tremendous allegorical problem. Their insistence that the mass population must “travel down the rabbit hole” in order to “wake up” is ill-conceived, because Alice did not “wake up” the more she traveled downward. There was nothing particularly illustrative or otherwise enlightening about Alice’s fall, given that her meandering thoughts during it were hardly philosophical. And despite Adam Kokesh’s claim that, “There is no bottom to the rabbit hole,” Alice did, in fact, hit bottom onto “a heap of sticks and dry leaves.”

After several experiences with growing alternately smaller and larger, Alice tried to carry on small talk with the various creatures of Wonderland, but to no avail since they were all unnecessarily argumentative. From the Mouse and the Dodo to the Caterpillar and the Frog-Footman, Alice experiences one frustrating conversation after another. I sincerely doubt the “awakened” have ever made an allegorical argument that perhaps these creatures are supposed to be government agents, but I don’t get that feeling at all from their words and actions (except, of course, for the royalty).

Equally absurd are the Mad Hatter’s tea party, the Queen’s croquet game, the tales of the Mock Turtle, and my personal favorite, a jury trial regarding the stolen tarts. Each one of these is a bumbling fest of slapstick comedy, puns, or both. The surrealistic interactions Alice has with the inhabitants of Wonderland suggest how absurdly unreal her entire experience there is; it is not as if her travels there made her more compassionate or wiser than she was before. If anything, the sheer lack of meaning in the behavior of Wonderland’s creatures probably evinces a design by the author to encourage his readers to just not take anything too seriously, because what seems to be happening around Alice is all illusory anyway. This very Discordian interpretation is, I think, primarily supported at the end of the jury trial when Alice shouts, “You’re nothing but a pack of cards!,” and she immediately experiences the flying pack of cards all about her as her mind’s way of making sense of the falling dead leaves on her face from the tree above her as she regains consciousness.

Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland is not a philosophical allegory, despite what some political activists may say. The absurdly surrealistic nature of Wonderland itself debunks any Internet pundit’s assertion that “we” must “go down the rabbit hole” and such garbage, because the story itself does not lend itself to that, even allegorically. Perhaps those who advocate becoming “fake awake” would do better to keep up with the Joneses, because at least then they’d be more consistent with whatever shred of integrity they still managed to hold onto.

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