Alice in Wonderland might have been the world most reinterpreted work in every form of living history. While I love the interpretative works like ABC’s Once Upon A Time, SyFy’s Alice, Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland and such, unfortunately, it’s one of my most hated Disney movie of all time despite it is one of a setting of Square-Enix’s Kingdom Heart which I used to like playing it.
Alice’s Adventure in Wonderland started when the curious Alice who followed a rattled rabbit in waistcoat into a whole that leads to a place where she called Wonderland. She had the most curious response to her environment and tried logically to make sense of her surroundings. She met with countless of creatures of all shapes and sizes. She did however shapeshifted to various shapes and sizes from eating and drinking things in the nonsense world.
Charles Lutwidge Dodgson (Lewis Carroll) was a mathematician and to me, it was evident that he uses applied mathematics and probabilities in his plots despite the confusion in story progressions and the deux es machina nature of the book. He added puzzles and contradicting poems and often offering questions and dialogues to an other ignorant audience. In what probably an attempt to elevate himself in a way that no one could comprehend his inner joke that I need The Annotated Alice to make sense what it is. Well, thats what I think….
I would say the most content that you get from the book was from the characters in it. There are also a bulk of poetry and riddles that occupied the book that made the premise sounded like the “Inception” within a story. The bulk of what AiW meaningful were the multitudes of intriguing characters and unpredictable qualities of all of them which are interesting even when you see them being caricatured in every sort of ways. That is why the reinterpretation of the characters are very appealing to me.
From the first chapter, I was surprised that I do feel similarities with myself and Alice in the book. She’s curious, she actually contradicted herself like I do all the time. She sees the world as dull and she’s attracted to intelligent things that when she’s unable to rationalize the things that were happening, she came out with interesting solutions. For the story of a little girl, she’s quite intelligent for her age. She is rational and intuitive and fearless. I guess it explained why the Disney interpretation of Alice gave me an unsubtle intense dislike because the animation seemed to fit in the perception of woman and superficial Disney princess in the 50s and not the book. I have taken a liking with the 2010’s version but Alice is very similar to the ones in the animation that it came off as bland and dull despite interesting casts.
Had the book came without its attached illustrative etching from Sir John Tenniel, one would have some problem in the settings of the book. I do find Wonderland were up to the interpretation of people who want to view it. And in my mind eyes, unlike the characters residing in it, Wonderland is much less of a vibrant and bleak country like the differences with the romance of the south and the industrialize north of England like the setting of Victorian era’s “North and South” novel. In a sense the realism Carroll tried to emulate by refusing to humanize the characters and giving them an anthropomorphic qualities and comical portrayals in the illustrations. However if you think of applied mathematical in a way, what seems illogical to a rational mind is in fact dependent on the perceptions that it would have been logical in irrational beings.
For all it tries to be, Alice in Wonderland may be short but its wealth of questions lingered in millions of readers that made the book in some ways; immortal.