“It’s hard to say that I’d rather stay awake when I’m asleep” -Owl City (Fireflies)

9 11 2009
In “The Annotated Alice,” on pages 67, there’s a bit about the conversation between the Cheshire Cat and Alice. To simplify, it states that when one is dreaming, they see and do things that aren’t quite real, and that sanity is really a question of whether or not you can decipher between dreams and reality. Whereas, most people see insanity as a relative of diversity. If you look at the view from “The Annotated Alice,” it’s really quite interesting. Everyone dreams, whether they know it or not, it’s really a matter of whether or not they remember the dream. But, say you do remember a dream, usually nothing is in the “norm,” yet when we wake up, there’s still that feeling of “did that really happen?”.
Alice asks the Cheshire Cat how he knows she’s mad, and he responds “You must be… , or you wouldn’t have come here” (page 66). It could be seen as a bit of foreshadowing, is Alice indeed dreaming? And, is everyone a little mad when they’re dreaming? And if sanity is the ability to tell the difference between a dream and reality, does that make Alice insane? Because, she certainly seems to believe that all of this is real. Rabbits that talk, babies that turn into pigs, and caterpillars that smoke; none of these things are something that a “sane” person would see, or a “realistic” person would even believe to be real.
“I’d like to make myself believe
That planet Earth turns slowly
It’s hard to say that I’d rather stay
Awake when I’m asleep
‘Cause everything is never as it seems
When I fall asleep”
Just a few lines from the song “Fireflies” by Owl City, but I feel that it really relates to this, (you should really listen to it if you haven’t before, it’s amazing). Dreams are anything we want them to be, and despite the fact that nothing is normal, it feels so real. In Alice’s “Wonderland,” everything is queer, as Alice puts it. Nothing is as it usually is, and yet now she can’t seem to look back at reality. Now that she’s been exposed to this “wonderland,” nothing back at home is going to be normal anymore. No more talking rabbits, no more cats that smile, and no more footmen with fish heads. Reality has now become something very unreal. So, my last question is…does that mean that Alice’s reality has become unreal, and her dream real, or is Alice insane?

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13 responses

11 12 2009
Shelley

Abbie, the thing I’m curious about is when you figured out that you might be able to tie music in to most of your blog entries.

I think you’ve lived up to your bio: “It’s an opportunity for me to really show what I can do, and I’m not going to let that pass me by.”

Great work!

2 12 2009
Haley M.

First off, I loved your title. It was so cool how you took this song that is popular right now and used it with this. It was such a perfect fit.

You said. “And if sanity is the ability to tell the difference between a dream and reality, does that make Alice insane?”

I don’t think Alice is insane because dreams can seem so real at times. Just like you said, we have those “Did that really just happen?” moments and we have to get up and tell ourselves: oh that was just a dream. I mean, we wake up every morning out of dreams and have to go back to reality.

I don’t exactly think her reality has become unreal or her dreams have become real either.

She has woken up out of her dream and is a little confused, but she realizes it was a dream and move on.

20 11 2009
Katherine H.

I really love that you ask the question, Does that mean everyone is a little mad when they’re dreaming? Truthfully, its seems everyone is a little mad even when they aren’t dreaming. You refer to the ‘norm’, even in the real world there isn’t really a norm is there? This is actually very much similar to a blog I am working on about Carroll’s consistency in his anti-norm transforming it into ‘norm’. When you say that when Alice goes back to her real world nothing will be normal, it makes me think that perhaps nothing was normal in the first place. First, the ‘norm’ may be unidentifiable and second, Alice is a child. Being a child Alice in able to be influenced, maybe Wonderland is what is meant to be normal?

18 11 2009
Elizabeth A.

I really like what you’re saying here. Not just because I love that song, but because you made a very interesting point. I think, though, that dreams being “norm”, as you said, depends on what normal really is for that person. I mean, a person’s normal day could be wake up, go to school, go home and do homework, and go to sleep. And maybe that is a stereotypical day, but what is the true definition of normal, and besides, are we even normal?

16 11 2009
Rachel M.

You asked, “Does that mean that Alice’s reality has become unreal, and her dream real, or is Alice insane?”

At this point, I fell Alice cannot be deemed insane. If she were insane, (along with Kristen’s point) I’m sure the characters in wonderland would not seem so “queer” to her. It would seem normal. Since the world she is in still seems so foreign, I assume she is still trying to cling to sanity.
It is confusing because what she is viewing in wonderland IS so insane. Although, I don’t believe this is enough to call Alice herself insane.

15 11 2009
Jenna K.

I have to agree with Kristen, one cannot determine if they are dreaming until they wake up. It’s like yin and yang, there are no dreams if there is no reality. So you can not determine what is a dream until you compare it to what is reality. Since you can not consider reality when you are in the world of dreams you have to wait until you wake up. Then, you can compare what you just experienced in the world of dreams to what you know exists in the world of reality and say that it was a dream. So, to answer your question, I don’t think Alice is insane if she wakes up and says “wow, what a dream”

12 11 2009
Vivian H.

I love the way you tie music into Alice’s adventures. Now everytime I listen to that song, it will remind me of Alice. Your statement “Now that she’s been exposed to this “wonderland,” nothing back at home is going to be normal anymore. ” caught my attention. I know the feeling of experiencing something, and not being able to go back to how you were before. Is it me or does that relate back to Lord of the Flies? Like how the boys on the island can never go back to who they were before. I also love your last question, “does that mean that Alice’s reality has become unreal, and her dream real, or is Alice insane?” It is possible when you think about it, becuase when you dream everything is real at that moment in time, and the waking world seems so distant. Nicely written.

12 11 2009
Abbie P.

I really appreciate this comment, actually. And now that you mention it, it does sound a lot like Lord of the Flies, if you hadn’t mentioned it, I probably wouldn’t have seen that. I definately agree that it relates, you’re not alone.

12 11 2009
Kristen K

“And if sanity is the ability to tell the difference between a dream and reality, does that make Alice insane? Because, she certainly seems to believe that all of this is real.”

I found this remark to be an unfair conclusion. When I dream, certainly sometimes I realize I am dreaming. But otherwise, I don’t notice that I am dreaming until I wake up and the dream is over. Perhaps Alice is also experiencing the latter. Additionally, you must take into account that Alice is projected to be a seven-year-old child. When I was seven, I imagine I still believed in fantasies like Santa Claus and the like. It seems very probable to me that, if Alice was dreaming, that she could have believed it was reality and still be considered sane.

Just something to think about (:

12 11 2009
Abbie P.

Not to be rude or anything, but to come to an unfair conclusion, I would had to have come to a conclusion about it. I merely posed a question. So, there really is nothing for me to think about, is there? I understand if you respectfully disagree with the idea, but calling me unfair is a little much. Just something to think about (:

And I understand that she is merely a child, and that children believe in all kinds of things. (see the comment I left on connor m’s blog “too many (bizarre) characters” if you want proof. I mentioned santa also, actually). I was only asking if others believed her to be insane or not. In previous blogs I mention her childishness, so maybe you shouldn’t jump to conclusions.

16 11 2009
Kristen K

I apologize if my comment came across as rude as that was not my intent.

And you are right, ‘unfair conclusion’ is an inappropriate word choice. Perhaps ‘I believe that Alice is not insane because it seems unfitting when taking into account her age,’ would have been a better way to phrase it.

11 11 2009
Meighan A.

I loved the part at the beginning “To simplify, it states that when one is dreaming, they see and do things that aren’t quite real, and that sanity is really a question of whether or not you can decipher between dreams and reality. Whereas, most people see insanity as a relative of diversity.”
I know, because I’m a big dreamer, how lost one can get in a dream where when you wake up and still think what you dreamed happened.
For your last question; I don’t think reality is unreal. It’s just that her dreams have become a part of her reality. They haven’t flipped sides of the board, just become allies.

12 11 2009
Abbie P.

I really like your thinking on that. I only ask because I myself can’t really decide which it is, and am actually curious about what other people think. I like that you went outside the box and chose something I didn’t throw out there. It kind of expands it a little. And, I do agree, that that is a possibility. Probably more likely than what I said, but that’s because I’m a confusing person.

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