A Taste of Frank Philosophy

10 11 2009

When we first see the Caterpillar, the image we get is of a calm blue worm, in a sort of meditative state. He’s sitting back, “quietly smoking a long hookah” and not paying any mind to the world around him. This kind of reminds me of old gurus and Indian medicine men who would go into drug-induced states to find enlightenment or what have you. And when he speaks his first words, we’re instantly introduced into a frank character, and with his next words, a frank philosopher. He demands “Who are you?”.

I’d like to stop a minute and think about how many different ways that question can be taken. There’s the obvious and most used “Who’re you?” Just asking who this person is that interrupted a caterpillars smoke break. Or there’s the more surprised and angry “Who ARE you?” which is more of an expression of surprise at something that is strange and unusual. But the Caterpillar puts the emphasis on “you”, so we can safely assume that he meant the third way of taking the question; as an eternal question on who is a person? What is I? And the rest of that headache-inducing mess. That, and the Caterpillar also proves to like talking about in circles and riddles. Whenever Alice says “you see” the Caterpillar immediately responds with “I don’t see” which is bound to get annoying, just like when you say “can I go to the restroom” and the teacher absolutely always replies “I don’t know, can you?”. It’s a way of taking things way too literally, yet when you double that smarty-pants attitude with a philosophical question, you get a very interesting character that’s bright blue with a hookah.



3 responses

15 11 2009
Meighan A.

Magnificent! I adore this, but I had to laugh at the part about asking to go to the restroom. Having a teacher for a mother who is picky about those things has trained me never to say “can I..?”
You presented some fantastic thoughts here, but my thought is this: The caterpillar seems to me a fellow who likes to meditate and who simply because he has time to think, thinks himself a philosopher. The caterpillar reminds me of one of the lesser characters in a Shakespearian play who is usually under some influence and speaks wise words without knowing their power. I don’t believe the caterpillar really knows anything he is saying, he just says it because it sounds right and when he tells Alice about the mushroom he does so out of simplicity; he doesn’t care either way if she shrinks or grows, he only told her to let her know she had options.

12 11 2009
Abbie P.

“It’s a way of taking things way too literally”

Although I agree on how annoying it is when a teacher responds “I don’t know, can you?” (for me, it’s because the person should know to say “may I” rather than “can I,” but still. The annoyance is there), isn’t that the glory of it? Everything in Alice in Wonderland is way too literal. The baby who grunts turns into a pig! And beating time is no longer keeping beat in music, it’s actually physically abusing time.

12 11 2009
Lindsay R.

I really like this blog. Especially because I can relate to it. The “can I go to the bathroom” thing gets annoying sometimes. Also the way the caterpillar talks makes me a little mad. Also when the caterpillar keeps asking the same question “who are you?” to Alice. It makes me think the conversation is going in circles and that there is no end. By the way I like your style of writing. For some reason I understand everything you put in the blogs. I have read some of your others and I couldn’t stop reading them because the showed me new meanings to the story. So thank you.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: