A Tale of Morality…

16 11 2009

In chapter 9, as all of you know well, the Duchess says, “[E]verything has a moral, if only you can find one”.  She then goes on to give a bunch of trivial morals to quite ridiculous statements. However, there is one moral that stands out amongst the rest; perhaps it is the most meaningful statement of all lines in “Alice’s adventures in Wonderland”.

“What is this line?” you may ask. Well, it’s the one you’ve already seen:

“Everything has a moral, if only you can find one” is perhaps the greatest Alice based moral there is.

“Why?” you may ask. Well I’d reply “Stop asking so many questions!” However if you were looking for an answer, this would be my response.

Look at what we are doing, here and now, sitting at our desks, either reading this blog, making your own, or scanning through your copy of The Annotated Alice. We are all finding a moral in everything around us. The entire point of these “Alice Projects” is to find morals in every action Alice takes.

However, I can’t help but feel like the Duchess, desperately clinging onto morals that never made much sense in the first place. So the question then becomes if we are the Duchess assigning Morals to Mustard mines, should we as individuals keep up our facade and blindly rest our chin on Alice? Or should we instead try to understand Alice for what it gives us. As it says in the Preface to The Annotated Alice, “…Symbols have too many explanations”. Insight is majority rule. All symbols we analyze, no matter how hard we try, will always have a different meaning.

As Freud once said, “Sometimes a jar is only just a jar”.


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3 responses

18 11 2009
Ryan S.

I think you maybe confusing the “moral” like ethics, with the “moral” like a lesson.
Everything does have a moral, actually it has several. actually it has nearly and infinite amount of morals. you are quite correct to assume that all symbols are going to have different meanings. However, your wrong to assume that there isn’t a point in continuing to search for them.
I’ll give you an example.
Lets say you are a democrat and I am a republican. We can both acknowledge that there is no perfect system, but we still believe what we think is right because, what if we didn’t have our own views then nothing would get done. Views themselves cannot change. Just our interpretation of them.

morals are opinions, but it goes farther than that.
I’ll leave you with this thought: “If morals are opinions, do opinions actually exist?”

2 12 2009
Erin M.

I understand what you are saying. You kind of put it into a different perspective for me. I understand that things have certain meanings if you search for them. By why search for a meaning if it only comes down to what you think about it. I believe that we live in a world where our opinions are the morals. So in a way they are kind of the same thing. Then everything will have many morals, but it always comes down to our opinion.

18 11 2009
Erin M.

When the Duchess say that everything has a moral, we can’t actually find one moral. Aren’t morals our opinions? If I say something is wrong and someone says it is right, than we have two different morals. You said the piont of this Alice project is to find moral for everything that Alice does. The problem is we are all going to find different things. So why analyze if one thing doesn’t mean nearly as much to me as it does to somebody else? Then it comes down to whether there really is a moral for everything. If all symbols are going to have different meanings then maybe it is just not worth saying that means anything at all.

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