Complex Simplicity

30 11 2009

Throughout the story we are faced with riddles and characters that do nothing but talk in circles. the Caterpillar, the March Hare, the Cheshire Cat. All of these characters talk in such a confusing way that it takes us a while to fully get what they’re saying.

But is it really all that confusing?

Maybe the only reason that their comments and questions are so confusing to us is that we’re used to looking at things from one perspective. All of us do it. Say two people are arguing over whether something is right or wrong. One person is looking at the argument from one side only, and arguing that side. The other person is on the other side of the argument and only arguing that side. Sometimes one of the people is pulled over to the other side of the argument, or they agree with a point from the other side. But there is always, ALWAYS just two sides. I’ve heard this called the Line of Discussion. There’s a very distinct line between one side of the discussion (or argument) and the other.

But the inhabitants of Wonderland seem to be on a THIRD side of the argument, one we’re not used to dealing with. They have a different perspective on the ways of society (like table manners) and on getting an answer out of somebody (like who they are). So the question remains:

Are they really so confusing, or are they using a much more simple form of speaking and straight-talking?

I think that they’re really talking in a very simple manner, but we’re blowing it out of proportion because we’re not used to it, and it’s different.



6 responses

3 12 2009
Scott M.

Sorry. But I just realized I made a huge grammar error in my post. Write*

3 12 2009
Kierston R.

This is a great point and do agree, we have over analyzed these characteres to much. Iti is only natural to over analyze something like this, it’s second nature. You must remember that Alice is new in wonderland and has not been taught to think like the people there so, that is most likly why she does not compleatly understand what they are trying to tell her. Alice is trying to make up for a lack of knowladgle with by excerting her education and that really only takes her further away from being able to figure things out.

3 12 2009
Scott M.

I see what you mean. I was thinking the other day about how writers right. It’s always first person or third person. When does anyone write in second person? How do you even do that? It seems like it would be sort of difficult to do. The creatures in the Wonderland seem to be talking on this “second person” frequency (please take note that I don’t actually mean they’re talking in second person, it’s just an example). Everything is just too weird in Wonderland. It seems like they talk in a very socratic way, always asking Alice questions, even when Alice has questions for them. Maybe they’re all just philosophers in their own twisted world.

2 12 2009
Carl K.

You’re right Alex. Everything is SO topsy-turvy and twisty-twirvy when we look at what everyone is saying Wonderland (which drived me mad at times!) . Yet, when you pause and rethink it over, everything that the characters say is actually really simple. We’re too ignorant to do anything about. But that’s only because we aren’t used to, or we haven’t stopped and tried to look at it from a new perspective. I think Mr. Long is taking one of Carroll’s ideas and using it as a basis for his teaching (while he is playing Devil’s Advocate). In our class discussions, Mr. Long has been helping us learn not to be ignorant of the argument, and to look at the other’s side of view. So in that way, we learn and understand more than when we first started. Carroll’s fancy writing was to help us understand what we don’t know better.

And yeah. We blew everything WAY out of proportion.

1 12 2009
Jenna K.

I love this post. I’m right there with you. Wonderland really isn’t that confusing or strange. They just have a different view on things and choose to express themselves differently. They speak English, they just dictate their words differently. We’re just not used to it which makes it seem strange and confusing. But if you take a step back, tilt your head to the side, and really think about it – it’s not that strange at all.

30 11 2009
Lindsay R.

I agree with you on it is simple. Our brains aren’t used to the third side so we blow it out of proportion. At first it was really hard to read the tea party scene because it seemed really confusing. Was Carroll special and understood the third side of the argument and that is why he could write it? Also do you think someday people will finally understand the third side of the arguement and finally understand Carroll reason for writing the way he did? By the way I really like your title. It caught my eye and I had to read it.

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