Monday, January 26, 2009

Guess I was having some EAT ME cake and not noticing...

I just finished Alice in Wonderland for one of my lit classes. I'd read it before in undergrad, but for some reason, the richness of the parody and symbolism was more obvious to me this time around. Which always surprises me - while I think a lot has changed since I've graduated from college, I think because I spent it mostly doing the same stuff over and over, at least intellectually or academically, I'm not necessarily conscious that I've become, well, more intellectually developed or that my brain capacity has changed in any way. When you're 8, the amount you change in 5 years to 13 is tangible and chartable- a clear jump. From 21 to 26, I'm not sure it's something I've noticed as much.

Fitting perhaps, considering Alice is so much about growing up, and the trials and tribulations of growing up fast in a world that is confusing and daunting.

If you've never read Alice as an adult, I would pick it up. It's a fast read - less than 100 pages with pictures - and kinda fun. I remember as a kid watching the Disney cartoon and then their Sunday night movie version and being completely FREAKED OUT, and in a way, reading it now still makes me feel like its uncanny and gives me shivers. Like the crazy Queen of Hearts and the Hatter and March Hare stuffing the doormouse into a teapot. Stuff like that creeped the shit out of me. Oh, and I was really disturbed by the scene in the cartoon movie with the flowers who call her a weed, but I was relieved that it wasn't in the actual book. My conclusion is that reading Alice is very much like the actual experience of life it's an allegory to. As a kid, sort of terrifying and upsetting; as an adult, kinda whimsical and fun to look back on. I totally am never letting my kids watch that movie. I don't think you're ready for that until you're older. That and the psychedelic elephant dream in Dumbo. Totally not kid friendly.

That's all.

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