Posted by: Brittany M | November 20, 2009

Trial of Reason

When Alice attends the hearing for the mystery of who stole the tarts, she is looking for some sanity. Wouldn’t it make sense that after all this time in a land of unsolved riddles, mad hatters, and queens obsessed with beheading, that she could possibly find some sanity and reasoning for everything at a court of justice?

Wrong.  It is in fact possible that there is no reasoning for anything in the book and there is nothing deeper than what there appears to be; but how many times do we try to find meanings in meaningless things?

We always try to find the meaning behind actions of people. From acts of murder to the writing of a books, we think we can figure out why everything is or why it has been done. Why can’t we just accept the fact that maybe sometimes things simply have no reasoning behind them? Maybe the events in Wonderland really happened for nothing. The Hatter’s riddle was never meant to be answered, the Queen was born to be obsessed with beheading, and Alice was never meant to know why she dreamed what she dreamed. Who knows what may have triggered her thoughts to cause her to dream of this land of un-reasoned events; but more importantly, why does it even matter?

How many times have things been ruined because of their explanations?  Often we try to figure things out and come up with the wrong results, and this leads to disappointment. If we just let some things be and accept them for what they are, how much more of a reward is it to not have our ideas crushed and proved wrong?



  1. Like Darcy said, we are curious, and we instinctively reach out to, well, find out. However, with stories the purpose is to entertain, to just take pleasure in the funny moments and to reflect in the sad. Sometimes they have a moral, but is it not the point of the story to please and invite?

    To Darcy – Define smart for this context. Smart is a vague word that I think has to be context specific.

  2. I agree, I really like the way you clarified the feelings towards the nonsense of wonderland. Perhaps there is nothing. But we don’t know, and we may never. We can only work with what we have been given. At this point we are trying to interpret the workings of Wonderland, but I truly believe rationality doesn’t apply to Wonderland. Let me remind you, wonderland was created by a far-from-perfect author and he only gives us limited information. We don’t have all the pieces to the puzzle, and even if we did, would they fit together?

  3. Darcy, I love your answer. Brittany, you bring up something we’ve all been arguing about for this whole project. But the only difference is unlike everybody else who just says, “hey this was meant for little children why analyze it” you’re basically saying, “why does it matter?” Like Darcy said, humans have this innate curiosity that makes us want to know everything we can about everything. But do you really believe that “The Hatter’s riddle was never meant to be answered, the Queen was born to be obsessed with beheading, and Alice was never meant to know why she dreamed what she dreamed”? I’ve had classes with you, when a teacher gives you new material learn you ask questions until you understand. Why can’t we do the same thing with this story?

  4. Okay, Darcy’s comment pretty much covered everything, but I’ll see what I can make of this blog.

    People try to find meanings with everything, not necessarily because they need to be all knowing, but instead because they all have a capacity to learn. This book may not have a meaning. Maybe Carroll just agreed that it did because many people thought it did. I remember that it took a while for it to get published, because without an alternate meaning, this is a pretty nonsense book. Even children’s books have another motive beside filling a kid’s head with imagination. They all try to teach something, but the lessons in this book aren’t directed to them. What people analyze are only opinions, so they can’t really be wrong. I do agree that some things don’t need an analysis, but this book may need one. But you do make good points.

  5. Humans are smart. Thats the reason why everything holds significant meaning and everything can be brutally analyzed until the subject has been trampled over thousands of people and killed. We are curious. We are unsatisfied with simple answers. We have minds which function extremely deeply (when we want them to…) and questions which we expect to run deeper. We are always looking to explore, cultivate, utilize, learn and examine. This is why we hold ourselves above other animals on this earth: because we choose not just to complete the circles of life without question, we choose to pursue knowledge and know everything there is to know.

    When we do conclude wrong answers, we do get disappointed. But that just means we will search and search until the answer is found.

    A picture says a thousand words, only if we try to speak to it. Nothing has meaning in it until we ask if it does. And guess what, we always will.

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