Hypocritical Views

While reading Alice, I was struck by how insane, strange and just plain weird Wonderland truly is. There are strange talking creatures and odd nonsensical characters, quite outlandish in my opinion. I was quite sure that Alice was simply a whimsical and generally indecipherable depiction of childhood and the inanity of youth.

Then I realized how very hypocritical I was being.

I myself love the genre of fantasy/supernatural in general and often buy into the magical worlds authors create with their words. So I asked myself, what is so different about Alice? Why can’t I appreciate the magic and ignore the inconsistencies like I can with so many other books and novels?

I think my aversion to Alice can partially be associated with my childhood dislike for the Disney movie. I remember getting very frightened by the movie as a child so perhaps I am over analyzing to avoid what disturbed me as a child and am therefore missing the magic. Or perhaps I am falling prey to the awful trap of cultural difference and the fact that I am an outsider looking in? I can understand novels because I can identify with the character. Can such a thing be said of Alice?

It is possible that I am misunderstanding Alice just as some would misunderstand so many of the worlds more different and intriguing cultures? It is accepted that we find the ancient practice of foot binding in China harsh abusive and strange. But if we could go back to a time when that was acceptable I doubt we would ever find a noble woman who would choose the painless option. To do so would mean they would not marry well and would be considered a commoner, a peasant. Ostracized from society and the culture they were raised in.

So it is with Alice. Would any of the Wonderland characters criticize their strange customs and ways? No, how can one find strange the only thing you have ever known. Just as there must be knowledge of heat for us to understand cold, we must have an experience with something better to say that what we have currently is bad.

So in truth aren’t we all a bit hypocritical?

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