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  • Alice in Wonderland -- a comprehensive comparison

    First off, I am aware that this is already a recent thread (the Lewis Carroll connection), however, there is much to be said about this topic, many things which I have found completely by accident. For this reason, I have decided to post my own theories and findings here so as to pick up where the previous thread left off, because in all fairness, new threads catch more attention, and I would really like some people to help me with this "investigation" of the similarities between the works of Lewis Carroll and of Leaves. Many of these are just running theories or things that struck my fancy, so don't be overly critical in your examination. Some of these ideas are expansions of already posted ideas on this forum, so if I have copied your work, don't take offense. You know who you are and I give you full credit. Anything with two question marks at the beginning of the sentence means that it was just a thought of mine and may not mean anything at all. Here we go:

    1) Heather is an anagram of The Hare (i.e lièvre en français, i.e rabbit, cf. Thumper…) and it is strange that each time Pelafina begins to lose her sanity, it is march — think of "mad as a march hare.” March Hare? Mad? How about the March Hare who was mad?
    2) There is an apparant theme of elusive rabbits (White rabbit eluding Alice, March Hare eluding sanity, Thumper elduding Johnny).
    3) Alice changes sizes almost as oftend as the changes configurations. One theory suggests that the changes in size according to mental projection/perception of the individual inside it. So it could be said that the person changes, not the itself. Alice is notorious for her constant size-shifting.
    4) When Alice enters Wonderland, she struggles with halls and doors.
    5) Carroll delighted in word games, and often wrote letters with secret codes and art.
    6) ??Tweedledee/Tweedledum=Tom. Dee (or Dum) when Tom is sober and normal, Dum (or Dee) when he's drunk or hight. Both like telling story's, jokes, and riddles, both are inherently kind, both are overweight, both scare easily, both have childish tendencies (constant joking, shadow puppets), and both use the title Mr. to add humor to the thing that haunts them (Mr. Fraction, Mr. Monster? This seems to be somewhat childish).
    7) When Navidson mentions Delial, it seems to upset people and make them feel awkward. The name is treated very taboo. Alice gets the same response when she mentions Dinah. both Delial and Dinah hold a special place in Navidson and Alice's heart, and both Navidson and Alice seem to blurt out Delial/Dinah almost by accident.
    8) ??Jabberwocky=Minotaur/growl/beast, etc. They both seem to haunt the explorer (whoever's exploring the , and Alice), yet there is no concrete evidence that either exist. Rather, their presence is only implied.
    9) The poem Jabberwockly is read in a mirror fashion that is similar to the mirroring affect that MZD uses on pg. 119-145.
    10) The idea of cats (Cheshire cat, Alice's love of cats, Zampano's cats.) Also, the Cheshire cats seems to be a puzzle, and seems to disappear. Likewise, it is still a mystery why Zampano attracted so many cats and then they just started to disappear.
    11) The first time that Alice explores Wonderland, size is the prominent issue. Her frequently and randomly shifting size causes the most problems for her. The second time she explores Wonderland, getting to anywhere in particular is the prominent issue. She has stopped shifting, but now faces difficulty in traveling, for wherever she goes, it seems to be the wrong direction. Likewise, the first time that Navidson enters the , the shifting of size is the problem. When he later goes back to the by himself, his biggest difficulty is getting anywhere in particular, for every direction he travels in only seems to put him one step behind.
    12) Humpty Dumpty [Navidson] sat on a wall [Navidson sits on the window, which is in a wall]. Humpty Dumpty had a great fall [Navidson begins falling]. All the king's horses and all the king's men {??doctors, nurses, surgeons, etc.], couldn't put Humpty back together again [Some of Navidson's injuries could not be helped].
    13) As Alice begins to travel through the woods in Looking-Glass Land, she begins to forget her name and who she is. Then she comes across Tweedledee and Tweedledum. As Navidson begins falling, he starts to forget his name and who he is. Somewhere down the line, he says, "Tom, is this where you went?" (See above about Tweedledee/dum=Tom)
    14) The minotaur is half man, half bull. The Mock Turtle is half bull, half turtle. The minotaur is thought to be a menacing violent creature, while the Mock Turtle is a depressed sad creature. The turtle is also one of the animal orniments that Karen puts in the to improve the energy through Feng Shui...which is rejected by the .
    15) As Alice goes deeper and deeper into a certain hallway, it shrinks until she can barely move. Navidson experiences a very similar situation when one of the halls he goes down gets to the point where he hardly move an inch.
    16) Although most notably famous for his writing, Lewis Carroll was also an aspiring photographer. He received much attention from his controversial pictures of young girls in the nude (4-7 years old). Navidson is a passionate photojournalist who has received much fame and fortune for his picture of a near-naked, dying 4 or 5 years old girl.
    17) ??Whalestoe=Walrus...or perhaps, Wal-rus...wal sounding a bit like Will, such a Will Navidson. Or maybe WALL (after all, Navidson does own the ) And then there is the relationship to the Carpenter (see 18)
    18) ??Tom is a carpenter...The carpenter in "The Walrus and the Carpenter." This poem is told by Tweedledee and Tweedledum (see Tweedledee/dum=Tom).
    19) ??Navidson meets Billy Reston while in India taking pictures of trains and railroads. Alice meets a goat on a train. Billy goat? Billy Reston?
    20) Pg. 52: “Hey, at least I’m an acquaintance of Bill’s now” Tom finally says, exhaling a thin stream of smoke. “Not a drop of booze in over two years.”
    ---In Alice in Wonderland, Bill was the lizard who tried to get Alice out of White Rabbit’s , and was then kicked by Alice through the chimney and was injured on the fall. To help alleviate the pain, some friendly animals get Bill drunk on brandy to ease his pain. Bill was also the only one with a ladder in Alice in Wonderland. Ladders are general tools for construction workers. Pg. 31: “He knows I’m insane,” he [Navidson] continues. “And besides he builds s for a living.” Tom is a construction worker who Navidson calls in to help fix a problem regarding his and abnormal size (the ¼ dilemma). Likewise, Bill is sent in to fix White Rabbit’s of a problem regarding abnormal size (Alice’s constant size shifting).
    21) ??Tom smokes weed. Caterpillar smokes a hookah. Both are described as strangly peaceful.
    22) The very last page of Through the Looking-Glass has a poem. The first letters of every line in the poem can be put together to spell "Alice Pleasance Liddell," Carroll's inspiration for the two books. Know anyone else who uses these word codes?
    23) “`When _I_ use a word,' Humpty Dumpty said in rather a scornful
    tone, `it means just what I choose it to mean--neither more nor
    less.' `The question is,' said Alice, `whether you CAN make words mean
    so many different things.' `The question is,' said Humpty Dumpty, `which is to be master—“
    24) 'So, resolutely turning back upon the , she set out once more down the path, determined to keep straight on till she got to the hill. For a few minutes all went on well, and she was just saying, `I really SHALL do it this time -- ' when the path gave a sudden twist and shook itself (as she described it afterwards), and the next moment she found herself actually walking in at the door.
    'Oh, it's too bad!' she cried. `I never saw such a for getting in the way! Never!' '
    25) ??Johnny, Zampano, Navidson=Hatter, Hare, Dormouse. All I got is that Johnny and the Dormouse are both storytellers who struggle with sleep.
    26) ?? of Leaves. Think about the leaves, and think about the huge emphasis on cards in Alice in Wonderland. Which two suits in a deck of cards slightly resemble leaves? The spade and the club. These two suits are also the two black suits. Think about what else is black. The walls, the halls, the in general. Also, a of cards can easily collapse. The to share this ability.
    27) Tom and Navidson are twins (supposedly). Tweedledee and Tweedle Dum are twins.
    28) "Tweedledum and Tweedledee agreed to have a battle; for Tweedledum and Tweedledee had spoiled his nice new rattle. Just then flew down a monstrous crow, as black as a tar-barrel; which frightened both the heroes so, they quite forgot their quarrel!"
    -To me, this seems to a parallel of Tom and Navidson's recent relationship. They were fighting for some petty reason and agreed to break off communication, but then a "monster" flew into their lives (the , which is pitch-black, like a tar-barrell), and reunited the brothers.
    29) Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking-Glass were both written in the Victorian Age. Navidson's was constructed in that same time period, and is a Victorian style .
    30) ??I think that there might some sort of parallel between the Goat, the Beetle, and the man dressed in white paper, and Holloway, Jed, and Wax, or to Navidson, Tom, Reston, or possibly to Johnny, Navidson, and Zampano. But right now, I got nothing for those.

    This is just a starting list. I highly encourage for the rest of you to look for these type of similarities. If I find anything else, I'll continue to post it.

  • #2
    Alice in Wonderland -- a comprehensive comparison

    quote:
    Originally posted by Desplain:
    ...1) Heather is an anagram of The Hare (i.e lièvre en français, i.e rabbit, cf. Thumper…) and it is strange that each time Pelafina begins to lose her sanity, it is march — think of "mad as a march hare.” March Hare? Mad? How about the March Hare who was mad?...


    Excellent point, nicely made.

    quote:
    Originally posted by Desplain:
    ...2) There is an apparant theme of elusive rabbits (White rabbit eluding Alice, March Hare eluding sanity, Thumper elduding Johnny)…


    Less original, but it hasn’t been mentioned in conjunction with Alice in a collection of observations like this. Rabbits/hares have big ears, too – they’re not deaf, as Pelafina accuses Johnny of being (deaf to her cries for help etc). A rabbit with its big ears hares hears everything around it – perhaps even things that aren’t necessarily there.

    quote:
    Originally posted by Desplain:
    ...3) Alice changes sizes almost as oftend as the changes configurations. One theory suggests that the changes in size according to mental projection/perception of the individual inside it. So it could be said that the person changes, not the itself. Alice is notorious for her constant size-shifting…


    Surely that is really a relative thing. If you have no other point of reference, and the room around you grows, it is just as valid to say you are shrinking as that the room is growing. So far as that is concerned, I agree. However, on all but Navidson’s last visit, the explorers do have another point of reference – each other. A person standing in a groaning growing room alone is more susceptible to the idea that they may be shrinking, but a person standing in a growing with someone else next to them is probably less likely to feel this uncertainty as to whether they are shrinking or the room is growing, because their friend is the same size throughout.

    quote:
    Originally posted by Desplain:
    ...4) When Alice enters Wonderland, she struggles with halls and doors…




    quote:
    Originally posted by Desplain:
    ...5) Carroll delighted in word games, and often wrote letters with secret codes and art.


    And since the purple annotations were his – Carroll being the creator of his stories - is it reasonable to see Pelafina (with her purple P connecting her to Carroll) as HoL’s mad puppet master? She is in the Attic, above the puppets, much like Prospero is often played as puppeteer in The Tempest.

    Are the labyrinths – the one in the , the one trapping Johnny, and the one confining (although perhaps also shielding/protecting) Pelafina not only the same labyrinth, but also of her creation?

    quote:
    Originally posted by Desplain:
    ...6) ??Tweedledee/Tweedledum=Tom. Dee (or Dum) when Tom is sober and normal, Dum (or Dee) when he's drunk or hight. Both like telling story's, jokes, and riddles, both are inherently kind, both are overweight, both scare easily, both have childish tendencies (constant joking, shadow puppets), and both use the title Mr. to add humor to the thing that haunts them (Mr. Fraction, Mr. Monster? This seems to be somewhat childish)…


    The puppet image again. Carroll also personified objects (playing cards) and animals, either to friendly or scary effect.

    quote:
    Originally posted by Desplain:
    ...7) When Navidson mentions Delial, it seems to upset people and make them feel awkward. The name is treated very taboo. Alice gets the same response when she mentions Dinah. both Delial and Dinah hold a special place in Navidson and Alice's heart, and both Navidson and Alice seem to blurt out Delial/Dinah almost by accident…


    I like the way that this thread is encouraging direct association between characters in one story with those in another, although I feel the characters in HoL remain more interchangeable with each other, and are so more difficult to pin down with characters from an entirely different world.

    That’s as far as I have got a chance to think about so far, but I think you have really gone to town with a great set of comparisons, and look forward to reading the rest in more depth soon.

    Welcome to the forum, and enjoy your stay.

    Comment


    • #3
      Alice in Wonderland -- a comprehensive comparison

      quote
      14) The minotaur is half man, half bull. The Mock Turtle is half bull, half turtle. The minotaur is thought to be a menacing violent creature, while the Mock Turtle is a depressed sad creature. The turtle is also one of the animal orniments that Karen puts in the to improve the energy through Feng Shui...which is rejected by the .
      In that fake play by 'Taggart Chiclitz', the minotaur is described as a "a depressed sad creature".

      quote
      2) There is an apparant theme of elusive rabbits (White rabbit eluding Alice, March Hare eluding sanity, Thumper elduding Johnny).
      Pelafina Heather Lièvre / Hare

      Comment


      • #4
        Alice in Wonderland -- a comprehensive comparison

        I like the way that this thread is encouraging direct association between characters in one story with those in another, although I feel the characters in HoL remain more interchangeable with each other, and are so more difficult to pin down with characters from an entirely different world.

        Thanks fatwoul. Actually, what I am trying to prove by this more than anything is that MZD took great inspiration by this otherwise overlooked children's book. I think I far overproved my point, so then I just started looking for interesting similarities. This list was just after scanning Alice in Wonderland. I have not really even begun to delve into the word-for-word analysis, or the similarities between HOL and American McGee's Alice. But thanks anyways.

        Comment


        • #5
          Alice in Wonderland -- a comprehensive comparison

          quote:
          Originally posted by Desplain:
          ...Actually, what I am trying to prove by this more than anything is that MZD took great inspiration by this otherwise overlooked children's book...


          I would hardly call the the most valuable children's book ever to be sold at auction "overlooked".

          quote:
          Originally posted by Desplain:
          ...I think I far overproved my point, so then I just started looking for interesting similarities...


          Well, I wouldn't go as far as to say you have overproved your point; your point still being, to any reasonable extent, in question - afterall, MZD took influence from so many sources that a fan of virtually any book could see influence in HoL - there's probably a Mills & Boon fan somewhere who would claim he was influenced, if they ever were to accidentally read HoL instead of something with "Unbridled" in the title.

          You're welcome, anyways. [img]images/smiles/icon_wink.gif[/img]

          Comment


          • #6
            Alice in Wonderland -- a comprehensive comparison

            quote:
            Originally posted by Desplain:
            26) ?? of Leaves. Think about the leaves, and think about the huge emphasis on cards in Alice in Wonderland. Which two suits in a deck of cards slightly resemble leaves? The spade and the club. These two suits are also the two black suits. Think about what else is black. The walls, the halls, the in general. Also, a of cards can easily collapse. The to share this ability.


            Not to mention that the Dutch translation of of Leaves is called Het Kaarten, i.e. "The of Cards".

            However, apparently the Dutch translation is severely lacking, not least in rendering the esoteric subtleties we all revel in around here. So you may want to take that with a grain of salt.

            Comment


            • #7
              Alice in Wonderland -- a comprehensive comparison

              quote:
              Originally posted by Desplain:

              7) When Navidson mentions Delial, it seems to upset people and make them feel awkward. The name is treated very taboo. Alice gets the same response when she mentions Dinah. both Delial and Dinah hold a special place in Navidson and Alice's heart, and both Navidson and Alice seem to blurt out Delial/Dinah almost by accident.



              Also, Alice's treatment of the Duchess' baby in Wonderland and it's later manifestation into a pig, suggests an anxiety over her own adeptness with children which, in turn, reflects Navidson's own feelings of guilt concerning Delial.

              Comment


              • #8
                Alice in Wonderland -- a comprehensive comparison

                quote:
                Originally posted by Desplain:

                20) Pg. 52: “Hey, at least I’m an acquaintance of Bill’s now” Tom finally says, exhaling a thin stream of smoke. “Not a drop of booze in over two years.”
                ---In Alice in Wonderland, Bill was the lizard who tried to get Alice out of White Rabbit’s , and was then kicked by Alice through the chimney and was injured on the fall. To help alleviate the pain, some friendly animals get Bill drunk on brandy to ease his pain. Bill was also the only one with a ladder in Alice in Wonderland. Ladders are general tools for construction workers. Pg. 31: “He knows I’m insane,” he [Navidson] continues. “And besides he builds s for a living.” Tom is a construction worker who Navidson calls in to help fix a problem regarding his and abnormal size (the ¼ dilemma). Likewise, Bill is sent in to fix White Rabbit’s of a problem regarding abnormal size (Alice’s constant size shifting).




                I found something else about this point.
                On pg. 320, it is written, "...he [Tom] steals a sip of bourbon," with footnote 270. This footnote reads,

                See Harmon Frisch's "Not Even Bill's Acquantance"......read the rest yourself....

                Comment


                • #9
                  Alright, I found another one:

                  31) In the game, American McGee's Alice, Alice has spent the last 7 (I think its 7...) years in an insane asylum in a tortured state of madness. Her insanity is the result of tremendous guilt for killing her parents when she accidentely lights her on fire and cannot save her parents from burning to death. Likewise, Pelafina is locked away in an insane asylum for inflicting harm on her beloved family.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Alice in Wonderland -- a comprehensive comparison

                    Originally posted by Desplain
                    quote:
                    Originally posted by Desplain:

                    20) Pg. 52: “Hey, at least I’m an acquaintance of Bill’s now” Tom finally says, exhaling a thin stream of smoke. “Not a drop of booze in over two years.”
                    ---In Alice in Wonderland, Bill was the lizard who tried to get Alice out of White Rabbit’s , and was then kicked by Alice through the chimney and was injured on the fall. To help alleviate the pain, some friendly animals get Bill drunk on brandy to ease his pain. Bill was also the only one with a ladder in Alice in Wonderland. Ladders are general tools for construction workers. Pg. 31: “He knows I’m insane,” he [Navidson] continues. “And besides he builds s for a living.” Tom is a construction worker who Navidson calls in to help fix a problem regarding his and abnormal size (the ¼ dilemma). Likewise, Bill is sent in to fix White Rabbit’s of a problem regarding abnormal size (Alice’s constant size shifting).




                    I found something else about this point.
                    On pg. 320, it is written, "...he [Tom] steals a sip of bourbon," with footnote 270. This footnote reads,

                    See Harmon Frisch's "Not Even Bill's Acquantance"......read the rest yourself....

                    This IMHO is one of those fine coincidences so prevalent in life, and esp. in this book. Tom is very likely talking about "Bill W", one of the anonymous founders of Alcoholics Anonymous.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      i found this picture while looking for lewis carroll's photography and it reminded me of a certain letter from a certain crazy lady.....just thougth i'd share:

                      http://www.philobiblon.com/isitabook...ure/mouse1.gif


                      and you should also look at the site for fun mzd/lc type word games!

                      http://www.philobiblon.com/isitabook/games/

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Has anyone mentioned this one?

                        We stumbled together to a corner and that's when the car pulled over, a white car? VW Rabbit? maybe/maybe not? (p. 116, Courier font)
                        The driver of the white Rabbit was Natasha, who drove off when Johnny was with the "Australian gal". This is also the same paragraph as the Woman Who Will Love my Ironies acrostic.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          No no one has mentioned that one. I covered the whole white rabbit thing, but superb find anyways! I remember that one now....I just can't remember why I didn't jot that down when I found it. Good work!

                          Welcome aboard and enjoy your stay!

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Desplain
                            No no one has mentioned that one.
                            Well, actually...

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Actually what? That thread is in French. I can't read that. But you obviously can, so I'll take your word that it's somewhere in there, and will rephrase my statement to "no one has mentioned that particular fact in this particular thread."

                              By the way, what is that thread about?

                              Comment

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