1. Analysis of the book
Although Green has said that there is no hidden meaning behind the book and that it was written for children, to entertain, there is meaning to be drawn. The most obvious is that of the grasp of an identity, and finding oneself both when physically changed, such as Alice’s shrinking and growing, and also when placed in new environments that toss around the meaning of reality Masked beneath the playful rhymes and ridiculous twists of words is Alice’s naive quest, in which she does not intentionally come to the conclusion to search for herself but is thrown and forced in to development. As she journeys through wonderland, the fantastical creatures that she meets do not amaze her so much since she still holds the child’s ability to shape her reality- those creatures might very well be reality to her, but to the reader offer an escape in to fantasy.
2. Analysis of the film
Burton’s film utilizes the gothic, which contrasts greatly from the illustrations and tone of Carroll’s book, to portray growth and skepticism that people go through. Alice’s maturation from Carroll’s original character, who was rather naive and scatterbrained and pure, comes back to Underland with caution and an inability to accept the current world as reality. The maturation is described not only through the change of height, but also through the medium of the costumes. Each costume Alice dawned was given to her and put on without a choice, from her dress to the surprise engagement party to the white gown, displaying the change she goes through. As the white knight Alice plays in the end, she becomes similar to what shewas as a little girl, when she puts on the white gown, white being symbolic of purity, and believes the reality of the Wonderland world. Burto nspins off the little girl that drew in child audiences and turned her in to a more powerful, sensible young adult, who finds courage in becoming a child yet again.
3. Analysis of the adaptation
Carroll’s style in the original Alice in Wonderland book was a very child-like adventure, in which adventure was the pure point of the story. However, in order to appeal to the larger mass and for Burton’s twist of the moral of the story to be considered and understood, the adaptation of Alice in Wonderland 2010 took a turn for the gothic and lead viewers in to a darker, more skeptical world than the bright and colorful world that little Alice in Carroll had ventured in to. The teaparty scene was very freely adapted, perhaps to show the wear and tear that the madness and opression had on the citizens of Wonderland without Alice, the knight in shining armor. This knight character that Alice transforms in to would not have been predicted if the script stuck to Carroll’s original. The hysteria and violence added in the movie, the friendship between the characters, especially the Cat for risking himself to help the Hatter, was put in the film version for viewers to identify with the film.
4. Online research on the film
In this article Heather Rivera analogizes the Red and White queen to the parental figures of Alice’s life and discusses her quest to rid her life of the Red queen, who represents tyranny and control.
This post, by “archfiend,” criticizes the feminist point of view, declaring that Alice was turned in to a man at the end with her muscle definition and outer appearance, which is not a good message to send to females and defeats the purpose of a feminist, women empowering movie.
This article elucidates the dark mind of Burton, probably represented by Alice in his movie, which is illustrated by the astounding yet darker graphics used.
Elaboration on 1.)
In Heather Rivera’s article, Rivera takes on a very feminist slant, one that empowers women to break out of the norm. However, her message reached across the border of feminism and applied to all, emphasizing that controll, tyranny, and societal constraints were associated with the Red Queen and Alice’s mother, whereas the freedom, praise, and encouragement lied with the White queen and her father, who passed. By ending the movie with Alice’s complete rejection of what was the norm back then, for women to marry, to dress a certain way, and to marry a lord, and also going off on an economic, business venture, Alice breaks this mold and leaves the viewers with an inspirational message.
5. Critical Analysis Paragraph.
Like Burton’s Willy Wonka, the main character in Alice in Wonderland has “daddy issues.” What are these issues and do they add depth to the story, or do they serve as an unwanted distraction (as in Willy Wonka)?
Alice’s loss of her father, who was the opposite of her mother and WIlly Wonka’s father in Burton’s adaptation, provided her the love and harmony that is generally associated with the mother. The issues that arise from not having a father is precisely that- she is lacking the lightheartedness and care from her father, such as the scene in which she says to her mother, “Father would have laughed” when she made the codfish remark. What the missing father does is create for ALice the opportunity and almost an excuse to fulfill the role of the man, since her father played the role of the mother. He was her inspiration to cross the society borders restraining each gender, in Burton’s film. While in Underland (or what alice calls wonderland) she meets the mad Hatter and many other characters who could very likely be figments of her imagination inspired by her father, and reflective of herself. The mad hatter seems to be what Alice would have been if she were not constrained in reality, which would have been allowed by her father. The loss of her father becomes the opportunity for her to identify herself and become comfortable with breaking away from the societal norms.
(also, I wanted to say that I do not think that the daddy issue in WIlly wonka was an annoying distraction, I actulaly thought it was pertinent to the plot! or at least Willy Wonka’s development. Though Burton did turn a childhood story that might not have had a point except to not be like the other four children with charlie, the loss of a dad for willy wonka really showed how important a father’s position in a child’s life is. His entire pursuit to success and his scatterbrained moments were related to his father, who had rejected him but mostly showed him no love. His inspiration for making so much candy, and his memory of his father saying “candy is stupid, candy has no point,” seemed like a deepseeded impetus for proving him wrong)