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The Dangers of Habit

November 9, 2009
This post is an expansion on the theorizing that took place in my group’s Chapter 3 & 4 CoverItLive Discussion, which can be found here.
Alice finds herself in a world where eating and drinking means more than satisfying hunger or thirst. The problem, however, is that the added effects of eating a cake or drinking a potion in Wonderland could add up to poison. Alice is a smart child; she worries about poison before she puts the first vial labelled “DRINK ME” to her lips. She worries, yet she does not test the drink before consuming it. The drink simply shrinks her, and luckily, not into oblivion. Later she finds a cake. In this situation, Alice does not have a moment’s pause before she got to ‘work’ on the cake. After the first time she consumes something that could have had poison in it and lives to tell about it, Alice no longer questions anything else that could have been poisoned.
It is clear Alice is learning (and learning quickly) from habit. This habit, not testing a potentially poisonous product before consuming it, is a dangerous one to develop. What should happen to Alice when she is faced with a pastry or potion that has been spiked with poison? Children learn quickly through repetition, and Alice is learning that food and drink in Wonderland are safe and even fun to eat or drink. What child wouldn’t be entertained by growing and shrinking nearly instantaneously?
Could Alice become addicted to the thrill of changing size? Or, perhaps a more plausible question, could Alice become so enthralled with the excitement of her own curiosity that she ends up becoming the source of her own ruin?
What worries me is the fact that Alice deduced after only one success that all would be successful. What other perilous habits could Alice develop? And what would have happened had she not developed said habits?
2 Comments leave one →
  1. Kristen K permalink
    November 15, 2009 7:58 pm

    Very clever conclusion, that “Alice will bring about her own ruin.”

    Isn’t that how it always is in life? We as humans are the cause of our own despair. We are responsible for our own actions, and thus we are responsible for the reactions to (or results of) our actions.

    It appears Alice is hardly an exception to that rule.

  2. Hagen F. permalink
    November 12, 2009 10:15 am

    An interesting ‘theory’ to bring to the table. Alice does continue to bring ruin to herself by habit. In addition to her constant consumption of any material that resembles food, Alice has a habit of interrupting anyone who tells a story. She, on three acounts (up to chapter nine), is about to be told a story. Each character (The mouse, Dormouse, and Mock Turtle) tells their tale, but can only get a couple of lines into it before Alice must remark in some manner. The mouse does not like this, and turns up his nose while he walks away never to return (so far). The Dormouse just stops his entire story and ultimatley falls asleep, while the Mad Hatter and the March Hare get quite upset with Alice. During the Mock Turtle’s story, he even says do not interrupt, but here comes Alice sith something to say. The Gryphon and the Mock Turtle get annoyed, but they seem to no mind the questions too much.
    It seems that Alice does not care about the animals stories that much, or it may be just the opposite. It is possible that Alice is so intrigued by the stories that she wants to know more. Alice’s child-ness is something that will ruin her. It is just another habit that will only cause despair for her and, not to mention, the other animals. According to her habits, it seems Alice will bring about her own ruin.

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