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Nonsense Knowledge

December 2, 2009

Knowledge is very important in Alice’s story.  She tries to define who she is by what she knows.  When confused about whether she is herself she decides to recite a poem and finds that she can’t say it correctly.

  • Why is it that she feels that things she’s learned in school will help her know if she’s Alice or some other person?
  • What’s the importance of knowledge?

It seems that Carroll may be telling us that knowledge is unimportant. That in the real world, or not so real world in Alice’s case, what you learn in school in no way helps you in life. In this Wonderland, Alice is dumbfounded by everything going on about her, she’s inexperienced and lost. She’s obviously not a dense child, she’s intelligent.  But through the rabbit’s hole she finds that what she knows can’t tell her which way she should go. Carroll seems to be telling adults, and even kids, reading the story that you can know everything to know in the world of academia but as soon as you take a step into life you can be utterly dim. That’s something I find to be true. It would be nice to get as much teaching for life’s problems as we do now for math problems. However that may be Carroll’s point, we have no way of knowing what’s coming for us and how we’re going to handle it and that makes it all the more enjoyable.

One Comment leave one →
  1. Daniel L. permalink
    December 2, 2009 9:06 pm

    I think that Alice is very confused when she is in Alice in Wonderland, So then she has to make sure that she is herself. So then She is trying to remember things she learned in school and I think that knowledge is what helps her get through Wonderland because of what she can remember of herself in the real world.

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