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“We’re All Mad Here”

December 2, 2009

Cheshire Cat to Alice:

“We’re all mad here.”

This is one of my favorite quotes because I think that everyone, if it’s obvious or not, is mad.

In Wonderland, it’s okay to be mad. If you’re not crazy or peculiar than you’re not normal. You’re quite the opposite. But what does it mean, what is Carroll saying? Is he telling us that we’re all odd and that’s just average? Carroll is easily one of the people that others can see as different; he is strange on the surface. His audience is mostly children, and of course the adults reading the book are reading it to their kids or just reading it because of the lessons it’s said to hold. So keeping that in mind, I believe Carroll is telling children to be who they are, and if they’re a little “out there” or not accepted as normal, then that’s alright.

But who gets to define normal? Dictionary.com says normal is:

conforming to the standard or the common type; usual; not abnormal; regular; natural.

That’s everything Wonderland is not. If you look from far out in space, down on Earth, you would see a regular and natural place with normal people in it. But if you look closer and learn about the things going on in that world you’d see it was all a bit crazy and in fact none of it is usual. In the end, none of us are normal.

One Comment leave one →
  1. Hagen F. permalink
    December 2, 2009 8:18 pm

    I think Carroll says (through the Cheshire Cat) that everyone is mad in wonderland, like you sadi. Since Wonderland is opposite to reality, then Carroll must be saying that everyone in reality must be normal. The two ‘worlds’ juxtapose one another and that must mean opposites for the people that populate each world. Odd characters live in Wonderland, while normal characters live in the reality that we do. I think that is what Carroll says when the Cheshire Cat says “we’re all mad here.” The here is Wonderland, and that has significance. He never says we are all mad, he says we are all mad HERE. The Cat says that only in Wonderland the characters are mad, but in the reality and society the characters are normal. That is not true though because we are all individuals and none of us are normal. We may not be mad like the people in Wonderland, but we certainly are not normal.

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