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Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland 12th Grade English
Background on Lewis Carroll • Lewis Carroll is the pen name of Charles Dodgson. • Mathematician, linguist, photographer, and novelist. Excelled in literary nonsense. • Born January 27, 1832 in Daresbury, Cheshire, England. • He wrote and created games as a child (1 of 11 children) • He was shy but enjoyed creating stories for children. Interestingly, Alice’s main audience was not meant to be children. • Age 20 he received a studentship at Christ Church as lecturer in mathematics. • Wrote Alice’s Adventures in 1862-1863. It was published in 1865. • By the time of his death (1898), Alice had become the most popular children's book in England • By 1932, it was one of the most popular in the world.
Carroll& Alice • Bad Stammer, but vocally fluent with children. • Young people inspired his best-known writings (have also been a point of disturbed speculation over the years). • Loved to entertain children. • Alice, the daughter of Henry George Liddell who is a credit to his inspiration for the novel. • Alice Liddell remembers countless hours with Carroll as he told fantastic tales of dream worlds. • Afternoon picnic: Carroll told the first version of what would later become Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. • When Alice arrived home, she exclaimed that he must write the story down for her.
Background on Alice • Narrator · The narrator is anonymous and does not use many words to describe events in the story. • Point of View · The narrator speaks in third person, though occasionally in first and second person. The narrative follows Alice around on her travels, voicing her thoughts and feelings. • Setting (time) · Victorian era, circa publication date • Setting (place) · England, Wonderland • Protagonist · Alice
Themes & Symbols • We will be working with a variety of themes, but the ones that are most prevalent are: • The tragic and inevitable loss of childhood innocence • Life as a meaningless puzzle • Death as a constant and underlying menace • Symbols/Motifs: • Dream • Subversion • Language • Curious,” “Nonsense,” and “Confusing” • The garden • The mushroom
Important Terms • Existentialism: A philosophy that emphasizes the uniqueness and isolation of the individual experience in a hostile or indifferent universe, regards human existence as unexplainable, and stresses freedom of choice and responsibility for the consequences of one's acts.
Terms Continued… • Fantasy: Fiction characterized by highly fanciful or supernatural elements; fiction utilizing the creative imagination or unrestrained fancy. • Allegory: The representation of abstract ideas or principles by using characters, figures, or events in narrative, dramatic, or pictorial form; can be interpreted to reveal a hidden meaning, typically a moral or political one.
Terms Continued… • Linguistics: The scientific study of language and its structure, including the study of morphology, syntax, phonetics, and semantics. • Morphology: study of word structure • Syntax: arrangement of words/phrases to create well-formed sentences • Phonetics: study and classification of speech sounds • Semantics: meaning of a word, phrase, sentence, or text • Diction: word choice in writing/speech-making • Inquiry: the act of questioning / Inquisitive: curious
The Linguistics of Language • Facts that pertain to all languages: • Wherever humans exist, language exists. • The vocabulary of any language can be expanded to include new words for new concepts. • All languages change through time. • All grammars contain rules of a similar kind for the formation of words and sentences.
“Language without meaning is meaningless.”Roman Jakobson “There’s glory for you!” “I don’t know what you mean by ‘glory,’” Alice said. Humpty Dumpty smiled contemptuously. “Of course you don’t – til I tell you. I meant ‘there’s a nice knock-down argument for you!” “But ‘glory’ doesn’t mean ‘a nice knock-down argument,” Alice objected. “When I use a word,” Humpty Dumpty said, in a rather 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.” Lewis Carroll, Through the Looking- Glass
The Possibilities and Impossibilities of Language • Humpty Dumpty is unwilling to accept the rules of language. Definitions can evolve, not change on a whim. • Example: Mad = insane; angry • Alice is correct; one person can’t redefine the meaning of words. • Words can only be developed or redefined by general consensus. A desk must always be a desk; it cannot be anything else.
Terms Continued… • Deductive Reasoning: reasoning from the general to the particular (or from cause to effect). • Generally, this is the format of your argumentative essays. • Inductive Reasoning: reasoning from the particular to the general. • This is when you make generalizations from specific examples.
Word Deciduous Longevity Homogeneous Bibliography Polyglot Student’s Definition “able to make up one’s mind” “being very tall” “devoted to home life” “holy geography” “more than one glot” Deductive Reasoning: Giving Meaning to Language We Speak Pullet Surprises - a collection of errors made in Amsel Green’s Vocabulary Class. Though incorrect, these students demonstrated their ability to utilize prior knowledge in defining words. That’s the beauty of the English language! It’s elastic!
Jabberwockyand the beauty of language. By: Lewis Carroll
About “Jabberwocky” • Carroll’s most well-known poem. • First of many nonsense poems set into the text of the beloved English novel Through the Looking-Glass. • Published in 1872, six years after the more commonly known Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland • Employs conventional structures of grammar and many familiar words; thus it is not “pure nonsense.” • Carroll’s studies in logic firmly ground the thought beneath the imaginative works, so that adults find as much to appreciate in the novels and poetry as children.
“Jabberwocky” Terms • Epic Poem: a long narrative poem telling of a hero's deeds. • Mock-Heroic Ballad: a satirical imitation of heroic verse • Satire: a literary work holding up human vices and follies to ridicule or scorn; a literary work that MOCKS human vices or stereotypical perspectives or situations.
“Inanimate Alice” by Kate Pullinger Introduction to Digital Literature
Digital Literature • Definition: A new form of literature in which poetry and literature are displayed in the 3-D medium of the computer. • Includes: interactive fiction, “game stories,” hypertext narratives, animated poetry, collaborative e-texts, etc. Terms • Post-modernism: literary reaction to the assumed certainty of scientific, or objective, efforts to explain reality. • Stems from a recognition that reality is not simply mirrored in human understanding of it • Reality is constructed as the mind tries to understand its own particular and personal reality • Values plurality and multiple perspectives
Digital Lit Terms Continued… • Erogotic: non-trivial effort is needed to follow the “work path” of a literary work. The user-reader is needed in order for the narrative to continue. • Cyberdrama: a new type of storytelling that employs computers and games to do its telling; it is used to “emphasize the enactment of the story in the particular fictional space of a computer” (Janet Murray). • Hypertext: a genre of electronic literature that employs links to continue the narrative in generally a non-linear fashion. User-readers must click on the links in order to uncover a new layer of the narrative or poem. • Immersion: metaphorical term derived from the feeling of being submerged in water; here, it refers to being submerged in a fictitious reality
“Inanimate Alice” by Kate Pullinger • 1. What themes are congruous with this story and Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland? • 2. What symbolism is used and why is it effective? • 3. How does Pullinger characterize Alice throughout the narrative? How is this similar or different from Carroll’s Alice? • 4. How is the 3-D narrative enhanced by the visuals and audio? Does it work? Why? • 5. How is postmodernism evident in both “Inanimate Alice” and Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland? Episode 1: http://inanimatealice.com/episode1/index.html Episode 2: http://inanimatealice.com/episode2/index.html
Reader Response • Reader Response: Answer one of the aforementioned questions to “Inanimate Alice.” If you do not finish in class, this is homework. • 1 full-2 pages. • MLA Format. • Incorporate at least TWO “dig lit” terms. • Focused argument around a thesis statement.
Make Your Own Alice! • Develop your own narrative or poem using digital literature tools. Here’s your chance to work digitally & be creative! • Address one of these themes: Search for Identity; Chasing Your “White Rabbit” (obtaining a goal); Coming of Age. • You will create a narrative or poem for a grade. • The fictional (or creative non-fictional) narrative should reflect a storyline similar to “Inanimate Alice.” • The poem should be an heroic (or mock-heroic) poem similar to “Jabberwocky.” • You will use one of the digital tools provided to create your own digital literature. • You will present your digital work to the class for a grade. • You will write a 1-2 page Reading Response addressing your digital poem and the digital components in it.
Digital Tools • wordpress.com - blog • Twine - a free, hypertext writing tool - http://gimcrackd.com/etc/src/ • Portable wiki - http://www.tiddlywiki.com/ • Video/audio show - animoto.com • Gimp.org- Downloadable OS image editing software (like Photoshop) • Wixwebspace - web based html editor, free (easy) • Prezi- simple presentation tool; think outside the ppt box; commerical but free (easy) • Wordle - text visualization, free (easy) • eDiastic - poetry generator (easy to hard);charNG is similar • Giotto - free, open source tool for creating animation and interactive Flash/SWF files. Windows only (?) • Tween - Tween light, tween max - an alternative to Adobe Flash for animation • You may also use Tumblr or any other web-based tools; please clear any alternative digital tools with me!