|image source: Pat Maginess: Private Eye|
Right now I just need a way to escape.
Then again, aren't we all escapists at some point? Why is it, time and time again we all find ourselves spiraling down a rabbit hole into a world of insanity, where the rules have switched themselves and what we know is twisted around to a point barely beyond recognition, where rationality has been chewed up and spat out, where even the safest corners of your mind are lost amidst the darkest, most menacing parts of the imagination?
As a spirited temperamental 16-year-old who felt trapped at home and constantly fought with parents, I ran away from home and what I perceived as intolerance. I was only gone for a few hours, but I packed as if I would be living on the streets for a week- warm clothes, food, water. Then, on impulse, I threw in a copy of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. To this day I can't explain why it was this book that I chose to take with me. Sure, I was reading it at the time, but I had read it before and knew it was not my favorite book. And yet the bizarre wanderings of Alice through her fantasy world somehow seemed fitting to the adventurous, yet terrifying experience I knew running away would put me through.
Adventurous, it was not. Terrifying, it was.
Somehow that's what so many people seem to focus on- the adventure and yet the sheer terror of Wonderland. It's some sort of obsession with the psychological affects of the imagination run wild, one that is so prominent in various media from the late 19th century to the present.
To get a full idea of how many books/movies/computer games/art and other aspects of our modern life influenced by Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking-Glass, and What Alice Found There, check out this extremely long Wikipedia entry. I will personally focus on a few of the media I am most familiar with.
|image source: mouseandcat|
My father, as a huge Beatles fan, exposed me to all of their songs at a young age, including the trippy "I Am the Walrus." The walrus is a reference to the walrus in the poem "The Walrus and the Carpenter" from Through the Looking-Glass. The music video is bizarre enough to bring a sort of Wonderland to mind. I think the Eggmen and the Walrus are pretty creepy to say the least. I'm surprised they never gave me nightmares as a child.
|image source: Waiting in Transit|
|image source: NYC Department of Parks & Recreation|
There is also a neurological disorder marked by patients' thinking that objects or their own body parts are larger or smaller than they actually are. The name of the disorder is (surprise, surprise): Alice in Wonderland Syndrome.
Also keep in mind that Tim Burton is coming out with a movie adaptation of Lewis Carroll's stories called Alice in Wonderland. It looks to be a usual serving of Tim Burton's gothic, kooky imagination. It will probably be as scary as his adaptation of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (2005) (which is more true to the original novel than the 1971 version.)
Why is this little Victorian girl the gateway to that release from reality and sanity? Why are we always escaping through her? Any thoughts?