As I (poorly) explained last class, I’m going to be looking at Alice in Wonderland and exploring the themes within Alice that are more applicable to adults than children. Themes I found within Alice that are beyond the years of a child include self-doubt (when Alice believes that she has turned into her friend because she no longer remembers anything), insensitivity towards others (when Alice keeps bringing up cats and dogs to the mouse knowing that they are his predators), and also making repetitious mistakes because you forget the implications (when Alice keeps making herself grow and shrink despite telling herself she shouldn’t anymore. Picking out these themes has made me think that this is even more appropriately a book for adults than for children. I think there’s a lot of lessons in there that a child would not pick up on.
At this point, I’ve listened to Taylor Swift’s new album dozens of times (it was pretty much on repeat on a drive all the way down to North Carolina and back #sorrynotsorry). For those who aren’t true Swifties, getting the deluxe album at Target buys you three extra exclusive songs. One of these songs is called “Wonderland.” Besides the fact that this song is awesome, it also got me to think about Wonderland in a new way. The song applies themes from Alice in the context of love and likens falling into Wonderland as the spinning feeling you get when falling in love. (It seems like the audio for the song has been removed from all YouTube videos, so I’ll try to upload the song directly from my iTunes).
I love how Wonderland becomes a place of delirium in her song. The lyrics go, “Flashing lights and we/took a wrong turn and we/Fell down the rabbit hole/You held on tight to me/Cause nothing’s as it seems/Spinning out of control/Didn’t they tell us don’t rush into things/Didn’t you flash your green eyes at me/Haven’t you heard what becomes of curious minds/Didn’t it all seem new and exciting/I felt your arms twisting around me/I should’ve slept with one eye opened at night.” From the lyrics, it seems like emphasis is placed less on the uncertainty of what will become of the relationship, and more on the fact that the end is already doomed because of the rocky start. The lovers in Taylor’s song are distracted by the “flashing lights” and can’t clearly see the mismatch of the relationship. Likewise for Alice, she got so distracted by the rabbit and the garden behind the little door that she didn’t realize the mess she had gotten herself into or the trouble she caused many of the characters along the way.
The last verse of the song is really great because it starts with “We found wonderland/You and I got lost in it/And we pretended it could last forever.” If Wonderland was supposed to act as the bridge between childhood and adulthood (or innocence and maturity) for Alice, we obviously know that this twilight zone cannot last forever. It seems like Taylor is also saying that destructive, naive love has a definitive expiration.