Miscellaneous Alice > Which is Madder?

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Which is Madder?

Hatter
9
56%
Hare
7
44%
 
Total votes: 16

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aliceaficionado
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Which is Madder?

Postby aliceaficionado » Wed May 05, 2010 7:36 pm

The Hatter or the Hare? This question just popped into my head one day.

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Nixie_Knox
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Postby Nixie_Knox » Tue May 11, 2010 4:30 pm

My reason for choosing the Hatter is that the Hatter is human, and one would expect more logical behavior from a human.

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Postby aliceaficionado » Tue May 11, 2010 7:30 pm

I always thought the Hare was madder... but you have a point there. There are plenty of mad rabbits in the book, anyway.

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Postby Bella44 » Fri May 14, 2010 1:52 am

Actually, I think humans are the most illogical creatures on the planet!! So i'll pick the Hatter!

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Postby Nixie_Knox » Fri May 14, 2010 4:43 am

LOL

In a lot of ways I actually agree with you. I guess what I mean is, we seem to think of humans as more rational, and so we would expect more from a human.

But you certainly have a good point. In a way, the Alice books show just how ridiculous humans can be. Our customs are no more logical than moving down a seat at the table during tea time, or having jam only every other day.

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Postby Beautiful Soup » Fri May 14, 2010 8:51 am

Are either of them mad?

Consider the evidence - we only have the Cheshire Cat's word for it that they're mad, and he claims that both he and Alice are mad also - Alice could be described as the sanest person in Wonderland and the Cat's reasoning as to what makes him mad might be seen as flawed at best.

Do we really believe that the Cheshire Cat is truly capable of making an informed psychological diagnosis?

Hmmmmm....

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Postby aliceaficionado » Fri May 14, 2010 10:59 am

Weird... but yes, they're mad. Un-mad people would not put butter in a watch. Speaking of butter, why did the Hare put butter in the watch? Was it to fix the watch or was it what made the watch stop? DIS:-S

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Postby Beautiful Soup » Fri May 14, 2010 11:14 am

Weird... but yes, they're mad. Un-mad people would not put butter in a watch. Speaking of butter, why did the Hare put butter in the watch? Was it to fix the watch or was it what made the watch stop? DIS:-S
They might do...They might think that the works need oiling, but not have any oil.

If your hinges squeak but you don't have any WD-40 you can use cooking oil instead...Maybe the March Hare was using similar logic.

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Postby aliceaficionado » Fri May 14, 2010 11:34 am

Maybe. (I highly doubt it though)

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Postby Beautiful Soup » Fri May 14, 2010 11:40 am

I'm playing devil's advocate of course - I think we're supposed to believe that the Hatter and the March Hare are 'mad' - but recently I read something where someone pointed out that in fact there's no particular evidence for the characters being mad, other than the word of the Cheshire Cat - and I thought it was an interesting point that bore thinking about

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Postby aliceaficionado » Fri May 14, 2010 11:51 am

. (There was the period you forgot. :p ) I really think the Hatter in the Disney movie was much madder. But anyway, I really think they're mad. Probably LC wanted us to think they are mad.

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Postby Beautiful Soup » Fri May 14, 2010 12:13 pm

Hjckrrh! If you're going to set about correcting my punctuation, you'll not have time to make any posts! :p

So I wonder what we mean by 'mad' - Or better yet, what Lewis Carroll means.

Nowadays it could mean mentally ill or it might just mean zany. I suspect Carroll means the former.

I don't know how true this is, but isn't the stereotype that Victorians used to visit mental hospitals (or 'asylums') as a form of entertainment?

It's pretty distasteful in these politically correct times, but I wonder to what extent Carroll was using mental illness as a means to provide amusement.

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Postby aliceaficionado » Sat May 15, 2010 10:46 pm

Hmmm... well, sorry to lead the thread astray, but maybe this links to Carroll and drugs. The story made fun of all aspects of society and drug use was not unheard of in the Victorian era. I believe your idea somehow connects to that. It may be just a stereotype, in which case all my careful studying would go to waste. But maybe you're right: that could have happened. Sadly, though, Carroll is dead and we will never know the truth. Hmmm... this idea I am currently pondering over might connect to this..
I'm sure he finds the whole idea of beheading absurdly funny.
Did Carroll find that funny? If that's true, did he find visiting asylums funny, too? And did he do it at all?

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Postby The Queen of Hearts » Sat May 15, 2010 11:10 pm

Well, if you refer to Lenny's resource section there is also the theory that it's from the phrase "mad as an adder". For the most part I just see the characters as being angry mad not insane mad, but then it depends on what way I'm reading the book, so it's never just one way or the other.

I don't think it supports the drug theory in any way and before you argue about it I think you had better do some more research, since there is more proof against it than for it.

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Postby Beautiful Soup » Sat May 15, 2010 11:30 pm

Well, if you refer to Lenny's resource section there is also the theory that it's from the phrase "mad as an adder". For the most part I just see the characters as being angry mad not insane mad, but then it depends on what way I'm reading the book, so it's never just one way or the other.

I don't think it supports the drug theory in any way and before you argue about it I think you had better do some more research, since there is more proof against it than for it.
I think that this theory is only referring to the possible origins of the phrase "as mad as a hatter" and does not apply to the way the word 'mad' is used in the book.

I also think it's highly unlikely that Carroll was using the word 'mad' in the American sense to mean 'angry' as (other than the Queen of Hearts) none of the characters are angry.

That Carroll doesn't mean angry is demonstrated during the Cheshire Cat's explanation of madness:
`To begin with,' said the Cat, `a dog's not mad. You grant that?'

`I suppose so,' said Alice.

`Well, then,' the Cat went on, `you see, a dog growls when it's angry, and wags its tail when it's pleased. Now I growl when I'm pleased, and wag my tail when I'm angry. Therefore I'm mad.'
I think this makes it clear that the word 'mad' and the word 'angry' have two distinctly different meanings.

I'm pretty confident that in AAIW the word means 'crazy' - I'm just wondering to what extent and in what way...


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