Talk:Alice's Adventures in Wonderland

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Merge or main[edit]

I'd like to propose that some elements of Wonderland and Looking-Glass be merged into a main article to be called Alice in Wonderland. The movies would also be summarized there (see WP:Summary style).

When people speak of Alice in Wonderland they can mean either her first "Adventures" or something in the sequel Through the Looking-Glass, and it would be great to have a compendium or summary article which made it easier for readers to find what they're looking for. There are many quotations and allusions such as "believing nine impossible things before breakfast". We can't just say it's from "Alice"; we must mention a book: but which book? It's so easy to say "Alice in Wonderland" but it's actually from Looking-Glass.

Also, the best place to compare and contrast the cards and the chessmen, as well as the various queens and kings, would be a new article. --Uncle Ed (talk) 13:56, 2 April 2013 (UTC) --Uncle Ed (talk) 13:56, 2 April 2013 (UTC)

Its an interesting idea and I am not necessarily against it, but I would like to sort out a few more details. For example I take it there would still be a Alice's Adventures in Wonderland article and what would be the definition used at the start of the new Alice in Wonderland article, as that would be pretty critical?--SabreBD (talk) 14:13, 2 April 2013 (UTC)

Why, certainly, Sabre. I would start the new article like this:

  • The Alice in Wonderland books of Lewis Carroll include Alice's Adventures in Wonderland (written in 1865) and Through the Looking-Glass, the 1871 sequel. Many people use "Alice in Wonderland" to refer to both books together or may not be aware that there are two distinct books. Movie adaptations frequently incorporate elements from Looking-Glass into Wonderland.

I'd like your help describing the movies called "Alice in Wonderland", especially distinguishing the those parts which strictly came from our heroine's Adventures in Wonderland and her experiences in the Looking-Glass world. --Uncle Ed (talk) 14:52, 2 April 2013 (UTC)

Don't forget "Alice's Adventures Under Ground", as a book that should be included in the new article; and the chapter about The Wasp in a Wig, that was deleted; and the Passionflower that was renamed Tiger-Lily, after Dodgson discovered it was named after the Passion of Jesus. (talk) 12:23, 14 September 2015 (UTC)

I disagree, mainly because there "obviously" must be an article for each book and there is not much in common besides Alice. Wonderland is not Looking-Glass Land. Commonalities can be treated in the Lewis Carroll article. Zaslav (talk) 06:31, 11 April 2016 (UTC)


THis image shows a cosplay inspired by Alice in Wonderland. Do you find it relevant and useful for adding it to the article? Cogiati (talk) 20:24, 26 May 2013 (UTC)

consistent usage of author's name[edit]

The articel is inconsistent in the usage of the name of the author. In section 'Symbolism', he's first referred to by the pseudonym Carrol, but later repeatedly by his actual name Dodgson. (I'd suggest using Dodgson, as he was working under that name as as mathematician.) Same issue under 'Illustrations', plus we've got an inconsistency considering the first print: was it Dodgson or Tenniel who was objecting the distribution of the first print (see: 'Publication history')? Botanischwili (talk) 12:52, 7 May 2014 (UTC)

Carroll, not Carrol. (talk) 12:25, 14 September 2015 (UTC)

The inconsistency has not been repaired. Zaslav (talk) 06:25, 11 April 2016 (UTC)

Use Image-Copperplate of Mouse's Tail?[edit]

Is this suitable to use? Slightnostalgia (talk) 21:34, 31 January 2015 (UTC)

"New Math"[edit]

There was a rather jarring thread to the article implying that Dodgeson was railing against developments in mathematics while writing Alice in Wonderland. I don't doubt that some literary critics might be able to get a paper or two published following this approach, but it is not appropriate for an encyclopedic source. Here are some examples indicating why this theory is anachronistic:

  • Melanie Bayley claims that that imaginary numbers were a "new and controversial" topic when Dodgson was writing. Imaginary numbers are actually ancient, and become finally widely accepted after the work of Euler and Gauss in the 1700s. By the time Dodgson studied math, around 1850, imaginary numbers had been everyday tools for mathematicians for about a century.
  • Similarly, Bayley and the Wikipedia editors seem to imply some uneasiness on Dodgson's part with modular arithmetic, which again was centuries old by the time Dodgson was writing, and was put in essentially its modern and entirely uncontroversial form in 1801.

In general, the ideas Dodgson was supposed to have been reacting against in mathematics, were all very well established before he was born in 1832. Dodgson may have had issues with the manner in which these topics were taught to students, or with the writing styles of some mathematicians as being insufficiently rigorous. But certainly neither the topics themselves, nor their internal consistency, were controversial. There were controversial issues in mathematics during Dodgson's lifetime, but they were almost entirely published at the end of his life after the 1865 publication of Alice in Wonderland. The most notable of these would have been Cantor's theorem (published in 1891) and Cantor's work on infinity more generally.

Additionally, the Wikipedia article claimed that Alice's inability to remember her multiplication tables was some sort of coded discussion of radices or number bases. This reading has no mathematical merit to it whatsoever, as you can in most cases "read" an incorrect multiplication as a multiplication in another base. For example, you get get 4*5 = 12, 4*5 = 13, 4*5 = 11 or (nearly) whatever you like by reinterpreting the base. You can also reinterpret these multiplications as multiplications in finite number rings with similar absurd-looking results. However, this reading is a tremendous reach with no textual justification. In fact, the paragraph containing the multiplication explicitly mentions that she is having difficulty remembering facts of all sorts. Her multiplication table is one thing she misremembers. She also misremembers London as the capital of Paris, and Paris as the capital of Rome. She also has trouble remembering the verse to several poems throughout the book. Given all this, the interpretation in the Wikipedia article is, at best, extremely suspect and should not be included without the support of a source explicitly mentioning that Dodgson had such things in mind when he wrote the book.2601:6:5480:15A5:4C40:D00B:FF5C:88F4 (talk) 16:36, 8 February 2015 (UTC)

more references tag[edit]

I have just included a more references tag to the top of the article as there appears to be guite a lot of ureferenced statements throughout the article. I could be WP:BOLD and clean these out of the article but would rather have more experienced editors look into this. thanks Coolabahapple (talk) 16:09, 13 September 2015 (UTC)

Walt Disney's Alice in Wonderland (1951)[edit]

In 1951, Walt Disney Animation Studios was still called Walt Disney Productions. Dragon'sLair83 (talk) 22:41, 7 December 2015 (UTC)

Semi-protected edit request on 14 February 2016[edit]

Add the following to songs inspired by this topic: Alice in Wonder Underground(アリス イン ワンダー アンダーグラウンド) is the twenty-sixth single released by the Japanese Rock band Buck Tick, released on August 8, 2007

Bodoglimt (talk) 02:15, 14 February 2016 (UTC)

Red information icon with gradient background.svg Not done: please provide reliable sources that support the change you want to be made. - a boat that can float! (watch me float) 08:12, 14 February 2016 (UTC)

Figure for distance[edit]

Admittedly this is not exactly a core feature of the article, but replacing an incorrect figure with a correct figure is an improvement. It is not a "nuanced argument". ----Ehrenkater (talk) 16:49, 25 February 2016 (UTC)

Mathematician and/or author?[edit]

'Confusing' was perhaps not the best word. But he's known to most of us as the author of the Alice books, not as a mathematician, though an important one, so 'author' should precede 'mathematician'. Rothorpe (talk) 12:57, 11 April 2016 (UTC)

At the risk of muddying the waters, I have to say I see Zaslav's point. It's a bit of a circular argument to say that Dodgson is an author because he is known as the author of the Alice books; whereas identifying him as a mathematician is both correct (that was his primary profession) and more revealing. I write this aware that more often I find myself agreeing with Rothorpe in editing matters. Alfietucker (talk) 13:49, 11 April 2016 (UTC)
I support changing this to "mathematician". After all, do we need to be told that a book was written by the person who wrote the book (should be able to work in "authored the book" there somewhere). Dodgson was first and foremost a mathematician, who wrote a couple of very famous fantasy stories. Well, what Alfie said. Imaginatorium (talk) 14:07, 11 April 2016 (UTC)
I don't see 'mathematician' mentioned at all in the leads of Through the Looking Glass, Hunting of the Snark, etc. Rothorpe (talk) 17:18, 11 April 2016 (UTC)
It is mentioned in the lead of Lewis Carroll, which is what we would expect. And if this sentence refers to Dodgson as a "mathematician", which is accurate, since it was his paid occupation from his polymath range of activities, then there will be a mention in this lead. And anyway, this is an odd objection: "Other stuff exists" or whateveritis. And surely AAiW was his first published writing (except perhaps mathematical papers?); making him even more of a mathematician. You could argue that when he wrote "Hunting of the Snark" he really was a "writer" by that stage. Well, I just think it's silly to have three occurrences of [WRITE] (that's "semantics") in the sentence... if someone argued that he should be called an "English polymath" for example, that would be a reasonable possibility. Imaginatorium (talk) 17:35, 11 April 2016 (UTC)
OK, as this was his literary debut and his most famous work, I suppose it reads appropriately. Rothorpe (talk) 00:18, 12 April 2016 (UTC)
On the other hand, 'mathematician' seems too much of a biographical detail for the lead. How about omitting it, leaving Dodgson without any qualification? It's not as if this is an obscure work requiring intricate identification. And Carroll is perhaps better known just as a don than as a mathematical one. Rothorpe (talk) 04:00, 12 April 2016 (UTC)
i have just reverted Zaslav's edit to "author" as this discussion has not reached consenus, that said, i agree that the lead does not necessarily need to include this detail, author or mathematician, the reference does not state either way being a list of books with title and writer(authorFace-smile.svg) only. WP:LEAD, also says "A good lead section cultivates the reader's interest in reading more of the article, but not by teasing the reader or hinting at content that follows. Instead, the lead should be written in a clear, accessible style with a neutral point of view.", could saying he was a mathematician in the lead of this article be seen as a teaser for a lot of readers who don't know this about Dodgson, or an author for those that do? Coolabahapple (talk) 15:01, 12 April 2016 (UTC)
The reasons I put "mathematician" for "author" are two: "author" has no information content, since the book is already said to be written by him, and (more importantly) the fact that Carroll was a mathematician is very relevant to the way he wrote his literary works. I was not intending a teaser, but providing important information for understanding his special humor. Besides, his profession was that of a mathematician. His other work, literary and photographic (he was an expert photographer), was his hobby. It seems fair to put him in context as a mathematician by profession who wrote some literary works, three of which are famous. The one useless word "author" being changed to "mathematician" takes care of all that without making a big deal about it. Why this is objectionable is not clear to me. The relevance of what other articles about his works say is also not clear; if they must all say the same things, they can all say he was a mathematician. Zaslav (talk) 12:56, 15 April 2016 (UTC)
I agree. As a I pointed out above, calling him an "author" is not merely redundant, it is actually wrong (except in the trivial sense that anyone, including me, who writes anything is an "author"), since he was first and foremost a mathematics don. But then Coolabahapple above quotes MOS (I take his word for it that this is what it says): the lead must not "teas[e] the reader or hint[] at content that follows". What on earth does this mean? How can you write anything without some lawyer being able to claim that you are "hinting at content that follows"? The fact that Dodgson was a mathematician is quite central to understanding the commentary on the book: why was Martin Gardner known mainly as a writer on mathematics and an expert on Alice? Read the second paragraph under "Symbolism"... it is all about him being a mathematician. How much more evidence is needed? I think I have just understood the comment above about "a list of books"... this is the "BBC list of books"? I think this is absurd. The article on "Paris" does not need a reference on the end of the first sentence ("Paris is the capital of France") to a "BBC list of European capitals": I would like to remove this reference, since it adds nothing. Will the lawyers let me? Imaginatorium (talk) 14:35, 15 April 2016 (UTC)
Thank you, Imaginatorium, for explaining in great detail why "author" is inappropriate in this lede.
As for the "list", I agree. But I don't see that list mentioned now. Zaslav (talk) 04:42, 16 April 2016 (UTC)
I removed the "list" reference -- as I understand it the lead is supposed to be a summary of the article, and as such does not normally need citations, so I think the other two should also go: they are totally general articles, one cited as "p. 1 ff" [sic]. I also think that in the disputed sentence, the best way to describe Dodgson would be "mathematics don" -- full, not overelaborate, and also not "surprising" to anyone who knew he was a don, but not that he was a mathematician. Imaginatorium (talk) 05:44, 16 April 2016 (UTC)
I never heard of a "mathematics don". He was a mathematician and a don. The most relevant fact, in terms of the book, is that he was a mathematician (and logician). The humor is very mathematical and logical. That he was a don is not very relevant except to how he wound up taking a boat trip with the Liddell sisters. What people know of him is not the point; an encyclopedia is supposed to educate them with relevant and significant information. Zaslav (talk) 09:13, 17 April 2016 (UTC)

Since no objections have been raised to the most recent posts that agree about "mathematician", I have changed "author" to "mathematician". I ask anyone who objects to give reasons here and await discussion rather than simply reverting. Thank you. Zaslav (talk) 05:43, 20 April 2016 (UTC)