Hello everyone and welcome back to Deeper Waters where we are currently diving into the ocean of truth. Now lately, we’ve been going through the Summa Theologica of Thomas Aquinas to understand the doctrine of God. However, tonight I happened to go see Alice in Wonderland in the movie theater. Readers of the blog know that I like to review movies that I go and see. (If you plan on seeing this movie, just in case, I recommend you visit this particular post later due to possible spoilers) Thus, we will continue Aquinas tomorrow. (His works have survived for nearly 800 years. One more night won’t kill them.) Before we get to our review, I offer my prayer requests. First off, my continual Christlikeness which, dear readers, is becoming a reality thankfully. Second, I ask for prayers for my finances. Finally, I ask that you pray for me in a third related area in my life.
Alice in Wonderland was of course, a book first, and that book was written by the Reverend Charles Dodgson who is better known as Lewis Carroll. Reverend? Yes. This author was a Christian and he was a logician as well and part of what he wrote Alice in Wonderland for was to teach logic.
Take for instance, the character Absolem, the blue caterpillar. Alice is brought to Absolem to see if she is the right Alice and he answers “Not hardly.” The fallacy is that everyone takes Absolem to be saying “No.” Absolem did not say that however. The question was asking if she is, and truly at that point, she was not yet the Alice she needed to be. Note also the name Absolem. What he says is absolute. Why? He is the truth teller and truth is absolute and if he says it, it is true.
Words are used regularly throughout the movie to get you to think. These are terms like “ought” and “should” and “is.” Some things ought to be but they are not as they ought to be. Some people should know some things but as it turns out, they do not know the things they should or believe the things they should.
Alice is also told that she must slay the Jabberwocky on Frablous Day. She is entirely against the idea as she does not slay anything. Yet, however, all the decisions Alice makes that even seem to run counter to the goal of getting her the Vorpal Sword to slay the Jabberwocky on Frablous Day end up getting her to that goal. Yet are we to deny that Alice truly had a freewill choice in the matter?
At one point, the Red Queen is spoken to by her main henchman who asks if it is better to be feared than loved. Philosophy students should immediately recognize Machiavelli, as he answered that it was better to be feared than it was to be loved in his work, The Prince. Readers are advised to read this work to understand why Machiavelli’s name became synonymous with evil.
As for those wondering about the acting and entertainment value of the movie, it is definitely there. This is an enjoyable movie and philosophy students should find extra interest in it. Most interesting for our purposes is that this was a book written by a Christian and Lewis Carroll is still a favorite author today.
In our age, what we need are more writers like Carroll who blend truth with wit and can teach us something while entertaining us as well. C.S. Lewis was such a writer as was J.R.R. Tolkien and G.K. Chesterton. May God raise up many more!
Tomorrow, we shall resume with Aquinas.