Writing Research Paper

While writing my research paper for Trifles, I find a lot of information surrounding my topic of female gender roles. It has been a learning experience for myself as well because a lot of topics come up that I was not aware of before entering into the research process. I thought I knew all that I could when it comes to gender roles in our modern society but I was wrong. I am brought up on topics of Patriarchy and feminism. I start to go more into depth of the play and see the underlining behind it. There is still a lot of information that I need to find out concerning my topic and the play itself but I am exposing it one section at a time. My only problem is finding time to do this research paper, study and do the other work for my other classes but I how I am organizing everything out I am making time.

Research Paper Writing Process

I first started my research process by exploring different and diverse topics regarding Christina Rosetti’s “Goblin Market.” I thought the piece would prove effective for a research paper due to its appropriate length and wide array of interpretations. After some investigating, I decided to focus on a feminist exploration of the text, specifically addressing female desire. Fortunately enough, I have found many good resources for my topic. However, I may have found too many. As a result, I’m finding it difficult to find my focus and build a thesis that is neither too narrow nor too broad. In the actual writing of the essay, I’ve had a rough start and am somewhat behind schedule due to my other assignments. Additionally, I am experiencing trouble organizing my thoughts. I know the direction I would like to take with the paper, although I’m having a difficult time finding the concentration and motivation to keep working at it. I plan to continue writing and see where it takes me, without over thinking it as I have been. Then I will readdress my thesis and rework it accordingly. Once I work through this writer’s block, I am confident that I will produce the paper I envisioned. I just have to keep reminding myself to get through this rough draft period, keep an open mind and somewhere along the way more clarity will come.

The Wondrous Animals of Alice in Wonderland

The gathering of creatures for the Caucus Race

The gathering of creatures for the Caucus Race

I’m in the midst of writing a research paper regarding the significance of animals and animal hybrids in the Alice stories.  I also will relate the general use of animals in children’s literature in the Victorian era.  To assist me in this, I researched scholarly writings on the topic and found that there were few readily available to me; I found this to be a good news/bad news situation.  The good news is that the topic I chose is relatively unique as a study; also, the sources that I have found contain a goodly amount of diverse information that I can sort through, combine with my own reading, and then synthesize with my own interpretation.  The bad news is, source material is limited and I have to work with what I have.  None-the-less, I have over 200 pages of material to work with and the direction of my paper is taking shape.  I’m a bit behind schedule in my writing, in part because of the time spent reviewing the sources, but have a pretty good idea of where I’m going with what I’ve written to date.  Then again, just like the Alice stories, an odd twist may present itself causing the focus to shift or adding another element not yet foreseen.  The research and writing process involved in this project may be yet another adventure involving Alice!

Writing Process

My writing process for this paper has been varied. Depending on the day, I can get a lot of work done in one sitting, but on others, it is a struggle to get anything done. Getting my research to connect all together has been a bit of struggle. I have my sources, but how they connect to overindulgence is sort of a struggle. Each source has really interesting information that helps my argument, but making sure it all flows in a way that makes sense has been the biggest struggle so far.

Research Paper Writing Process

The writing process so far for the research paper has not been smooth sailing but not overly difficult because it usually takes me a while to organize my thoughts and dive into the paper. I usually have to work and take frequent breaks in order to get a long research paper done.  I am confident though that I will be able to produce something I am happy with as long as I put in the amount of effort and research the paper requires, which I think I have done so far. However at the moment, writers block, and questioning if the direction I had previously thought Id go with is the right choice, is making the writing process a bit more arduous. I do feel like I am making progress and I keep reminding myself that my rough draft is not my final and after I apply heavy editing it will turn out the way I would like it to.  At the moment I may be slightly intimidated however I know that I will be just fine because I am going to be working hard at it.

Writing Process: Research Paper Draft

My writing process during this draft has been somewhat typical of how I write a research paper. I started by finding many sources, and after determining my working thesis, I started writing the main paper body. I feel that one of my strong points is finding sources – I work at the library, so I have no problem finding journal articles or books through the catalog or databases. However, my weak point has been actually sitting down to write the paper. It might be procrastination, but I also think that it has something to do with my need to delve totally into a paper topic for a certain amount of time. I hadn’t had that time throughout much of Break. To compensate, I wrote a basic outline in my draft document to keep me on track when writing the paper. This has worked very well. At this point, my discussion of women in Victorian times and of imagination/initiative in the Alice books is almost done. I plan on incorporating more biographical information to discover why Carroll write such a radical text, and I might add a discussion of a few adaptations that use imagination differently than the original text. However, the latter might not work, simply because of space and the paper’s focus. After I finish writing the body, I will go back and revise my thesis statement. Right now, I’m tired of working on this paper, but I’m still enjoying the overall topic. I think Carroll is fascinating, and I can’t wait to go back and revise my paper with fresh eyes.

Research Paper Writing Process

Throughout the course of this semester, I have learned a lot about myself and of my writing process. Skills I have discovered in other classes have allowed me to approach my research paper assignment in a positive manner. I first began by exploring different topics regarding Christina Rossetti’s “Goblin Market”. The topic that seemed most interesting to research was that of drug addiction. I then selected three different areas to explore that could be seen through Rossetti’s “Goblin Market’. These three areas include drug use in nineteenth-century England, her biographical background, and markets in London during the nineteenth century. I’ve struggled most with finding appropriate sources to include in my essay and research. I have explored several databases looking for Christina Rossetti’s biographical background, particularly the life of her brother’s wife, Elizabeth but have found a minimal amount of useful sources. While this has been the most difficult to retrieve it has allowed me to become a more keen user of the resources that Marymount’s library services provides. In terms of writing the essay, I have reached a “writer’s block”. Often times I focus on what the length a paper needs to be, focusing on quantity versus quality. Thus I concern myself with reaching the second, third, and fourth page mark and then find myself asking myself, “What more can I write about?” rather than exploring the concepts and ideas of my paper. At this point I feel comfortable with the content and direction my paper is headed in but know that there is a bit more research that needs to be done and a bit more closer reading and analysis.

Alice Mini-Series Blog Post

 

The Alice Mini-Series Blog Post

The reinterpretation I chose to research is the two part mini-series called Alice that that came out in 2009. In this version Alice is Alice Hamilton, a woman in her early 20’s who is a martial arts instructor living at home with her mom. She comes off as strong but emotionally cold due to her father disappearing ten years before. It starts with her having her boyfriend Jack over and becomes uncomfortable when he wants to give her a ring and asks her to come meet his family for the weekend. She declines both and he leaves but not before he slips the ring into her pocket.  When she goes after him to return it, sees him being thrown into a van and then is questioned by a white haired man who retrieves the ring from her. She chases him and he jumps into a large mirror in a dark alley.  She falls in the same mirror and is transported to a new world called Wonderland.

Wonderland looks like a futuristically bleak world typically seen in Sci-Fi movies. The special effects are well done for a TV mini-series and even has a Jaberwock that looks just like the one in the book.  The animal characters are mostly human in this version but have the same names as in the book. Some examples of these are the Dodo who is part of a group trying to overthrow the Queen, the Caterpillar a leader in that same group, the White Rabbit who works for the queen and Mad March, a robotic assassin with a rabbit for a head hired by the queen to kill The Hatter. The plot of this version is that the Resistance is trying to overthrow the Queen of Hearts who drains the emotions from people kidnapped from the regular world. She uses their emotions to help run the Queen of Hearts Casino. The ring Alice is given is very important and both groups are after because it controls the portal to Wonderland.

rabbitqueen of heartsalice hatteralice collageThe reason why new versions of Alice are still being created is because the original is so beloved for its imagination and we’ve all grown up on the story. The direction intended for this version is a sci fi adventure with undertones of overcoming emotional traumas and leaving parts of your childhood behind. Due to that it lacked themes of identity and innocence that I thought the novel had. This version also differs because Alice and the Mad Hatter called just Hatter in this one connect romantically. Also most of the dialogue in the novel is found missing and was waiting for Caterpillar to say “Who are you?” to Alice which he did not. He did smoke out of a hookah though while floating in a pool in a canoe. They filmmakers continuously did try to remind viewers of the original such as having the Hatter own a tea shop. Overall this version proves that there will always be interest in the Alice novels, and look forward to a new reimagining.

 

 

 

Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland (1972)

Theatrical Release Poster 1972

Theatrical Release Poster 1972

I was amazed to discover the plethora of movies made regarding Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland that either stuck fairly closely to the original story or incorporated elements of the Alice stories.  In addition to movies, there were also television shows, one of the more interesting ones was a short lived, Canadian courtroom drama entitled This is Wonderland with the lead character named Alice De Reay.  With so many interesting choices, it was difficult to decide where to focus my attention.  I chose to watch and report on the 1972 British musical film Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.

This film stayed fairly close to Lewis Carroll’s original story with the major exception of incorporating the scene with Tweedledee and Tweedledum from Through the Looking Glass.  This scene was inserted after Alice’s conversation with the caterpillar and prior to arriving at the Duchess’s house for the pig and pepper scene.  The screenplay omitted some minor elements but, being a musical, expanded on others.  The verses used in the book that made it into the movie where converted to song, for example “Will you Walk a Little Faster, Said a Whiting to a Snail” featuring Mock Turtle, the Gryphon and Alice.

To see the clip, click on this link:  Will You, Won’t You Join the Dance…

Alice (Fiona Fullerton)

Alice (Fiona Fullerton)

In the book, Alice was seven years old; in the film, her age is indeterminate but she appears older.  Fiona Fullerton who was 16 years old when the film was originally released played Alice.  Because of the special effects of Alice shrinking and growing throughout, the only “give away” that she is older is the Lolita-like appearance of her face.

The costume designers did a wonderful job portraying the various Wonderland characters as close as possible to the characters drawn by John Tenniel in the first edition of the novel.  However, as with the book itself, I found the characters to be disturbing in their appearance.

Tweedles

Tweedledum and Tweedledee

The White Rabbit

The White Rabbit

 

 

 

 

 

The Cheshire Cat

The Cheshire Cat

As mentioned earlier in this post, the film was fairly true to the book.  But, this is primarily in relation to the story line.  What was lost in the film was some of the exquisite word play used by Carroll throughout Alice.  None-the-less, the spirit and intent of the fantasy remains and, as a musical the addition to the Mad Hatter’s tea party was one of my favorites.  I think you will enjoy it as well, The Pun Song

Alice in Murderland

The movie that I chose for my adaptation of Alice in Wonderland is Alice in Murderland. When watching Alice in Murderland, it includes more of Alice in Wonderland details versus it being a spinoff of the book. The main character is a young woman, who fits the Alice charter traits. Alice is blonde with blue eyes and a petite body type. The only difference between the two is Alice in the movie is twenty-one and Alice in the book is seven years old.

AIM

In the movie, Alice’s sorority sisters are throwing her a birthday party. Against their better judgment, they decide to throw it at a place called the glass house, which happens to be the same place Alices mother was killed twenty years ago. They also decide to make it an Alice in Wonderland themed party. They include characters such as twiddledee and twiddledum, which are reserved for the typical best friends of the group. Twiddledum, Donna, also happens to be the typical dumb blonde of the group and Twiddledee, Dee who watches over her like an older sister. Then they have Pima who is assigned to dress in a caterpillar outfit. Pima happens to also be the one girl of the group who always brings the drugs to the party. Her drug of choice is shrooms for the party. Similar to the book, the caterpillar tells Alice to eat mushrooms. Then they have a strong willed girl name Cat, who dresses up as the Cheshire Cat because she is sneaky and disappears from the group like the Cheshire Cat in the book. Alices best friend Malory dresses up as the white rabbit but does not have anything in common with the fictional character. The owner of the glass house who happens to be Malory’s uncle, Mr. White, dresses up as the Mad Hatter who also does not have much in common with his imagescharacter either. Then you have Samantha who plays the cook. Then you have Tiffany who dresses up like the red queen or better known as the Queen of Hearts which can fit her domineering personality. They choose not to include a jabberwocky costume maybe because it has no part in the Alice in Wonderland book but that does not stop a jabberwocky appearing and killing most of the girls off anyway.

alice2The girls get dressed up in their outfits at the glass house. Drama starts to breakout but is easily squashed. Alice suggests that we have a tea party such as the one in the book. Drama outbreaks again and the girls decide to split up. Alice, Cat and Malory decide to stay downstairs and have a tea party while the remaining girls go upstairs. Cat disappears and the other girls plot to rig the house with traps. Pima gives Dee some shrooms, which sends her on a bad trip that results her in choking one of the girls. Pima takes her to the bathroom and puts her in the shower hoping that would make her better. Dee then sees a jabberwocky in costume and Pima then turns around and runs. The jabberwocky then kills Dee and runs after Pima. Pima hides but is eventually killed. Meanwhile the girls have no clue and try to trick Malory and Alice leaving Cat alone to her own demise. Donna tries to find Dee but finds her dead. imagesCASB0LI2The Jabberwocky knocks her out and glues her butt to the toilet. The girls split up again trying to find a way out, something to help get Donna off the toilet and a cell phone. Mr. White helps pull Donna off the toilet while the Jabberwocky is about to kill them. Tiffany knocks the Jabberwocky out and it is revealed that Cat was the one in the costume all along. Soon everyone tries to find a way out and Tiffany and Samantha are assigned to watch Cat. During that time it is revealed that Samantha is Cat’s sister and lets Cat go free. They chop Tiffanys head off and go look for the other girls to kill. Samantha finds Alice but Alice ends up bashing her head in.  She finds Cat just about to kill Malory but she stabs her first. Right before Cat dies, she tells Alice that she will always be a killer until she breaths her last death. The end of the movie shows Alice is around her aunt and Malory and starts to laugh creepily after repeating what Cat told her right before her death.

The director, Dennis Devine, may have chosen the direction to draw in a young adult crowd. He may have also wanted the story in a modern day setting but also getting rid of the usual fantasy based premise. Devine turned a simple children’s book into a movie that surrounds drugs, killing and lying but he did include references from the book during the movie. If Alice in Wonderland would have been set in a realistic world then this adaptation would have not been so outlandish.