Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Disney's Alice in Wonderland: Bakhtin's Dream

Disney’s Alice in Wonderland reflects the epitome of the carnivalesque genre. The topsy-turvy, bizarre world of the Mad Hatter and the March Hare throw social rules, traditions, and regulations out the door. Mikhail Bakhtin’s carnivalesque literary mode subverts the hierarchy in society by making all equal through humor and chaos. The leveling comedy in carnivalesque literature harkens back to carnivals themselves. Bakhtin thoroughly believed that through all the “jolly relativity” of carnivals and festivities, that true equality is reached. The tea party scene in Alice in Wonderland serve as a visual representation of the carnivalesque. For example, Alice is constantly jostled around and confused by the Mad Hatter and March Hare’s flat rejection of all social rules.

Through this chaos, logic and reason fall victim to spontaneity and bewilderment. Through Disney’s carnivalesque Alice in Wonderland, the very fabric of society is tested to its very core.

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