Alice & Wonderland, Theme of Bizarre

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Theme: Weird and Bizarre.
The composers of Alice in Wonderland the novel and the film, and the Life of Pi the novel, have created a world that is both weird and wonderful. They have done this through their selected forms, use of language and film techniques to highlight the bizarre and transform it into a world that seems real. Lewis Carrol uses the form of a fairy tale to describe Alice’s adventure down the rabbit hole, Tim Burton focuses on visual techniques to emphasise the extraordinary or supernatural nature of the Alice in Wonderland story. Yann Martel presents a novel in the form of a memoir to recount the adventurous, Life of Pi. All three creators highlight the theme of weird in three ways. First, by its form, for example a fairy tale or memoir. Second, highlighting the bizarre through language and visual techniques. Third, by making the bizarre seem real or natural.

Lewis Carrol takes the reader down the rabbit hole into a bizarre world of changing size, babies that turn into pigs and a cat that is nothing but a grin. The reader’s journey is assisted by the language technique of repetition, ‘down, down, down’. At the bottom of this rabbit hole is an inviting bottle marked ‘drink me.’ Alice’s shrinking size is accompanied by the exclamation, ‘what a curious feeling…. I must be folding up like a telescope’. The simile helps capture the weird and bizarre nature of the change-taking place. This shrinkage is reversed when she eats a little cake, and her growth is greeted with the words ‘curiouser and curiouser’. Carrols use of and focus on language stresses the topic of bizarre.

Tim Burton approaches transformations in a powerfully visual way, to explore the theme of weird. The scene in which Alice meets Absalom, a blue caterpillar, is extremely surreal. The colour blue predominates with Absalom emerging from the smoke. Ominous music is used to emphasise the emergence of the caterpillar. The musical score is magical and dreamy, and is the perfect...
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