A Mad Hatter Musing

Was there ever a fictional character that you had an instant connection with? A character that you related to and seemed more like a friend than a fictional character? I’m not sure what brought this to the forefront of my mind (it’s organized chaos in there!), but since this is what my mind has been mulling around and musing about, I thought I would share it with all of you.

As a child, I loved Alice in Wonderland. I related to Alice in many ways: singing to the flowers, saying impertinent things, and being so curious to the point that it outright got her (me) into trouble. Yes, we were alike in many ways. When Disney’s live action version of Alice in Wonderland came out, I was enamored! At this point, my attention turned to The Mad Hatter. I developed such a love and understanding of that character. I found I could relate to him even more than Alice!

It seems that Alice in Wonderland was a big part of my childhood. Growing up with many cousins provided exceptionally fun times, and one of the things we enjoyed doing together was “making movies.” A few of us had little camcorders with which we would record our movies before plugging them into the computer to line up all the clips to produce the final product. Once, we decided to make a movie of Alice in Wonderland, and I was cast as the Cheshire Cat. I was ecstatic as the Cheshire Cat was my second favorite character. I practiced my upside down, silly grin so much that I got dizzy!

These characters hold such a special place in my heart that they seem more like friends than fictional characters. It wasn’t until I was older and I rewatched the movie that I realized that Alice’s friends are really just representations of different parts of her! Each character represents a character trait of Alice. What does that say about me that I relate to The Mad Hatter so much?! Some may think it ridiculous to be grown and talking about such silly things as this, but I enjoy thinking back on the times I spent in my imagination with my “friends.” In fact, I would hazard a guess to say that adults should learn from the innocence of youth and venture to see the world that way again. Kids see the world as a beautiful place full of wonder and adventure. It is sad that many adults lose that sense of wonder when looking at the world. Indeed, one doesn’t have to fantasize that the world is a beautiful place. It truly is if one chooses to see it. Perhaps that is why I relate to Alice and The Hatter so much. Alice, as a child, sees the world as a beautiful, fascinating place, and Hatter, as an adult, holds those same “childly innocent” views of the world.

As I started writing this, I didn’t have a point…. no PSA, no moral to the story……. but as I have continued to mull over this and think about it, there really is an understanding that can be had from all this. Take it as you will: a cute story about my childhood, a look into how my strange mind works, or a deep, philosophical analyzation….. I’m not sure what this is myself! (True to form of The Mad Hatter!) And with that, I leave you with this quote from the The Hatter, himself:

“You're entirely bonkers. But I'll tell you a secret, all the best people are.”

Author: Emily E. Finke

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©2020 by Emily E. Finke.