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Updated: See below.
Second update

Carroll's Alice books have not only inspired numerous illustrators and produced countless adaptations for stage, screen, and book; they have also provoked what we might think of as "satellite" works that put the themes, characters, symbols and concepts of Carroll's books into new contexts.

One of the most famous of these in modern times, of course, is Jefferson Airplane's song "White Rabbit." Words below. Performance viewable on Google video.

The songs's reference to hallucinogens, while consistent with the image of the Caterpillar smoking a hookah and with the widespread medicinal use of opium in Carroll's time, has led some readers to believe, mistakenly, that Carroll used drugs recreationally, was addicted to them, or wrote the Alice books under the influence.

One pill makes you larger
And one pill makes you small,
And the ones that mother gives you
Don't do anything at all.
Go ask Alice
When she's ten feet tall.

And if you go chasing rabbits
And you know you're going to fall,
Tell 'em a hookah-smoking caterpillar
Has given you the call.
Call Alice
When she was just small.

When the men on the chessboard
Get up and tell you where to go
And you've just had some kind of mushroom
And your mind is moving low.
Go ask Alice
I think she'll know.

When logic and proportion
Have fallen sloppy dead,
And the White Knight is talking backwards
And the Red Queen's "off with her head!"
Remember what the dormouse said:
"Feed your head. Feed your head. Feed your head"


Update: It goes without saying (and will be a topic of our course) that the rise of digital media has transformed the possibilities for creating "satellites" such as the Airplane's "White Rabbit." What better example than this mash-up of the original Star Trek with the Airplane's song, which is not only hilarious in and of itself but opens the door to exploring what Alice's trip underground has in common with fictions of intergalactic exploration.

Second update: The Airplane/Star Trek video has been removed from YouTube. However, you can still find it here.