OF THE BABY NAME ALICE
Alice is the mother of one of the main characters, Tibby, in the 2001 bestseller by Ann Brashares, The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, which inspired a movie and several sequels. She was a hippie sculptor who had Tibby when she was only nineteen. She and Tibby’s father have two other children much later, when they are more mainstreamed, with the result that Tibby almost feels she is part of a different family. Alice may sometimes be a source of exasperation to her daughter, but she must be credited with producing a child of great wit and ingenuity.
A Google search for this topic will net you almost 75 million hits. So what else can we say? Well, not much, probably, but that won’t stop us from trying. This is an all time classic, universally loved and translated, and has made incarnations in film, cartoons, comic books, toys – you name it. Lewis Carroll, as everyone knows, was the nom-de-plume for a reclusive Victorian Oxford don by the name of Charles Lutwidge Dodgson, who seems to have been particularly entranced by one of the little daughters of the Dean of Christ Church, Alice Liddell. In his efforts to please her he wrote down the story he had been telling her on an outing. In so doing, he re-created for us a fabulous child on a fabulous adventure in two books, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking-Glass between 1863 and 1871. Alice is no prissy little goody-goody. She is pert, sensible, questioning and determined, guiding us through the maze of her dream with clarity and élan. Alice has become a companion to millions of children through the years, especially little girls, and her very name conjures up a world of enchantment and magical delights, to which we may return at any time in adulthood.
Alice was the longtime companion of Gertrude Stein, the writer and unofficial mistress of avant –garde society of Paris in the 1920s. Born in San Francisco in 1877, she went to Paris in 1907, met Stein, and the rest is history. Together they hosted receptions for the leading intellects and artists of their day. Publicly outshone by the more domineering Stein, she was nonetheless the muse behind the artist, providing devoted support and comfort until Stein’s death in 1946. She was immortalized by Stein in her memoirs, The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas, and furthered her own fame with the publication of The Alice B. Toklas Cookbook, which of course, contained the recipe for the infamous hashish brownies. Yes, she did have a slight mustache, but we’ll forgive her that in light of her other accomplishments. And the “B” stands for Babette.
Alice Cullen is one of the characters in Stephanie Meyers’ hugely successful Vampire Series of books and movies in the teen fantasy romance genre. She is the adoptive sister of the main “good” vampire character, Edward Cullen, and is like a sister to the main character, Bella Swan. Alice is a bright, petite and pretty girl who has clairvoyant powers, a trait that got her institutionalized in her “human life”. She is also a typical young girl, who loves make-up, shopping and parties. A fiercely loyal friend to Bella, Alice is instrumental in defending her and Edward against their vast array of enemies in the vampire world, and in protecting their child, Renesmee, against false charges made against her.
Joel is a character in the controversial 1971 book titled “Go Ask Alice” by an anonymous author. It’s presented as the actual diary of a teenage girl who becomes addicted to drugs and so it has become a thinly veiled statement against drug use. The diarists name is never given (fittingly since it’s a diary after all!). The character of Joel who comes into the life of the diarist is one of virtue and kindness. He is able to draw her out of her self-destructive shell and she regains trust in the world through him. She is embarrassed about her past and insecure about herself, but he accepts her from the inside as she opens up to him. Joel restores the idea of true romantic love and is the epitome of goodness.