"One side will make you grow taller, and the other side will make you grow shorter."
"One side of what? The other side of what?" thought Alice to herself.
"Of the mushroom," said the Caterpillar, just as if she had asked it aloud…”
Interestingly, in Carroll’s original Alice’s Adventures Underground, the Caterpillar told Alice the top would make her grow taller and the stalk would make her grow shorter. It seems that Carroll made the Caterpillar’s words more ambiguous in his second version so that Alice could ponder the mathematical conundrum of what the two sides of a circle might be.
Many species of mushroom are well known for their hallucinogenic and psychedelic properties. Like the Caterpillar’s hookah, many readers and critics have pointed to Alice’s ordeal with the mushroom as proof of the psychedelic nature of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. “Magic Mushrooms,” it has been pointed out, often cause hallucinations concerning size and distance, which corresponds with Alice’s resulting abrupt changes in size (Gardner 73). However, while it is conceivable that Carroll knew and meant to imply a psychedelic effect in his employment of the mushroom, it is by no means certain.
Many music artists since the 1960s have highlighted the supposed "drug references" in Alice, often incorporating the mushroom into either the lyrics or the music video. Below are two music videos of Tom Petty and the Heart Breakers' "Don't Come Around Here No More," and Jefferson Airplane's "White Rabbit." Additionally there is a "trippy" musical number from the musical Alice at the Palace.
Tom Petty and the Heart Breakers
"Don't Come Around Here No More" (1985)
"White Rabbit" (1967)
Alice at the Palace (1981)
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