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The Messed Up Origins of The Mad Hatter | Disney Explained - Jon Solo

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what is going on everybody my name is

John solo and today on messed-up origins

we're revisiting a solo fan favorite

Alice in Wonderland it's been a little

over a year since we last talked about

our girl Alice and I won't lie I did not

mean to stray away from her for so long

I just got distracted with life and the

dozens of other stories we've talked

about since then but I'm making a point

to return to her this week because

Monday January 27th was Charles Dodgson

aka Lewis Carroll's 180 8th birthday and

I wanted to commemorate the occasion by

breaking down the origins of one of his

most iconic characters the Mad Hatter

even if you're not very familiar with

Alice in Wonderland you no doubt know of

the Mad Hatter he's one of the three

particularly insane hosts of the tea

party Alice attends on her adventure and

he's at a variety of portrayals since

his creation in the 1860s not only does

he make an appearance in the book play

and film versions of Alice but he's also

referenced in other works like Batman

the Shrek musical and Futurama I thought

it'd be fun if today we did a review of

his complete story across the two books

just so everyone watching is on the same

page with how madness Hatter truly is

and then looked into Lewis Carroll's

real-life inspiration for the character

and in the process maybe get some

answers about the cause of his madness I

also thought hey I'm planning on doing a

massive breakdown of through the

looking-glass in a few weeks and this

will be a good way to hype people up and

get them into that madness mindset

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skipped over it well solo fam it's about

time for us to get started as usual if

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now down the rabbit hole we go now if

you've forgotten some of the more iconic

Mad Hatter moments worry not because in

this section I'll be doing a synopsis of

his story and unpacking some of his most

famous quotes so we can actually

understand what they mean the first

thing you've got to know about the Mad

Hatter is that despite everyone knowing

him by that name and it being his

official title in literally every movie

he's featured in interestingly enough

Lewis Carroll never actually called them

that he does describe him as mad but in

the first book he solely referred to as

the Hatter and in a second he's called

hata another interesting fact is that

the entire Tea Party chapter where he

and the March Hare are both introduced

and best known from wasn't in the first

renditions of the story Alice's

Adventures underground and neither was

the Cheshire Cat for those who don't

know Alice's Adventures underground was

the title of the handwritten manuscript

that Lewis Carroll had written for his

friend Alice little in 1864 it was about

half as long as the final edition of the

book which was published over a year

later and was clearly missing some of

the best parts now in Chapter 7 a matte

tea party begins

Alice approaches the Hatter and hare

having tea with the Dormouse leaping in

between that they're sitting in a rather

large table but there's a multitude of

empty seats so Alice it's down and

things get chaotic pretty much

immediately the first thing the Hatter

says to Alice is that her hair wants a

cutting which was a pretty unusual thing

to say to a little girl during the

Victorian era and then he asks her is

now famous riddle that he doesn't even

know the answer to now Lewis Carroll

himself said that originally the riddle

had no answer but after an overwhelming

demand from his readers he came up with

one because it could produce a few notes

though they are very flat and it's never

put with the wrong end in front

that never is spelled like the word

Raven backwards so ironically it was put

with the wrong end in front in that

instance personally I'm not a huge fan

of that answer so fortunately a few

others have been suggested as well

because they both stand on their legs

they ought to be made to shut up Edgar

Allan Poe wrote on both and they both

produce notes but neither are musical

what ensues is more tadd at conversation

where the hatter explains why saying

what you mean is not the same as meaning

what you say and where we learned why he

thinks it's always teatime

apparently long before Alice visited

Wonderland the Hatter was singing

twinkle twinkle little bat for the Queen

of Hearts a song that's actually sung by

the mouse in the movie while he was

singing the Queen said he was murdering

the time which clearly meant he was

offbeat but the Hatter of course took it

literally and now he thinks that time is

mad at him and won't change from 6

o'clock tea time eventually Alice gets

irritated with the Heron Hatter

shenanigan so she leaves but we see them

again at the knave of hearts his trial

in chapter 10 the header is called up as

a witness but he's not a very good one

so the King tells him to leave the

courtroom and he Sprint's out of there

like his life depends on it

and that actually kind of did because

the Queen ordered her guards to execute

him as soon as he was outside but he was

too quick for them and got away his

story then continues in chapter 5 of

through the looking-glass where we

learned he's been arrested for a crime

he didn't commit yet according to the

white queen who appears to be about as

logical as the Queen of Hearts he's

being punished at the moment his trial

will be next week and his crime will

happen sometime after that you might be

thinking that doesn't make any sense and

that be because it doesn't but in the

land behind the mirror everything seems

to happen in reverse order

apparently time also moves differently

there because the Hatter has been freed

only two chapters later and we see him

working as a messenger to the white king

alongside the hair only curiously they

go by different names in this story

Hatta spelled h ATT a in hair spelled h

IG h HH for this one because nobody

knows for sure anyway all he does in

this chapter is update the King on the

status of the fight between the lion and

the unicorn and that's literally it

that's the end of his story so now that

you've been reacquainted with the header

and know all about his life from

beginning to end I say tea time is over

and now we should take a look at the

real-life inspiration forum and the

underlying cause of his madness

when it comes to the residents of

Wonderland the Hatter is not necessarily

more insane than anyone else but one

thing that makes him different than the

other residents is we have a potential

explanation for his insanity for those

who don't know there's a reason that the

Hatter and March Hare are partners in

crime and that's because around the time

the Alice's Adventures was written the

sayings mad as a hatter and mad as a

March Hare

were commonly heard around England the

phrase mad as a March Hare refers to the

hyper aggressiveness of male hares

during mating season which at the time

many believed was only in the month of

March as opposed to the reality which is

eight months out of the year those poor

lady hares as for mad as a hatter while

that requires a bit more explanation

back in the Victorian era workers in the

textile industry were extremely

susceptible to developing illnesses that

affected the nervous system in part this

was due to both starvation and being

overworked but it was also because of

their being exposed to dangerous

chemicals like mercury which was used in

hat manufacturing back then now I'm

gonna list the symptoms of mercury

poisoning you know just for fun and you

tell me if they sound familiar

nervousness or anxiety irritability or

mood changes memory problems physical

tremors impaired motor skills and

slurred speech so yeah I'm pretty sure

the Hatter had mercury poisoning now

admittedly there are some symptoms that

don't line up with his behavior like

excessive shyness and depression so

there's some people who dispute the

claim but I would imagine that every

single symptom isn't going to be present

in every single person who's got it

regardless even if the hatter himself

didn't have an illness his behavior was

almost definitely modeled off of people

who did you see hat manufacturing just

so happened to be the main trade in the

city of Stockport where Carroll grew up

so he had plenty of personal experience

with Hatter's many of whom had mercury

poisoning and exhibited symptoms of it

the trickiest thing about that though

many of the Hatter's who were too far

gone were sent to pauper lunatic asylum

and they were supervised by lunacy

commissioners which is a pretty awesome

job title might I have one of these

commissioners was actually Carole's

uncle Robert

Wilfred Skeffington lute which and the

relationship may have given Carroll some

insight on the beat

behavior of the man it's also worth

mentioning to Carroll himself checked

into at least one asylum in his lifetime

Surry County Asylum where for leisure

patients were allowed to put on plays

and get this throw tea parties when you

take all of this information into

consideration I think it's safe to say

that whether or not Lewis had mercury

poisoning specifically in mind when

creating the Hatter he did have his

experiences with the afflicted to refer

back to in this no doubt influenced the

way the Hatter turned out there is one

other possible source of inspiration for

the character though and that's a man

named Theophilus Carter who was also a

bit mad he was an eccentric furniture

dealer near Oxford where Lewis attended

school many people in the area called

Theophilus the Mad Hatter because he

often wore a big top hat and was

considered a bit mad because of his

eccentric personality in wacky

inventions for example he invented an

alarm clock bed that woke up the sleeper

by tossing them on the floor because as

everyone knows the best part of waking

up is not Folgers in your cup but

breaking your neck and getting concussed

some believe that this famous invention

of his which to no surprise was not

popular may account for the Hatter's

obsession with time in the story because

remember they had some beef when it

comes down to it it's impossible to say

for sure where this strange character

came from but those are what I and many

other Carroll fans have found to be the

most likely theories that being said I

would love to hear your thoughts on the

matter and any theories you may have

heard so make sure to comment them down

below when you through with that make

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too I'll be seeing you guys next week

with even more messed-up content until

then I just want to say thank you so

much for watching my name is John solo

and remember John shot first

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