Through the Looking-Glass
by Lewis Carroll
Name: Fábio Castellan Canedo Medeiros
Class: TCAACS 1.1
Date: July 12th, 2009
Through the Looking-Glass and what Alice found there
Biography of Lewis Carroll
Birth: January 27th, 1832 - Cheshire, England
Death: January 14th, 1898 - Surrey, England
Lewis Carroll is the pseudonym of the English writer and mathematician
Charles Lutwidge Dodgson. Carroll invented his pen name by translating his
first two names into the Latin "Carolus Lodovicus" and then anglicizing it into
The son of a clergyman and the firstborn of 11 children, Carroll began at
an early age to entertain himself and his family with magic tricks, marionette
shows, and poems written for homemade newspapers. From 1846 to 1850 he
attended Rugby School; he graduated from Christ Church College, Oxford, in
1854. Carroll remained there, lecturing on mathematics and writing treatises
and guides for students. Although he took deacon's orders in 1861, Carroll was
never ordained a priest, partly because he was afflicted with a stammer that
made preaching difficult and partly, perhaps, because he had discovered other
Carroll is best known especially for two books: Alice’s Adventures in
Wonderland (1865) and Through the Looking-Glass (1871), distinguished as
satire and as examples of verbal wit. Carroll's comic and children's works also
include The Hunting of the Snark (1876), two collections of humorous verse,
and the two parts of Sylvie and Bruno (1889, 1893): unsuccessful attempts to
re-create the Alice fantasies.
avocations was As a mathematician,
photography, at Carroll was
which he became conservative and
proficient. He derivative. As a
excelled especially logician, he was more
at photographing interested in logic as
children. Alice a game than as an
Liddell, was one of instrument for testing
his photographic reason. In his
subjects and the diversions as a
model for the photographer and
fictional Alice. author, he was
Adapted from: http://www.insite.com.br/rodrigo/text/lewis_carroll.html
Alice is a seven and a half year-old girl, like she likes to address herself.
Besides having an enormous creativity, she is inquiry.
She is very sweet and civil, even when facing the most crazy characters.
Dinah, Snowdrop (white kitten) and Kitty (black kitten)
The white kitten is always quite, while the black kitten is doing mischief
and being told off by Alice
The Red Queen and the Red King
While the Red Queen is very authoritarian and makes many appearances
during the book, the Red King spends the whole match sleeping.
The White Queen and the White King
Both Characters are very absent-minded and seem to be unaware of what is
happening around them.
The Red Knight and the White Knight
The Knights are inexperienced riders for them constantly fall off their
horses. The White, in special, is very imaginative and ludic
She is the sweetest of all the flowers
She is the most impetuous
The daises are the most scandalous
Insects and Animals
A common gnat, only he is much bigger (almost the size of a chicken) and
he can talk. He makes many jokes, but nobody finds them funny
Made of wood and likes to ear sap and dust
Made of plum-pudding and his head is catching on fire. It likes to eat
frumenty and mince pie. Also he makes his nest in a Christmas box
The body are slices of bread-and-butter and the head is a lump of sugar.
It likes to weak tea with cream
He is very loyal to the White Queen
He has just been taken out of prison and is kind of lazy
He has the shape of an egg. He is very smart and is already acquainted of
Alice because of the famous nursery rhymes
He is very arrogant because he won the battle against the Unicorn
He is always blaming that people are always on the Lion’s side
“You may call it nonsense if you like, but I’VE heard
nonsense, compared with which that would be as sensible as a
The Red Queen
Through the Looking-Glass is the sequel of Adventures of
Alice in Wonderland. It’s considered to be nonsense literature,
created to reach mostly children.
The book is full of puns and puzzles, with the central theme
of chess. The book also contains many poems, some that were
written by Lewis Carroll and others that are adaptations of well-
Alice Through the Looking-Glass tells us the story of how Alice
discovers a way of crossing the mirror of her living-room in order to enter
in the “Looking-Glass House”, a place where all the things work just the
opposite of the normal world.
The story begins with Alice reprehending Kitty, for it was obvious he
was the responsible for messing around with the worsted, once it couldn’t
have been Snowdrop who was being washed by Dinah.
As she is playing with the kittens, she wonders how it would be like
to live in the Looking-Glass house, and her main concern is if there would
be a fire or not in the fireplace. Alice realizes that the mirror is slowly
melting into a bright mist and therefore it might be possible to go through
it; in another moment she is already at the other side of the mirror and for
her relief they indeed have a fire.
The Looking-Glass living room is very similar to the one in the other
side, but many things are curious, like the pictures in the wall that are alive
and the clock that grins at her. Alice is also surprised to see that the
chessmen are alive, although they can’t see or hear her. Still in the room,
she finds many books which seem to be in a strange language; one in
special is entitled “YKCOWREBBAJ”, and only with the aid of a mirror
she could read it like “JABBERWOCKY”.
Alice decides to haste, otherwise she won’t be able to see the entire
house in time to get back for the tea in her real world. She goes outside the
house and finds a wonderful garden, full of flowers, and to her delight, they
are able to talk.
After a small argument with the Tiger-Lily, Alice bumps into the
Red Queen. Here Alice discovers one exquisite thing about that world, it
takes the most you can run to be in the same place.
After Alice rests a little bit of the running episode, the Red Queen
shows her kingdom and Alice is astonished when she finds out that the
world is divided by little brooks into a giant chessboard, where everybody
is making part of the game.
Alice declares that she would love to be a queen as well, so the Red
Queen replies saying that she can if she wants to, but that she’ll have to
begin as a pawn, and as soon as she reaches the eighth square, she’ll be
ready to be a queen. After giving Alice a few directions and rules about
chess, the Queen disappears.
Following what the queen had said, Alice gets a train where she
meets distinct characters, like the Goat, the Horse, the Paper Man and the
Conductor of the train. When Alice disembarks, she is in the forth rank and
she continues to walk. Ahead she meets the Gnat, who explains to her a
little bit about the Looking-Glass insects and their eating habits. Later on,
while Alice is crossing the wood where nothing has name, she comes
across a Fawn that helps her reach the other side.
Then, Alice meets Tweedledum and Tweedledee, twin brothers, who
promise to help her find the right way as soon as they recite their favorite
poem: “The Walrus and the Carpenter”.
After listening to the long poem, Alice expects to have the answer to which
path she should take, but the brothers begin to discuss about the poem;
latter on about the Red King who was sleeping in a nearby tree and finally
they begin to argue about a rattle and they decide that they should fight to
prove who is right. Instead of fighting, they end up running away because a
big rain is approaching.
Alice runs into the wood to protect herself and a shawl comes flying
in her direction; it’s from the White Queen who is running despaired to get
it. Alice gives it to her and helps her to get neat again.
The White Queen decides to hire Alice as her maid, but of course she
refuses the idea. Later on Alice learns that in the Looking-Glass world,
time works backwards, so people have memories before the things occur.
Thus the queen screams and heals the wound before she has even cuts it.
After a while, without that Alice could realize it, they were inside a
shop and the White Queen had become a Sheep. Alice tries to look for
products, but as she gets close to them they simply change place in the
shelf. Again Alice couldn’t realize, but they weren’t anymore in the store,
but in a small boat. The sheep gave Alice oars for her to row. While the
Sheep kept knitting, Alice stops to look the river for small crabs, though
she doesn’t find any of them.
Finally they go back to the store, and Alice is already in another
square. She decides to buy an egg and suddenly everything in the store
disappears, except the egg that keeps getting bigger until it turns into
The egg-shaped creature is sitting over a very narrow wall, so Alice
is sure that at any time he’ll fall down as it’s supposed to happen. He
indeed falls, and no soldiers from the king come to rescue him.
Humpty Dumpty offers to help Alice to understand the meaning of
the poem she had read, Jaberwocky; he also recites a poem to Alice, but
before finishing it he says good-bye to her, who simply obeys for fear of
Alice keep on her way, finding many soldier, who she believes that
were the ones sent by the king to help Humpty Dumpty, but all of they
seem to be falling and tripping over the others and getting nowhere. Latter
she meets the king himself and the two of the king’s messengers, Haigha
and Hatta, who are responsible for giving news about the battle between the
Lion and the Unicorn. When the battle is over, and the Lion is victorious,
they ask Alice to serve the cake, but she finds a little bit of difficulty to
manage how to cut it. Finally the drums begin to rumble in order to make
the Lion and the Unicorn leave the town.
Now, Alice is in the seventh rank, and all needs to do is to cross the
woods and all is done. The Red and White knights fight and the latter wins,
then he says he would make companion to her up to the river.
He is very enthusiastic as he tells Alice about his inventions, but his
lack of practice make the journey to the river a very slow trip, as he falls
off the horse all the time and Alice has to help him up again. To make
matters worse, he also asks Alice to hear one of his favorite poems.
When Alice finally crosses the last brook, she feels something heavy
over her head, it’s a golden crown.
But before she could really become a queen, the two other queens
tell her that she has to pass through a quest. They quiz her with very odd
questions and mathematic puzzles. At the end they simply fall asleep in
Alice’s shoulder and in another moment they vanish.
Now Alice is a queen and she is in the feast that was prepared for
her, but she just can’t get anything to eat because the Red Queen is always
ordering the waiter to remove the plates. The dinner turns into a mess
because the Red Queen has made a serious mischief, so Alice goes after
her, but she becomes smaller and smaller as Alice is shaking her.
Alice wakes up and realizes she is holding Kitty, and that leads her to
a question she can’t answer: was that a dream she had? Or was that a part
of the Red King’s dream?
Apparently the whole story of the book is a dream Alice
once had, as she narrated with all the details to her sister. But
what’s really interesting about the book is that at the end you get
to question yourself, because you can’t be totally sure if it was
really a dream or not.
Lewis Carroll formation as a mathematician was vital, as
well as his writing skills, that when put together resulted in this
great work. The book which is meant to reach children’s taste, is
also popular between adults.
Carroll gave to “Through the Looking-Glass” a very fast and
pleasant pace, making funny puns with simples linguistic
expressions, for instance, Nobody and Anybody portrayed as real
characters; “to beg one’s pardon”, as if the person were really
supposed to beg and many other.
In a nutshell, the book has a simple language but at the same
time a plot that is inviting and intriguing, for analyzing things in a
inverse way than the logic one we are accustomed to.