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Book Report - Alice Through the Looking-Glass
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Book Report - Alice Through the Looking-Glass

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  • 1. Book Report Through the Looking-Glass by Lewis Carroll Name: Fábio Castellan Canedo Medeiros Class: TCAACS 1.1 Teacher: Élês Date: July 12th, 2009 1
  • 2. Original Title: Through the Looking-Glass and what Alice found there Author: Lewis Carroll Illustrator: John Tenniel Country: United Kingdom Language: English Genre: Children’s Fiction Publisher: Macmillan Publication Year: 1871 Pages: 224 2
  • 3. Index • Biography …………………………………….…... 4 • Characters ………………………………………… 5-6 • Introduction ………………………………………… 7 • Plot ………………………………………… 8-10 • Conclusion ………………………………………… 11
  • 4. 3 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 "Lewis Carroll." 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 interests. 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. Among Carroll's 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 original. Adapted from: http://www.insite.com.br/rodrigo/text/lewis_carroll.html
  • 5. 4 Characters Real World: Alice 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. Cats 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 Looking-Glass World: Chess Pieces 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 Flowers The Rose She is the sweetest of all the flowers The Tiger-Lily She is the most impetuous The Daisy The daises are the most scandalous
  • 6. 5 Insects and Animals Gnat 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 Rocking-horse fly Made of wood and likes to ear sap and dust Snap-dragon fly 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 Bread-and-Butterfly The body are slices of bread-and-butter and the head is a lump of sugar. It likes to weak tea with cream Messengers Haigha He is very loyal to the White Queen Hatta He has just been taken out of prison and is kind of lazy Humpty Dumpty He has the shape of an egg. He is very smart and is already acquainted of Alice because of the famous nursery rhymes The Lion He is very arrogant because he won the battle against the Unicorn The Unicorn He is always blaming that people are always on the Lion’s side
  • 7. 6 Introduction “You may call it nonsense if you like, but I’VE heard nonsense, compared with which that would be as sensible as a dictionary!” 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- known stories.
  • 8. 7 Plot 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
  • 9. 8 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 Humpty Dumpty. 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 being rude. Alice keep on her way, finding many soldier, who she believes that
  • 10. 9 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?
  • 11. 10 Conclusion 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.
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