Reading List: Through the Looking-Glass

Just recently I finished Lewis Carroll’s Through the Looking-Glass. 

Through the Looking-Glass is the sequel to Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland and it still portrays the same feeling of mysticism and curiosity as did the first book. Just like the book before it, Alice ventures to another world and meets some odd and irregular characters as the story plays out in a world of illusion.

Something that Carroll plays with a lot through the entire book is puns, wordplay, and property of language. One of my favorite quips that he uses in the book is how Humpty Dumpty says he pays words extra when they work harder, referring to the “richness” of words.

Much symbolism is used throughout the book, for example (without spoiling it in any way) her adventures take place on a chessboard and she journeys as a pawn from one side of the board to the other so that she can become a queen. As I was reading through the analysis of the book and looking at some of the symbolism that is connected with its events and characters, one of the things that caught my reader’s eye was that it said Carroll depicted Alice as a real-life girl named Alice Liddell, which makes me feel a bit stupid feeling that I was probably the only person who didn’t know that!

Through the Looking-Glass, as well as other books by Carroll were written for Alice Liddell, the daughter of one of his friends, to tell of fantastic stories and perils unlike any she had ever heard before. This was the beginning of his stories of Alice in Wonderland, Through the Looking-Glass, and Alice Through the Needle’s Eye. 

The chessboard was a depiction of Alice’s journey into adulthood, as she travelled from one side to the other in pursuit of becoming a queen and the realization and understanding of sophistication that comes with growing up. It’s also been said that a few other characters in the book were based on real-life characters and were evident in the personalities that they were illustrated in. If you’re going to read this book (and I recommend you do) be sure to read the anlities on them! They’ll help you understand the deeper meanings of the events and help you to enjoy the book better!

It was a very inquisitive book and I especially liked it because I was always trying to evaluate the peculiarities and figure out the meaning and symbolism of things as I went along so that definitely kept me turning the pages! It was also a very silly and cute book that I would definitely recommend to anyone who wants to bring out their inner child!




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