full title · Through the Looking-Glass
author · Lewis Carroll
type of work · Novella
genre · Fairy tale; children’s fiction; satire; allegory
language · English
time and place written · 1867–1871, Oxford
date of first publication · 1871, though the first copies were dated 1872
publisher · Macmillan & Co.
narrator · The narrator is anonymous, and does not use many words to describe events in the story.
point of view · The narrator speaks in third person, though occasionally in first and second person. The narrative follows Alice around, voicing her thoughts and feelings.
tone · Straightforward; avuncular
tense · Past
setting (time) · Victorian era, a decade before publication date
setting (place) · England, Looking-glass world
protagonist · Alice
major conflict · Alice attempts to become a Queen in the massive chess game being played in the Looking-Glass World.
rising action · Alice, as a pawn, moves forward square by square, meeting many different characters as she advances through the chessboard.
climax · Alice becomes a queen.
falling action · Alice seizes the Red Queen, puts the Red King in checkmate, and, having ended the game, wakes up wondering about her dream.
themes · Chess as a metaphor for a deterministic conception of life; Language as a means to order the world; The inescapable loneliness a child feels growing up
motifs · Dream; Inversion; Chess; Train imagery
symbols · Rushes; The sleeping Red King
foreshadowing · Alice’s recitation of the rhymes about Tweedledum and Tweedleedee, Humpty Dumpty, and the Lion and the Unicorn foreshadow each of their fates within the story.