Through the Looking-Glass

by: Lewis Carroll

Alice

Characters Alice

In Through the Looking-Glass, Alice is a child not yet eight years old. She has been raised in a wealthy Victorian household and is interested in good manners, which she demonstrates with her pet, Kitty. Alice treats others with kindness and courtesy, as evidenced in her various interactions with the Looking-Glass creatures. She has an extremely active imagination but seeks order in the world around her. Alice fights to understand the fantastic dream world that has sprung from her own imagination, trying her best to order her life experiences and connect them to the unusual situations she encounters in Looking-Glass World. Alice’s maturation transforms into a game of chess, in which her growth into womanhood becomes a quest to become a queen.

Alice feels lonely, which motivates her to seek out company that she can sympathize and identify with. She creates a structured imaginary world that she can control, and creates Looking-Glass World in order to connect with other individuals and seek out company that she feels comfortable with. She desires a family and in the beginning of the book uses her pets as a substitute family in the “real” world. Alice knows that these are not genuine relationships, as seen when she breaks off conversation with her cats to have an aside to herself. Alice creates Looking-Glass World and desires to become a queen because she craves a sense of control over her surroundings. She relates to the residents of Looking-Glass World in the same way that she relates to her pets, taking on the manner of a good-natured mother figure who behaves with solicitude and deference despite her authority. Alice has occasional bouts of sadness and loneliness throughout her travels, when she acknowledges to herself that the characters that populate Looking-Glass World are not real and cannot show her true compassion or provide her with real companionship.