Through the Looking-Glass

by: Lewis Carroll

The Red Queen

Characters The Red Queen

The Red Queen behaves like the quintessential Victorian governess. She is overbearing, meticulously obsessive about manners, and civil in a self-righteous and supercilious way. Like the vast majority of the characters in Through the Looking-Glass, the Red Queen makes definitive statements with little regard for an abiding logic that would support them. Her assertions are often arbitrary recitations of strict behavioral advice, such as, “Speak when you’re spoken to!” When Alice reveals the inadequacy of the logic behind the Red Queen’s statements, the Red Queen asserts her arbitrary position of authority as a justification. The Red Queen’s constant badgering of and competition with Alice indicates profound feelings of antagonism. She fits into the framework of Alice’s dream as representative arbitrary authority, serving as a caricature of an overbearing governess figure at odds with her young charges.