Through the Looking-Glass

by: Lewis Carroll

Important Quotations Explained

Quotes Important Quotations Explained
3. It’s a great huge game of chess that’s being played—all over the world—if this is the world at all, you know.

This quote occurs in Chapter 2 of Through the Looking-Glass, as Alice looks out from the hill and sees a landscape checkered like a chessboard and different characters stationed on the board like chessmen. Carroll has already introduced the theme of chess, but Alice’s musing suggest that chess functions as a metaphor not only for the world of the novel but for our world as well. Carroll frequently espoused the idea of life as a game. Like Alice, we are pawns in our own lives, condemned to move forward through time with little knowledge and understanding of the wider world. Within our limited perspective, the world seems eminently ordered and explainable by nature and logic, much like a chessboard’s symmetrical and geometrical nature evokes a sense of determinable order.