TWEEDLEDEE: Contrariwise . . . if it was so, it might be . . . That’s logic.
The inversion motif appears on a larger scale in the fight between Tweedledee and Tweedledum, since it appears at the beginning of the chapter in Alice’s recitation and ends the chapter as an actual event. Their scripted quarrel reveals the power of language to affect outcomes. Language has an almost magical effect on Tweedledee and Tweedledum in creating a rattle that did not exist before the two met Alice. Language also seems to cause their battle. Tweedledum and Tweedledee must play out the events of Alice’s rhyme, and their lives are destined to imitate the events in the poem.
The episode with the sleeping Red King causes Alice to question whether or not she actually exists. The possibility that she may be a figment of the Red King’s dream complicates her already slippery hold on reality. Tweedledee’s suggestion questions the stability of reality itself. Alice has already experienced the loss of her name, a fundamental aspect of her sense of self. Here, she loses the security of her material existence in the world. If the Red King is in fact dreaming Alice into existence, then he is the only thing in Looking-Glass World that truly exists. The only way to test this hypothesis would be to wake the Red King up, but if he has imagined Alice, Tweedledum, and Tweedledee, none of them would be able to ask him about it, since they exist only in his dreams and thus cannot affect his waking life. Even Alice’s emotions are artificial, since her tears are only real to her. Though the tears serve as evidence of real emotion, that real emotion exists as a figment of the King’s dream.
The episode of the Red King’s dream opens up greater implications for Alice and the readers about reality and the nature of God. The presence of the Red King suggests the notion that no person actually exists, but lives solely as a fragment of a divine imagination. The chessboard motif makes sense as a tool for organizing the story since it functions as an allegory for human life in general. The characters in the story live a deterministic existence in which they have no free will and move about according to the will of their creator. Free will is an illusion in this world, since the residents of Looking-Glass World must follow the rules of the chess game in all of their actions. The idea of free will as an illusion challenges our understanding of Alice’s adventures, since we have understood that they exist as part of Alice’s own imagination. By introducing the possibility that Alice acts under the manipulation of a larger divine force, Carroll presents the idea that human life exists as an abstraction of the imagination of a larger divine force.