Through the Looking-Glass | Study Guide

Lewis Carroll

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Through the Looking-Glass | Character Analysis



Alice's curiosity leads her to enter the world on the other side of the looking-glass. She's polite to those she meets and displays logic and self-reliance in the face of the nonsense and chaos of the Looking-glass world. She is active and determined as she finds her way forward, and develops maturity as she continues on her journey to the Eighth Square and her promotion to queen.

Red Queen

The Red Queen is at times an advisor—telling Alice how to proceed through the world. She is also antagonistic. When she and the White Queen interrogate Alice, her questions are aggressive, and she chastises Alice. In a short, surreal scene in Chapters 10 and 11, Alice grabs the Red Queen and vigorously shakes her. As the queen is shaken, she changes shape and is revealed to be Kitty, Alice's black kitten. Alice's "taking" of the Red Queen is a crucial move in the chess game they have been playing. This move results in a checkmate of the Red King, meaning Alice has won the game.

White Queen

The White Queen is often disheveled. Her shawl blows away, and her hair is untidy. At one point, she becomes a sheep who knits and takes Alice on a boat ride. She lives her life in reverse—often experiencing the consequences of her actions before committing the actions themselves. After interrogating Alice with her friend the Red Queen, she suddenly becomes tired and needs a lullaby—which the Red Queen sings. During Alice's coronation banquet, the White Queen vanishes into a tureen of soup.

White King

The White King is not a driving force, unlike the queens and Alice. He has a memorandum book, in which he makes notes. He is present at battles, observing the two knights fighting as well as watching the fight between the Lion and the Unicorn. Ultimately, he is a passive observer, albeit not to the extreme that the sleeping Red King is.

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