‘Through the Looking-glass’ – Lewis Carroll
When Alice steps through the looking-glass, she enters a world of chess pieces and nursery rhyme characters who behave very strangely. Humpty Dumpty, Tweedledee and Tweedledum, the dotty White Knight and the sharp-tempered Red Queen – none of them are what they seem. In fact, through the looking-glass, everything is distorted.
If you have read Alice in Wonderland and are keen to read this next adventure, be advised that Carroll writes with entirely new characters. Whilst we still follow Alice on her adventure, I didn’t find the characters as loveable as in the first story.
This time we follow Alice through the looking-glass and she finds herself involved in a giant game of chess. Like the first story, the dialogue is witty: full of puns and literal meanings. I found this aspect most enjoyable but sometimes found these conversations a bit tedious. There is also considerably more poetry in this story so if, like me, poetry doesn’t set your heart racing, don’t be surprised if your mind starts to wander.
This characters in this story largely consist of the giant game of chess that Alice is involved with. Tweedle dee and Tweedle dum feature and I couldn’t help but picture Matt Lucas from the film adaptation. I think my favourite characters would have to be the knights. Such simple creatures who constantly fall off their horse, I couldn’t help but feel sorry for them, especially when it was clear they were trying so hard!
Through the Looking-glass doesn’t have quite the same level of charm as Alice in Wonderland‘ but I am still glad I read this. Carroll’s use of language is most entertaining, such as the ‘Jabberwocky’ poem and the arguments Alice has with so many of the characters, but I don’t think the story is quite as charming. To summarise, I don’t think you would miss out if you did not get round to reading this as I think there are far worthier books in the world that demand attention.