Identity and Growing Up in Through the Looking-Glass

Through the Looking Glass though published after a gap of many years of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, picks up just six months after her first experience in the dreamland world. This time Alice is more acutely aware of herself and is more confident of what she wants, instead of simply being a pawn. Once Alice enters the game of Chess with the goal of becoming a queen she has symbolically started to come of age, Alice becoming queen can be read as a sign of maturity from childhood. It is apparent that Alice’s journey through childhood to adulthood has been a lonely process and as much as she would like to grow up and get out of loneliness, the idea of a more fulfilling adulthood also is questionable. In this novel Alice is conscious of the importance of her identity, she becomes sad when she cannot remember her name and who she is. Later on when she gets out of the forest and remembers it again she is so grateful she decides she should never forget it again. In the encounter with Humpty Dumpty when he insults her for having a meaningless name, Alice becomes annoyed though she tries to avoid a confrontation. Looking-Glass world is laid out much like a Chessboard, the characters in it are certainly different. But Alice can still define herself, she no longer wonders who she is but instead she seeks to establish herself in the world in relation to the other characters and therefore she aspires to be the queen and becomes anxious when her identity is questioned.

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