The Classics Club: Through the Looking Glass

Through the Looking Glass

My result for The Classics Club’s last wonderful Spin feature was Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll. I enjoyed it so much I straight away reached for Carroll’s next adventure for Alice Through the Looking Glass which was waiting on my Kindle for me.

Through the Looking Glass begins one afternoon sometime after Alice’s first adventure. Alice is playing with Dinah and her new kittens when she finds herself drawn towards the wall mirror and starts to ponder the world within before she knows it she is in it! There Alice is to set off on another extraordinary adventure across the chessboard like world encountering the red and white queens, Humpty Dumpty, Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum, a magical train, useless knights, and finally becoming a queen herself. On reading Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland  I was surprised at just how surreal it was going into reading this I was more prepared. As a child I remember having a video of the animated TV film Alice Through the Looking Glass (1987) again this was nowhere near as surreal as the original book.

Alice the protagonist of these adventures is young, independent, intelligent, and rather spirited which she will need to be in this new and unusual land. There are many things that Alice will have to face that will contradict all that she has ever known or learnt before. Although she is slightly more prepared for it this time and questioned herself and what she knew less instead going with the flow more. I liked Alice but again I felt we got to know very little about her background and life outside of her adventures. I feel we never get to truly know her as person the focus of the book really is the adventure. On this new adventure Alice gets is to meet another host eccentric and colourful characters. I was a little sad not to see any old faces from the previous book (although I remember fondly the paper man from the video I had).

Through the Looking Glass is the second novel I have read by Lewis Carroll although I had read some of his poetry before; including the fantastic Jabberwocky. Again I thought Through the Looking Glass was well-written with a realistic childlike voice and wonder. I loved all the colourful characters and the use rhyme within the story. In Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland my only niggle was I would have enjoyed more description of Wonderland. Many bloggers informed me there was more description of the world in Through the Looking Glass and I’m pleased to say they were right. The chessboard theme really gave more structure and flow to the world Alice was travelling through. It was so much better described that I’m not sure I really saw it as Wonderland but more as a separate world altogether but then again with how surreal these novels are I don’t think we’re supposed to really get it.

Through the Looking Glass is a short and magical children’s classic. I highly recommend to those who enjoy the classics and fantasy novels. This is my 18th read off my Classics Club list.

Have you read Through the Looking Glass?

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18 thoughts on “The Classics Club: Through the Looking Glass

  1. Ah, good, glad you found more structure in this one! I also wish we got more of Alice as a person (and outside of Wonderland) but it seems like character depth isn’t *really* a strong point of classic fantasy. They tend to be much more about the world and the adventures, with fairly interchangable child heroes as leads. And I do agree entirely, I don’t think the point of Wonderland is to “get it”! :)

  2. I know I did read this when I was a child but I can’t remember it as clearly as the first Alice book. I think I’ll have to read them both again at some point!

    • Helen I think the numerous adaptations of Alice in Wonderland mean that it is more well known in the public’s knowledge generally. I hope you will be able to make a little time to re-read these some time soon.

  3. I have read both the Alice books and my only issue with them is that he stopped at two. Glad you enjoyed them. What a lovely Classics club pick.

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