Through the Looking Glass Symbolisms

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In “Through the looking Glass” Lewis Carroll uses symbolism to convey the harsh effects of capitalism such as insatiable greed, a never ending desire formore and better, and the loss of innocence children face as a result of the knowledge of capitalism and money.

A lot of objects in “Through the looking Glass” can be viewed as symbols, but nothing clearly represents one thing in particular. The symbolic reverberations of the objects are contained to the individual episode in which they appear. Often these symbols work together to convey a certain meaning. Carroll blurs the boundaries between being awake and being asleep so that it becomes difficult to tell where reality ends and dreaming begins. The Looking-Glass World is the world if the unconscious as the first lines of the book already hint- “One thing was certain, that the white kitten had nothing to do with it-it was the black kittens fault entirely”. Alice is only half asleep, she experiences elements from the waking world and her dreams. The dream motif in “Through the Looking Glass” differs from the one in “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland” for here Alice exercises some control over the what she encounters in her fantasy world. “Lets pretend that you’re the Red Queen, Kitty! …And not talk so much”; her repeated pleas to Kitty to play pretend emphasizes her desire to exert some control over her imagination.

Carroll’s imagery, right down to the smallest detail has enormous symbolic power. The house symbolises self. Alice challenges the “reality” of the reflect image and so gains access to the inner world. In the looking-glass world reflections no longer exist. Duality which allows us to exist in an illusory state of objectification in relation to our environment doesn’t operate here. Alice and her world are one; so she is confronted-naturally- with herself (the house) no matter how far or how fast she runs, or what degree of objective detachment (the view from the hill) she seeks to attain. In...
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