After reading “Alice in Wonderland”, I had to get my hands on this one. And the Alice’s Wonder-filled adventure continues.
Through The Looking Glass (And What Alice Found There)
By Lewis Carroll
(Would have gone for 5/5 but in comparison to the first one – 0.5 down)
Lewis Carroll is truly a figure of creative genius. Well, I consider him that from what ever I have perceived from reading his works.
If the first one looked crazy to you – this one is far more weird in comparison. Though it lacks the touch of an enticing fairy-tale. It twists & bends your concepts of language and perception of reality.
As in the Wonderland,the dream ends abruptly when Alice was attacked by the pack of cards,here also, the dream ends with Alice getting in trouble with the caricatures of the dream. The dream starts with Alice stepping into the Looking Glass to get a complete view of the house in the mirror. Then her adventure begins going through a hedge maze in the garden, to a mound, to a jungle, to a town ending at the gate of venue for ‘Party of Queen Alice’. Between those places she meets talking fowers, Red & White Queens, the King,Unicorn, Lion, Humpty-Dumpty & so on. The whole area was spanned in the form of a chessboard. And every-one talked gibberish stuff (as Alice thought it). There is no story line (how can it be there ??) or any motive. Its just like a dream but laced with wonderful poems. Almost each character had some poems for Alice. And each did presented quirky realities of that world.
If you try to analyze the story with sanity you are bound to go insane. What has to be appreciated is the creative visualization & imagination. If you cant imagine them – the book is not for you. The playful twisting of the meaning of the words , the funny physiology of the caricatures and the almost abstract portrayal of the landscape will put your mind in a different dimension. Nothing more to add – I will quote the ending lines of the last poem of the book :
Dreaming as the days go by,
Dreaming as the summer die:
Ever drifting down the stream-
Lingering in the golden gleam-
Life, what is it but a dream?
I have been missing these gems as I never read classics in my life.Reading them now has opened up new paths for me to absorb the intelligence & creativity which once were alive. I really recommend reading them – don’t miss them. Read everything – from the fairy-tales to the serious treaties.