This is the poem that closes "Through the Looking Glass":
A boat beneath a sunny
Lingering onward dreamily
In an evening of July--
Children three that nestle near,
Eager eye and willing ear,
Pleased a simple tale to hear--
Long has paled that sunny sky:
Echoes fade and memories die.
Autumn frosts have slain July.
Still she haunts me, phantomwise,
Alice moving under skies
Never seen by waking eyes.
Children yet, the tale to hear,
Eager eye and willing ear,
Lovingly shall nestle near.
In a Wonderland they lie,
Dreaming as the days go by,
Dreaming as the summers die:
Ever drifting down the stream--
Lingering in the golden gleam--
Life, what is it but a dream?
And if you take the first letter from each line, it spells out 'Alice Pleasance Liddell', the girl to whom the Alice stories were originally told, and who is the inspiration for the Alice in the book.
Along the same lines, this is the poem that is essentially the dedication in "The Hunting of the Snark":
Girt with a boyish garb
for boyish task,
Eager she wields her spade; yet loves as well
Rest on a friendly knee, intent to ask
The tale he loves to tell.
Rude spirits of the seething
Unmeet to read her pure and simple spright,
Deem, if you list, such hours a waste of life,
Empty of all delight!
Chat on, sweet Maid, and
rescue from annoy
Hearts that by wiser talk are unbeguiled.
Ah, happy he who owns that tenderest joy,
The heart-love of a child!
Away, fond thoughts, and
vex my soul no more!
Work claims my wakeful nights, my busy days--
Albeit bright memories of that sunlit shore
Yet haunt my dreaming gaze!
Same pattern here: the first letters of each line
combine to spell "Gertrude Chataway", which is the name of a girl that Carroll/Dodgson
met while on vacation one year, and for whom he seemingly wrote the story.
Alice - An English girl of about seven with an active imagination and a fondness for showing off her knowledge (which is often lacking). She is polite and kind-hearted and genuinely concerned about others. Brave and headstrong, when she gets an idea, she follows through with it to the end. She is more confident with her words and sure of her identity in the second book _Alice in Wonderland_
Cheshire-Cat - A grinning
cat with the ability to appear and disappear at will. He claims to be mad;
nevertheless, he is one of the most reasonable characters in Wonderland.
He listens to Alice and becomes something of a
friend to her.
White Rabbit - A nervous character of somewhat important rank (though not aristocratic) in Wonderland. He is generally in a hurry. He is capable and sure of himself in his job, even to the point of contradicting the King.
Queen of Hearts - A monstrous, violently domineering woman. She seems to hold the ultimate authority in Wonderland, although her continuous death sentences are never actually carried out, leading to the conclusion that she is at least partly delusional.
King of Hearts - An incompetent and ineffectual ruler almost entirely dominated by his wife. He is self-centered, stubborn and generally unlikeable.
Duchess - An odd, spiteful woman who mistreats her baby and submits to a shower of abuse from her cook. She is horribly ugly. In her anxiety to remain in the good graces of the queen she can be superficially sweet to someone she thinks can aid her socially while simultaneously inflicting the utmost discomfort.
Mad Hatter - The crazy hat-seller trapped in a perpetual tea-time. He is often impolite and seemingly fond of confusing people. He reappears in _Looking Glass_ as one of the Anglo-Saxon messengers.
March Hare - The Mad Hatter's friend and companion, equally crazy and discourteous. He also reappears as an Anglo-Saxon messenger.
Dormouse - The Hare and the Hatter's lethargic, much-abused companion.
Caterpillar - Hookah-smoking insect who gives Alice the means to change size at will. He is severe and somewhat unfriendly, but at least he offers assistance.
Red Queen - Domineering and often unpleasant, but not incapable of civility. She expects Alice to abide by her rules of proper etiquette, even when it should be apparent that she does not know what is happening.
White Queen - Sweet, but fairly stupid. She allows herself to be dominated in the presence of her red counterpart.
Red King - Asleep. Tweedledum and Tweedledee claim that he is the dreaming architect of Looking-Glass world as we know it.
White King - Bumbling and ineffectual, but not altogether unpleasant. He honors his promise to send all of his horses and all of his men with amazing swiftness when Humpty Dumpty (presumably) falls off his wall.
Tweedledum and Tweedledee - Two little fat brothers dressed as schoolboys who are fond of dancing and poetry. They are very affectionate with one another, but fight over an extremely trivial matter. They are petty and cowardly.
Humpty Dumpty - A pompous and easily-offended sort, who fancies himself a master of words. He is rude and foolish and deserves what he gets.
White Knight - Kind, gentle, and strangely noble,
despite his extreme clumsiness. He tries to be very clever, but inevitably
fails. He is terribly sentimental and enjoys Alice's company immensely.
He is often read as Carroll's parody of himself.
Advanced Dungeons & Dragons - _Dungeonland_ & _The Land Beyond The Magic Mirror_
Originally used by Gary Gygax in his Greyhawk Castle ruins. It is sure to add a twist to any campaign. These modules are a cross between dungeon delving and _Alice in Wonderland_ by Lewis Carroll. Dangers and challenges abound... Hidden within the guise of light hearted and delightful characters and settings out of children's fairy tales. This adventure can be inserted into any game world.
One pill makes you larger,
and one pill makes you small
And the ones that mother gives you, don't do anything at all
Go ask Alice, when she's ten feet tall
And if you go chasing rabbits,
and you know you're going to fall
Tell 'em a hookah-smoking caterpillar has given you the call
And call Alice, when she was just small
Go ask Alice, I think she'll know
When logic and proportion have
fallen sloppy dead
And the white knight is talking backwards
And the red queen's off with her head
Remember what the dormouse said
Feed your head, feed your head
In Wonderland, most of the characters seem either indifferent or slightly annoyed at Alice's presence. They do not recognize her as a stranger to their world and interact with her in essentially the same way they treat each other--they expect her to understand what is happening. In the Looking-Glass World, they sometimes expect her to know exactly what to do and say (as with the Red Queen or Tweedledum and Tweedledee); however, sometimes (as with the Unicorn and the Lion) they recognize that she is from a world quite unlike their own and explain to her how to act.
In both Wonderland and the Looking-Glass, strict social hierarchies exist. These same hierarchies exist in Alice's Victorian England, and she is conscious of her high social status and fears losing it (as in chapter 2 of Wonderland when Alice thinks she has turned into Mabel). Alice is excited in Looking Glass to meet a real queen, and her journey as a pawn to become a queen could be interpreted as one of social advancement (although at least one of the pawns is the daughter of the White Queen, and thus the position of a pawn may be enviable to begin with in the Looking-Glass World). The royal characters in the Alice books are some of the most unsympathetic, childish and selfish, and even Alice becomes slightly tainted when she becomes a queen (she is described as anxious to find fault with everyone, she refuses to ring the bell for visitors or servants, and is concerned about having the "right people" invited to her dinner party).
The dominant image of Wonderland is the pack of cards. The story seems to proceed in a more or less random fashion, reflecting the prominent role of chance in a game of cards. Looking Glass is structured around a chess game. As chess is a game of skill, this seems to imply some controlling influence behind the events of the second book. So thematically, the first book focuses more on the bewildering arbitrariness of the adult world, while the second book emphasizes a sense of destiny and predetermination (consequently creating a somewhat darker tone).
Alice glimpses the garden through the little door and adores its loveliness; getting there becomes the only real goal she sets for herself in the book. When she finally arrives in the garden, however, she finds its loveliness tainted by the overbearing presence of the queen and the courtiers and the unpleasantness of the croquet game. This could be interpreted as a comment on false or faded ambitions, or perhaps the illusory joys of the child's perspective of adulthood, which is inevitably disillusioning.
references within the film _The Matrix_
first mention of Through The Looking Glass in Usenet:
From: JPM@MIT-AI (JPM@MIT-AI)
Subject: SF-LOVERS Digest V3 #137
Date: 1981-06-01 18:47:30 PST
SF-LOVERS AM Digest Monday, 1 Jun 1981 Volume 3 : Issue 137
Administrivia - Science Fiction Convention Calendar for FTPing,
SF Books - Cyber-SF & Book Prices,
SF Movies - Clash of the Titans, SF Topics - Space Command &
Physics Today (Anti-Sugar) & Children's TV (Roger Ramjet)
Date: 26 May 1981 1657-PDT
From: OR.TOVEY at SU-SCORE
Subject: mirror sugar wonderland; Red Moon, Black Mountain
There is a discussion of
mirror proteins in The Annotated Alice (in through the looking glass Alice
would have been able to eat but get no sustenance). I think Martin
Gardner is the annotater. Joy Chant's Red Moon and Black
Mountain was originally published in the U.S. in 1971 as part of Ballantine's
fantasy series (Lin Carter, editor.) Unfortunately someone took mine
out on an extended loan, so I got the hardback children's market edition
(1975 or 76) to replace it. A very good fantasy book.