Alice in Wonderland

Alice in Wonderland and Alice through the Looking Glass: A Comparison

A teenage female named Alice in Wonderland falls down a rabbit-made hole into a whimsical world. The Wonderland Book, released in 1865, details the entirety of her exploits. (Carroll 92). Due to its alluring blend of pleasant dream and negative connotations, the book's appeal has not diminished over time. Various commentators have wished to coerce more information while still allowing the story to evaluate Alice in a mature context. One of the best attempts was Alice through the looking glass film. In this postmodern condition, the nineteen-year-old Alice goes back to Wonderland and commences on a quest full of adventure, violence, humor, and terror (Seitz 45). Analysts arraigned that the alteration was deceitful to the purpose of the original work. Nevertheless, while the storyline of the film and stylistic elements lack in the original story, the creator of the movie addresses some similar themes as in the book, although in a clear way. To fully ascertain the connection between the film and the book, it is important to review the film opposite to the styles and ideas of the book, furthermore, analyze its position within the movie ethics of Alice adaptations.

Alice in Wonderland: Book vs Film

In the book, Alice as a seven-year-old schoolgirl in Victoria willingly explores the extraordinary world she came across after running after a rabbit which went into a hole. Attempting to locate her way back to her home, she hesitates into a Wonderland adventure with the prevalence that grows consistently. Alice goes through changes in size by eating mushrooms and magical cordials; she almost drowned in a pool of her tears and came across a grinning Cheshire cat and a hookah-smoking Caterpillar. She saves a crying baby from a house full of pepper, unluckily tries to take part in the Mad Tea celebration, and participates in a contest of croquet against the Queen of Hearts who adopts hedgehogs to be balls, playing-card soldiers for hoops, and flamingos for mallets. The Queen's scene ends with a blind court case filled with nonsense, but later she suddenly wakes up to realize she was sleeping on the lap of her first-born sister near the river bank (Shores 34).

Alice through the Looking Glass: Film Overview

In the Looking-Glass film, we meet an elder Alice yet the vivacious girl of the original story walking by a mirror in a house. Soon she is caught in a strange chess game, comes across real chess pieces, unfamiliar nonsense poems, and flowers that would talk. Eventually, at a comical festival prepared in her favor, she becomes anxious and chooses to change the Red Queen into a small cat. At the time that the Red Queen mutates into her pet, Alice woke up and realized that all was just a dream. Though she was not certain whose dream it was, whether it was her dream or the Red Queen dreaming (Seitz 51).

Perception and Reality: A Common Theme

Certainly, the topic of perception and reality is the other important theme of the two versions of the story. Both the book and the film turn towards high anxiety. In the film, Alice speculates if she is part of the dream, inquiring whether the whole story and every participant herself involved are nothing more but a dream (Seitz 43). Since everything was all about fantasy, Wonderland book and Looking-Glass film exhibit a high assimilation of bluff and reality. The book and the film contain imaginary creatures and events, and still, such delusion ever remains based in facts. In the book, the adventures of Alice appears to be only a dream, and she is continuously inquiring about the weirdness of her new habitat, awakening the memories of the reader of her actual world (Shores 33). The film, yet, displays her becoming more disturbed at the idea that she may be just a fantasy. In the imaginary world she meets, the boundaries between, imagination, thoughts, and dreams and are indeed blurred. The film gives no suggestions, only invitations for viewers to scrutinize the balance that lies within perception and reality.

The Challenges of Identity and Coming of Age

At the time that Alice tries hard to come of age in her terms, teenage Alice in the film challenges similar crisis of identity that confused young Alice in the book. The concept of self that is principal to the book is displayed equally in the movie, with Alice in the film beset with doubt about her true identity. While the Alice in the book is filled with energy, courage, and the strength to correspond to those perceptions she regards appropriate for her, Alice in the film has lost her artistic and bravely. When her father died, in both the book and movie, Alice found herself strangled by a world of humility.

Diverse Interpretations and Adaptations

With their unusual mixture of complex themes and joyous fantasy, it is not a wonder that the film and book have given fodder for feminism, literary, philosophical, linguistic, psychoanalytic, and also mathematical critics after they were published. Therefore, the story has administered interesting material for different artists, with many adaptations being generated by the filmmakers and playwrights.


Carroll, Lewis. Alice in Wonderland, Ware: Wordsworth Editions Ltd. 1992.

Klein, Alvin. Theater Review: Through the Looking Glass, Darkly. The New York Times. Aug. 1, 2017, Accessed 12 Sep. 2017.

Seitz, Matt, Zoller. Alice through the looking glass. Movie Review. 2016, Accessed 12 Sep. 2017.

Shores, Tyler. Memory and Muchness: Alice and the Philosophy of Memory. In Alice in Wonderland and Philosophy: Curiouser and Curiouser. Editor Richard Brian Davis. Hoboken, New Jersey: John Wiley & Sons, Inc. 2010.

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