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The setting of the ‘Alice’ stories

Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland

The setting is Wonderland, a strange and seemingly crazy world that is entered by dropping into a rabbit hole. Animals act as normal people. Physical size as well as time are relative.

The story also partly takes place in our ‘real’ world, where Alice starts in by sitting next to her sister, and wakes up in. In the story, Wonderland is a dream world.

Thematically, however, Wonderland is not really another world. It is in fact our own world, only seen through the eyes of a child.

Through the Looking-Glass

The Looking-Glass world resembles Wonderland. It is also inhabited by strange creatures and weird things keep happening.  This world can be entered by passing through the mirror above the chimney in Alice’s house. Therefore, everything in Wonderland is reversed; books are in mirror writing and when you want to go to a certain place, you have to walk in the opposite direction.

The land is laid out like a huge chess board, with little brooks to mark the edges of the squares. The rules of chess apply when the inhabitants try to move from one square to another.

The creatures in Looking-Glass world seem to be a little less crazy than the creatures in Wonderland. In the end, Looking-Glass world turns out to be a dream world as well, and can also be seen as a metaphor for our own adult world.