Through the Looking-Glass

Many Internet political pundits like to insinuate that whomever acquiesces to the iron fist of the State must be “asleep” and therefore not consciously aware of the tyranny swirling around themselves. While it is true that much of the domestic American population correctly fits this description, this very collectivist assumption does not account for those individuals who are painfully aware, but for whatever reason, choose to tacitly consent to absolute government. It is at this point that any allusions they make to children’s fairy tales breaks down completely.



Much like Wonderland, the Looking-Glass world is a figment of Alice’s imagination. Everything that happens from the time she climbed up into the looking-glass to when she shook the Red Queen, occurs while she is asleep. The only real place in the entire story is the room where she is playing with her kittens, and the only real creatures, besides Alice herself, are her cats.

Right from the start, the so-called “enlightened” have a tremendous allegorical problem. Their insistence that the mass population must “step through the looking-glass” in order to “wake up” is ill-conceived, because Alice did not “wake up” the more she stepped out of the house where she first met the White King and his Queen. There was nothing particularly illustrative or otherwise enlightening about Alice exploring the rest of the house before she left it, given that she was merely curious. Thankfully, unlike last time six months previously, she doesn’t seem to be double-guessing herself (at least, not as much).

Alice literally becomes a pawn of the White Queen, and if she can make it from the Second Square to the Eighth Square, Alice will become a Queen herself. This is the central plot device through which her several experiences with meeting and talking to the various creatures of the Looking-Glass world are able to happen. I sincerely doubt that the so-called “awakened” have ever made an allegorical argument that portrays Alice as a willing pawn in a political game of authoritarian domination conducted by government agents (who are represented in this story as the more powerful chess pieces).

Surrealistic absurdity is as integral to the culture of the Looking-Glass world as it was to Wonderland. From Humpty Dumpty to Tweedledee and Tweedledum, each one of these is a bumbling fest of slapstick comedy, word puns, or both. These interactions that Alice experiences suggest how profoundly unreal the whole environment is; it is not as if her travels there have made her more compassionate or wiser than before. If anything, the sheer lack of meaning in the behavior of the Looking-Glass’ inhabitants probably evinces a design by the author to encourage his readers to just not take anything too seriously, because what seems to be happening around Alice is all a big game, and an illusory one at that! This very Discordian interpretation is, I think, primarily supported at the end by the banquet when Alice shouts, “I can’t stand this any longer!,” followed by her addressing the Red Queen after grabbing her, “And as for YOU, I’ll shake you into a kitten, that I will!” It turns out that as she was truly waking up from her dream, Alice grabbed one of her kittens and shook her mercilessly; her brain was trying to interpret real-world phenomenon as dream imagery as she was rising from her slumber, very much like what happened last time with the falling leaves being interpreted by her mind as if they were a flying deck of cards.

Lewis Carroll’s Through the Looking-Glass, and What Alice Found There is not a deontological allegory, despite what some self-declared “activists” might claim. The absurdly surrealistic nature of the Looking-Glass world itself debunks any self-made Internet pundit’s assertion that “we” must “step through the looking-glass” and such trash, because the story itself does not lend itself to that, even allegorically. Perhaps those who advocate everyone else to become “fake awake” would do better to engage in reckless conspicuous consumption rather than frugally enjoy their liberty, because at least then they’d be more consistent with whatever shred of alleged integrity they might be able to hold onto.

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