Through the Looking Glass

Through the Looking Glass Summary and Analysis of Chapters 10-12


Alice shakes the queen, who appears to become smaller and fatter and whose eyes grow larger and greener. It turns out that the queen is actually Kitty. Alice tells Kitty that she was with her throughout the entire dream. She speculates about cats' tendency to purr, and she discusses her frustration with trying to figure out what is being said when the same noise is repeated over and over.

She picks up the Red Queen from the table and tries to get Kitty to admit that she was the Red Queen, but Kitty does not seem to want to look at the chess piece. She looks over at Snowdrop, who is still having her cleaning from Dinah, and she concludes that the White Queen must have been so disheveled in her dream for this reason. She believes that Dinah must have been Humpty Dumpty.

Alice finally wonders who was dreaming all along. She believes that she might have been the one dreaming. It could also have been the Red King, since she was convinced that she had been a part of his dream. The narrator concludes by asking the reader who they think was dreaming all along, and follows the question with a poem about summers and dreaming and Wonderland.


The Annotated Alice reflects on the significance of the poem at the end of the work. "In this terminal poem, one of Carroll’s best, he recalls that July 4 boating expedition up the Thames on which he first told the story of Alice’s Adventures to the three Liddell girls. The poem echoes the themes of winter and death that run through the prefatory poem of Through the Looking glass. It is the song of the White Knight, remembering Alice as she was before she turned away, with tearless and eager eyes, to run down the hill and leap the last brook into womanhood. The poem is an acrostic, the initial letters of the lines spelling Alice’s full name."

A nostalgic tone pervades the end of the book. Carroll reveals that all of Alice's experiences were part of a dream, and she spends the last chapter desperately trying to hold on to these experiences by speculating about the author of the dreams. But Carroll reveals that this is not the important question. Rather, the reader is meant to focus on the fleeting nature of childhood and its fantasies, reflected by the many things and events Alice encountered in the Looking-Glass world that were present one moment, but over and gone the next.