Study Guide

Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking-Glass Looking-Glass, Chapter 2

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Looking-Glass, Chapter 2

The Garden of Live Flowers

  • Having left the house, Alice tries to walk to the top of a little hill to get a view of the garden. But no matter which way she walks, she always finds herself entering the house again.
  • Alice refuses to go back into the house; she's sure that will be the end of her adventures. This time, she comes across a bed of flowers. Talking to herself, she wishes that the Tiger-lily could talk.
  • The Tiger-lily surprises Alice by replying to her. The Rose criticizes Alice's appearance, interpreting her skirt as drooping petals.
  • Alice asks the flowers if they're afraid, being planted alone in the garden and vulnerable to anyone that comes by. They tell her that the tree would protect them by barking – saying "bough-wough."
  • At this, the Daisies begin chattering, and Alice makes them shut up by threatening to pick them.
  • Alice is amazed that there are talking flowers, and the Tiger-lily and Rose explain to her that all flowers can talk, only in most gardens the beds are too soft so they fall asleep.
  • Alice asks the flowers if there are other people in the garden. They tell her there is one "flower" like her, but it has spikes around its head. Alice is puzzled until the Red Queen, wearing a spiky crown, comes walking around the corner. This time, the Queen is Alice's own size and can see her.
  • Alice tries to walk over to meet the Red Queen, but every time she tries, she finds herself walking back in the front door of the house. After she tries and fails several times, the flowers advise her to walk the opposite direction from where she wants to go.
  • Walking in the opposite direction works, and Alice finds herself talking to the Red Queen.
  • The Red Queen asks Alice where she's going, but as Alice tries to explain, the Queen keeps interrupting her with advice and arguments. Eventually, she falls silent and they walk together to the top of the hill.
  • Alice looks out across the country and realizes that this world is an enormous chessboard. Tiny brooks and narrow hedges divide the land into squares, and there are men moving about according to the rules of the game.
  • Alice wishes aloud that she could join the chess game, and the Red Queen says that Alice can be a White Pawn, since Lily, the White Queen's youngest daughter, is too young to play.
  • Suddenly Alice and the Red Queen are running like crazy. Alice is out of breath and the Queen keeps telling her to go faster, but nothing around them seems to move.
  • Finally they stop, and the Red Queen lets Alice rest. The Queen explains that, in Looking-Glass World, you have to run just to stand still.
  • The Queen offers Alice a biscuit (a cookie) and seems to expect this to quench her thirst. Unfortunately, even though this is a world of opposites, it doesn't.
  • The Queen sets out a series of pegs using a tape measure. As she and Alice walk between the pegs, the Queen explains the rules of the game and tells Alice what to do. Because Alice is a pawn, she starts in the second square. She will go through the third square by railway, then enter the fourth square where Tweedledum and Tweedledee live. Next is the fifth square, which is water. The sixth square is Humpty Dumpty's. The seventh square is a forest, which the White Knight will guide Alice through. When she reaches the eighth square, of course, she will be a Queen.
  • Having given these directions, the Red Queen disappears, and Alice is left alone to make her move in the game.

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