Study Guide

The Live Flowers in Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking-Glass

By Lewis Carroll

The Live Flowers

Characters in: Looking-Glass World

The first strange looking-glass creatures that Alice meets after she leaves the house are living flowers, including a Rose, a Tiger-Lily, Daisies, a Violet, and a Larkspur. Alice converses mostly with the Tiger-Lily and the Rose, who explain to her that all flowers can talk, but most of them are asleep because their beds are too soft. (This is a pun on "bed," the thing you sleep in, and "bed," the dirt patch in your garden where you plant stuff.) The flowers assume that Alice and the Red Queen are also flowers, just somehow able to walk around. Instead of recognizing that the Red Queen is wearing a crown, the flowers think she has thorns around her head. Instead of recognizing that Alice is wearing a dress, the flowers think her petals are fading and falling down around her ankles. This humorous misidentification reminds us of the narrowness of our own perspectives as humans, and the ways in which they limit how we see the world.