Jumping Though the Looking Glass with Rachel and Peter.



Literary Device Table of References.


Literary Devices by Chapter Trends.

Individual Character Conclusions.

MetaData Groups Conclusions.

Sources and Development.

Analysis of MetaData Groups

World Placement

What did we end up finding out?



Women seem to be defined by rarer literary devices--for instance, ones that appear once (such as parody, alliteration) or a few times (such as hyperbole) are solely female. Perhaps this can lead us to assume that women then are defined by more "varied" types of jokes/tricks within their speech, because they have the devices that don't appear that often? This is especially interesting considering that there are only three explicitly female characters (the queens and Alice), so that may say more things about these three characters and their importance (characterized by their more varied speech) rather than their gender?

It also makes sense that apostrophes are solely female, because the sole character that uses them are Alice, a female. This says more about Alice's place in the "world" of the novel than her gender, I think, because of course Alice is the one who speaks to things that won't speak back--more on that when I do the world graph analysis.

I was intrigued that the some of use of allusions was female, because the allusion characters themselves (Humpty Dumpty and the like) are solely male. However, the only female speaker who uses the allusions is Alice herself, and not either of the queens. I do think that this makes much sense in terms of Alice's world placement, and I'll discuss that below.

It is also important to notice that females use every type of device--there is no device solely male or solely fact, no other gender has its own device!

It is extremely interesting to me that the only people who use explicitly "nonsenical" phrases (things that don't make sense, even if taken ironically) are female. These speakers turn out to be the Queens, and Alice says none of them. The fact that the females are the only ones that say completely ridiculous things (and the most types of literary devices) perhaps may signify that these females are truly distinct as being a type of embodiment of Carroll's world--they spout things that don't make a lick of sense (playing to the "crazy" setting Alice has landed herself in, as opposed to the order of the real world) and spout the most varied assortment of things, as opposed to being defined by one sole type of device. This is even more supported by how females are the only ones who use every type of device, and that neither males nor neutrals have a device solely their own--the females are the ones who wield every type of word play present. In this way are their characters distinct as being a type of full embodiment of the Looking Glass universe.


Of the eleven devices found over the course of the novel, males only use six--the other five are solely female. This definitely makes males more specifically defined by the types they use, even if they are not as varied as the three female speakers.

However, there is only two devices that have a significantly higher male percentage: personification and allusion. Personification is extremely male (with only one use out of eight being female, and that's when Alice talks about the wind to her cats at in Chapter 1). This is interesting when coupled with the fact that they also use puns the most compared to the other two genders--perhaps this could mean that men are defined by frequently taking one expected idea or object and talking about it so that it is alive? The two examples I can think of to fully explain that slightly confusing statement are when Humpty Dumpty talks about words as if they have distinct personalities (Chapter 6), the Frog talks about the door as if it'll get angry at Alice's knocks (Chapter 9) or when the White King talks about "nobody" as an actual person (Chapter 7).

It is also interesting that men also hold a majority of the repetition usages--while females use it eight times and neutrals six, men use it a full fifteen times. This is interesting, because it is then mostly male characters who are defined by a signiture phrase, such as when Humpty Dumpty says "provoking!" a lot (Chapter 6). The female usages are generally when Alice joins in by repeating someone's phrase (Chapter 8, when she falls in line with the White Knight's phrasing), or when the Red Queen repeats herself when she's shouting commands (Chapters 2 and 9)...more telling about her speech patterns, I suppose.


Despite the large number of neutral gender characters (fifteen out of thirty three speakers), they have by far the least amount of literary device usages--they only use three of the devices, and only at very small rates. Perhaps the characters as neutral ones (they're often animals or something like a flower) are defined more by the fact that they aren't in human more than anything else?

What they are defined by is telling...repetition is used six times by neutral folk, which is interesting because neutral characters are often mixed groups, such as the chorus on the train in Chapter 3. They are just following a speech pattern in unison over and over, and no other wordplay is needed in order to make this silly. As a huge group, they couldn't be individually distinctive.

There are also five instances of puns, and they're generally pretty simple, such as a flower's statement that a flower bed that is too soft puts the flowers "to sleep" (Chapter 2).

Neutral characters also use only two instances of ironic speech--speech that doesn't make sense in a traditional way, but does in the "backwards" sense of the Looking Glass World. Considering males and females use them at about the same rate, and to a much larger extent--32 and 34 times respectively--this further pounds the point that neutral characters use much simpler, obvious devices to make their speech "distinctive." But considering they barely use the devices at all, they really aren't made distinct by devices so much as their weird appearance.



This was very interesting, because it looks like the white characters have a monopoly on the devices mirroring the monopoly of the females, except unlike the females, they don't use every device--only parody is left completely red (that can be due to the fact that there is only one instance of parody (found in Chapter 9). However, there are five devices that are solely white characters, which are often also quite rare (alliteration and hyperbole). Considering that the whites represent a wider range of characters (this includes the white chessmen, but also people like Alice and Humpty Dumpty, two of the 3 users of personification), this makes sense that a wider array of devices would be represented.

Some purely white devices could be attributed to the fact that Alice is their speaker--she is the only user of alliteration (found in Chapter 7) and apostrophe (Chapters 1,2, and 12), and so the devices are marked as "white." But that says more about Alice than the whites, I believe. Again, more on that later.

This also shows how, overall, the whites are the driving force of the book--they are only seven out of the thirty three speakers, but hold a massive amount of variety of word play in their speech.


The overflow of white devices can be better described in the context of talking about the other alignments on the graph. There are two red speakers--the Red Queen and the Red Knight--but only the Queen uses literary devices, so this is significant in that the red data not only defines a whole alignment, but rather a single character! Besides just pointing to how the reds are actually not that big of a force in the book (the Red King himself is asleep), it also points to how the Red Queen has a huge hold on much of the devices employed in the novel. She is the sole user of a parody (the lullaby sung to the White Queen in Chapter 9), and speaks three fourths of the nonsensical phrases (also found in Chapter 9).


Again, the neutrals (though this time in alignment rather than gender) are defined more by their lack of device use more than anything else. Though they are a majority of the speakers (22 out of 33!), they only use four types of devices (allusion, pun, irony, and repetition) and only in small amounts compared to those with a set alignment to a chess color. This definitely makes aligned characters defined by device uses, while neutral characters once again seem to almost fade into the background--their speech doesn't have anything particularly distinctive about it.


Humans are actually pretty rare--only six of the characters are human (consider that the chess pieces are actually objects!). However, much of the graph that is human majority is actually just Alice majority--she is the only speaker of apostrophes (Chapters 1,2, and 12) and alliteration (Chapter 7) as well as the only human speaker of hyperbole (her examples appear in chapters 8 and 9). However, it is important to note that irony--overall the widest used literary device--is almost absent from human speech. Likewise, puns, repetition, and personification are only used quite sparingly by human characters: Alice uses personification whilst talking to her cat in Chapter 1; Puns appear spoken by Alice in Chapters 6 and 8; the same character falls in line with the White Knight's speech in Chapter 8. Perhaps this lack is related to the fact that since humans are realistic, actual creatures, they wouldn't have extreme "nonsensical" qualities to their speech?

The lack of devices within animals' speech recalls the lack of devices within gender or alignment neutral characters...again, perhaps this lack is because their very anthropomorphism as a speaking animal is what sets them apart, rather than any particular device. However, it is important to note that objects--whether they be an egg, a chess piece, or a flower--hold a large amount of the literary device usage. However, the wide variety attests to the wide variety of these objects available, and that they are not defined solely by one thing.

The unknown and mixed groups are only found to have repetition. Considering these groups are either defined by many types of unnamed characters (or not even defined at all), that may account for why their only distinguished literay trait is repetition, where they simply fall into line with a bunch of others. But especially in the case of mixed groups, why would we be surprised that they're just echoing a continuous cattle call over and over? You don't need to make a line a pun to make it silly.

World Placement

By world placement, We mean from what universe to they come--are they original Carroll creations from the Looking Glass World, the real world, or are they someone else's creation (the allusions). By a great, obvious majority do the Carroll-created Looking Glass characters hold the literary device usage--not surprising, since they are a) originate from a nonsensical world and b) make up the vast majority of the characters. There is only one real world character (Alice), and five allusions (Tweedledum and Tweedledee, the Lion and the Unicorn, and Humpty Dumpty).

It is definitely interesting to look at the few devices of which real world Alice is the sole speaker. She is the only user of apostrophes. Considering that apostrophes are when someone speaks to something that they know won't talk back (like the cats in the beginning or the house she speaks to in Chapter 2), of course it'd only be a real world person that would use these--in Looking Glass world, things that normally don't talk do, as expressed by the scenario when Alice speaks in apostrophe form to the flowers in Chapter 2, and then is shocked when they speak back. Alice also holds the sole use of alliteration (found in Chapter 7), which comes as if she's participating in a childhood game. Nursery rhymes are associated with children, and this again would be something not impossible to find on the other side of the glass! Hyperbole is often used by human speakers in real life, as well--so it's not super surprising that Alice has two of the three instances--once when she exlaims that the White Knight should have a wooden horse in Chapter 8, and when she declares that the Queens were "trying to squeeze me flat" in Chapter 9..

As mentioned before, I was taken aback at how Alice--a real world, non-allusion character--speaks 7 of the the 13 allusions. However, thinking about it, it makes a sort of sense--Alice generally references the poems that the characters belong to whilst making conversation (such as with Humpty Dumpty in Chapter 6 or with the Lion and the Unicorn in Chapter 7), guessing what will happen and whatnot. The allusion characters themselves only mention their own poems as they act them out, or if Alice brings them up first.