Using Psychoanalysis to Interpret Alice’s Character
This novella entitled “through the looking glass” written by Lewis Carroll tells about Alice as the main character is a seven year old child living in the Victorian era. At this present time of age, she is curious and eager to learn. The novella is about Alice’s’ dream, This dream represents the unconscious mind as her repressed desires of becoming a queen that is, growing up, having power and freedom. Therefore, she leaves her real world and goes through the mirror into this unknown world, which is organized like a giant chess board, through her journey she encounters with strange characters and chess pieces, whom helped her to develop her persona. A close reading of the novella through “Through the Looking Glass” by Lewis Carroll shows that Alice has developed her ego psyche in three areas, behavior formation, emotional maturity and verbal skills in order to fulfill her desire and become a queen.
First of all, Alice develops her ego psyche in terms of behavior formation. At the beginning of her journey she encounters with the living flowers, these flowers criticized Alice’s look and called her not smart. At that time of her journey, she is angry and acts aggressively, this aggression and desire to hurt the flowers are driven out of the id “Aren’t u sometimes frightened at being planted out”(Carroll,154) “she whispered if u don’t hold your tongues I will pick you”(Carrol,154). Later on, she develops her ego and acts differently. For instance, Humpty dumpty is rude and mean with Alice “is it a stupid name enough”(Carroll,201) .However she does not behave violently and rudely. Also, she chooses not to have an argument or conflict, her ego as well as super ego is taking charge “why do you sit here all alone? Said Alice, not wishing to begin an argument” (Carroll, 201). Moreover, she develops one of her ego defense mechanism as sublimation, it is apparent since she transfers her unacceptable impulses, that is, aggression into acceptable behavior as avoiding conflict with humpty dumpty. This means her ego is showing balance between id and super ego.
Second of all, Alice develops her ego in terms of emotional growth. In her journey Twededum and Tweedledee question her existence. At this point in time, she cries in a response to the stressful situation. Besides, she is afraid and vulnerable. That is a regression since crying is more likely of what kids do to express themselves. Furthermore, she feels insecure she is unable to sustain a feeling of her personal identity. The Text evidence, “Said Tweedledum when you’re only one of the things in his dream. You know very well you’re not real. I am real said Alice and began to cry”(Carroll,183).Later on, Alice suffers from feeling on abandonment “Alice said in a melancholy voice; and at that thought of her loneliness two large tears came rolling down her cheeks. Afterwards, the unicorn and the lion questioned her existence be calling her a monster and use the word it and this to refer to her identity. However, she does not cry instead she handles the situation with a smile. Also, she is not afraid anymore in a matter of facts she accepted to have a bargain with the unicron. The text evidence “Alice could not help her lips up into a smile”(Carroll, 219) “Said the unicorn, if you’ll believe in me, I’ll believe in you is that a bargain”. Morover, Alice is now capable to control her emotions as crying, while on the other hand whom have heard the white knight singing went on tears. “she stood and listened very attentively, but no tears came into her eyes”(Carroll,234). Overall, her ego is growing up and controlling her emotions as crying feeling of loneliness and insecure.
Third of all, she is developing her ego in terms of verbal skills. Language is made to create means of communication, At first Alice, is struggling in leaning verbal skills. The red queen acts like monitor and presents the super ego helps her to learn manner verbal skills“ The read queen said: open your mouth a little wider when you speak, and always say your Majesty”(Carroll,158). Moreover, she learned how to start a conversation ,tweedledum said “the first thing in visit to say how d’ye do and shakes hands.( Carroll, 176). It is obvious that , alice is stuggeling to learn how to communicate with others, “Alice didn’t know how to begin a conversation with people she was dancing with(Carrol,176) howver, this stuggeling leads to maturity and growing up. She learned when to stop talking “Alice didn’t want to begin another argument, so she said nothing”205, humpty dumpty tought her how to to combine two wards and from a ward “ well,slithy means lithe and slimy” (Carrol,207), then she masters that skill “alice added exactly so. Well then, “mimsy” is “flimsy and miserable”. Then, she was able to speak and open a communication “I love my love with an H, Alice could not help beginning”(Carroll, 214) her ego is develop she is able to open a discussion with the white night “How can you go on talking so quietly, head downwards?”( Carroll,231).
All in all, Alice strengthens her psyche ego through her journey in the looking glass world. To sum up, her ego is growing in terms of behaving well, as acting politely and avoiding conflict. Likewise, emotional maturity in overcoming her core issues as feeling insure and feeling of abandoned. And verbal skills as leaning manner how to address people, how to start a conversation and how to open a discussion and engage in a conversation. Alice is showing a balance between her id and her superego.