Alice through the Looking Glass of Nihilism

  • Shaurya Aron Student
Keywords: Purpose, Nihilism, metaphysical, tragedy, Reality


Friedrich Nietzsche looks at the world as a progression of experiences that extend help from the fatigue and dullness of one’s life. It is a remarkable coincidence that Alice is yearning for a respite from such dullness before she embarks on her classical adventure in Wonderland. Consequently, it becomes important to analyse Carroll’s telling through the lens of ‘Nihilism’, a profound gift to the world, by Nietzsche. This essay, firstly, traces the instances where the characters of the story exercise a “will to ignorance”, to enjoy life to the fullest and the freedoms associated with it. Then, there is an analysis of the episodes from the story which highlight the propensity of humans to “adulterate” own’s reality to satisfy own’s motivations. Finally, it underscores how Alice could’ve fallen prey to the “metaphysical joy”, which is a reminder by Nietzsche, that it is the people who force purpose on an otherwise un-orderly world. 


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Author Biography

Shaurya Aron, Student

Shaurya Aron is a Student of Law at Rajiv Gandhi National University of Law, Punjab. He has always wanted to undertake serious projects involving writing and research. The inclination has certainly helped him in the domain of publishing legal research papers and has inspired him to finally pursue his longstanding ambition of literary writing. He particularly enjoys critically analysing the psychological and philosophical tendencies of characters in literary works. 


1. Carroll, Lewis. Alice in Wonderland. London: Penguin Books, 1998.
2. Nietzsche, Freidrich. The Birth of Tragedy. New York: Vintage Books, 1967.
3. Nietzsche, Friedrich. Beyond Good and Evil. New York: Vintage Books, 1966.
4. Rackin, Donald. Alice in Wonderland: A Norton Critical Edition. New York: W.W. Norton and Co., 1992.
How to Cite
Aron, S. “Alice through the Looking Glass of Nihilism”. Contemporary Literary Review India, Vol. 8, no. 2, May 2021, pp. 49-56, doi:10.201411/clri.v8i2.680.
Research Papers