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The JabberWocky

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Harker Hittson

on 2 April 2014

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Transcript of The JabberWocky

Historical Context
specific reference point in history
Captivates readers of any era -
"The Jabberwocky"
by: Lewis Caroll

The Jabberwocky
Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
Did gyre and gimble in the wabe:
All mimsy were the borogoves,
And the mome raths outgrabed

"Beware the Jabberwock, my son!
The jaws that bite, the claws that catch!
Beware the Jubjub bird, and shun
The frumious Bandersnatch!"

Poem Summary
"The Jabberwocky" is unique in that it uses words to express sounds.
The poem is able to do so by combining words into a phrase, that when read aloud, is similar to actual sounds the author is trying to portray.
Lewis Carroll
Born January 27,1832 in
Daresbury, Cheshire.
real name
was Charles Lutwidge Dodgson.
Started writing
at a young age.
Changed his name to
Lewis Carroll
because it was the
translation of his first and second names.
in Guildford, Surrey, England on January 14,1898


threat to the civilized world
Summary Continued...
Jubjub bird
, &

in the poem
Cliff Saunders writes that Lewis Carroll was, in his social life, a reasonable man who agreed with the workings of his time.
But, he contained a form of irrationality and needed a release, which are plain fo see in many of his literary works. Hence the creation of "The Jabberwocky."
He took his vorpal sword in hand:
Long time the manxome foe he sought --
So rested he by the Tumtum tree,
And stood awhile in thought.

And, as in uffish thought he stood,
The Jabberwock, with eyes of flame,
Came whiffling through the tulgey wood,
And burbled as it came!
One, two! One, two! And through and through
The vorpal blade went snicker-snack!
He left it dead, and with its head
He went galumphing back.

'And, has thou slain the Jabberwock?
Come to my arms, my beamish boy!
O frabjous day! Callooh! Callay!'
He chortled in his joy.

`Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
Did gyre and gimble in the wabe;
All mimsy were the borogoves,
And the mome raths outgrabe.
The Heroic Quest
: Even though the poem may seem playful it contains a very serious theme. This theme in which a young male will encounter a horrific beast or triumph over a force of darkness. The heroic quest recounted in the poem is a main reason why it remains one of the most popular nonsense verse ever written.
Fantasy versus Reality
Carroll creates a wonderland by mixing unfamiliar words with familiar ones. By doing this he can appeal to young children by heir sense of playfulness. Both worlds remain closely balanced throughout the poem. For this reason the poem contains supreme irony.
Emily: Author Biography, themes, Historical Context
Harker: Style, Criticisism parts of P. Summery
Harry: Poem text, most of Poem Summary, Prop
Works Cited
Pudney, John. Lewis Carroll and His World.
New York: Scribner, 1976. Print.

Thomason, Elizabeth, and David Kelly. Poetry for
Students. Presenting Analysis, Context and Criticism on Commonly Studied Poetry. Vol. 11. Detroit: Gale Group, 2001. Print.
"Lines 1-4: Toves are supposedly badger like creatures and the adjective slithy is a portmanteau made up of leathe and slimy. The "Raths" in line four are supposed to be turtles. A direct English translation of lines 1-4 would be: It was evening and the smooth active badgers were scratching and boring at the hillside, all unhappy were the parrots, and the grave turtles Squked out. There were probably sun dials on the top of the hill and the borogroves were afraid that their nest would be undermined. The hill was probably full of nest of Raths which ran out squeaking with fear on hearing the toves scratching outside. This is obscure but deeply affecting relic of ancient poetry".

"Uffish" in line 13 could possibly he combination of huffy (arrogant) and offish (aloof) or even oafish (simpleton). This line contrasts the Jabberwocky's determined attitude "with eyes of flame" to the boy's calm and collected disposition.
"Whiffling" in line 15 is one of the only two nonsense words throughout the story. Those two words refer to sounds the monster is producing or thins it is doing.
"Burbled" in line 16 sounds like a combination of bubbled and gurgled but is actual a synonym of bubbled.
Lines 13-16 can be expressed as the boy stood away thinking "as the passionate Babble-voice" approached the boy making noises without any real meaning.

In line 17 the "through and through snicker and snatch" helps the reader visualize the slaying of the Jabberwocky with two quick strokes from the boy.
Because of Lewis Carroll's idea of this being and ancient story the lines 17-18 can be paraphrased as " The ancient Anglo-Saxon language met the even more ancient Celtic languages and very quickly and thoroughly, as if with a hungry word-sword and the force of incisive observation, displaced them. Thus the Celtic languages were no longer used and so did not grow and change, or live: the work of the world went on in Anglo-Saxon, which ultimately developed into the English language" (Thomason 95).
Lines 19-20 the boy is successful and takes the head as proof. He was "galumphing" (galloping in triumph) back.
Summary continued still...
Lines 21-24
Lines 17-20
Lines 13-16
Line 23: contains "Frabjous" a mixture of fabulous and rapturous (a sense of happiness or causing happiness). And involves the father congragulating his son on slaying the dreaded Jabberwocky.
"Lines 5-8: The beginning of the word Jabberwock is jabber which is a synonym for babble . The word babble means which is associated with the biblical times and the the second part of the word that is wock refers to an old Scottish word that means voice. A direct translations of lines 5-8 would be, Be careful of the Babble voice my son because it will either bite you or scratch and tear you. And take care around you or that eats thos sticky fruits for the Babble voice is attracted to its song and were you hear the one you will often find the other. And for heavens sake stay away from the fuming and furious creature that robs sentences of their meaning".

"Lines 9-12: The Lines 9-12 are about a boy going to kill the the Jabberwock and can be translated as, The boy took up his hungry sword and went off on a long search for the foe who speaks the lyrical Celtic language but eventually cam e to rest under the tree that makes a musical sound in the wind thinking that the Babble voice might come this way attracted by the soun".
Lines 25-28
Just as in lines 1-4 it's evening however, this time the Jabberwocky is slain and all the animals in the country can go about their nightly deeds.
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