DuPont 1″Jabberwocky”Lewis CarrollJabberwocky: Sense or Nonsense’Twas brillig, and the slithy tovesDid gyre and gimble in the wabe;All mimsy were the borogoves,And the mome raths outgrabe.”Beware the Jabberwock, my sonThe jaws that bite, the claws that catch!Beware the Jubjub bird, and shunThe frumious Bandersnatch!”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 burbied as it came!DuPont 2One, two! One, two! And through and throughThe vorpal blade went snicker-snack!He left it dead, and with its headHe went galumphing back.”And hast 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 tovesDid gyre and gimble in the wabe;All mimsy were the borogoves,And the mome raths outgrabe.1886DuPont 3ParaphraseIn attempting to paraphrase this particular poem it must be considered that it derived from a book written almost purely of nonsense. Many of the words in this poem are the own creation of the author and only he knows the real interpretation.
However, some of the words have been described in the book and others in letters by the author. The words of the previous poem are often a combination of two, maybe even three words, all put into one, while others are just nonsense and for the amusement of the reader. All things considered, here is an attempt at a line by line paraphrase of the poem “Jabberwocky”.
Jabberwocky: Sense or NonsenseIt was evening, and the smooth active badgersWere scratching and boring holes in the hill-side;All unhappy were the parrots;And the grave turtles squeaked outBeware of the Jabberwock, my son!Of its jaws that bite, and its claws that catch!Be aware of the Jubjub bird, and shunThe fuming and furious Bandersnatch!He took his mighty sword in hand:For a long time he sought after his enemy from the Isle of Man-So he rested by the Tumtum tree,And stood there a while in thoughtDuPont 4And, as in uffish(“a state of mind when the voice is gruffish, the manner roughish and the temper huffish” thought he stoodThe Jabberwock, with fire in his eyes,Came blowing unsteadily in short puffs through the tall and foggy wood,And it bleated, murmured, and warbled as it came One, two! One, two! And through and throughThe mighty blade was used in battle!He left it dead, and with its headHe went triumphantly galloping back”And have you killed the Jabberwock?Come to my arms, my radiating son!O fabulous and joyous day! Beautiful! Good! Fair!He chuckled and snorted in his joy.It was evening, and the smooth active badgersWere scratching and boring holes in the hill-side;All unhappy were the parrots;And the grave turtles squeaked outDuPont 5Blake DuPontMs. BennerWorld Lit.2 November 2001Everyone as a child listened to their parents read them fairy tells and tall tales. Whether or not the child understood the story he knew he enjoyed it. Alice in Wonderland is one of the most famous children’s stories.
Even though half of the writing did not make sense the reader would still be interested and entertained. To fully understand the writings of Lewis Carroll, a person must look at his past, get opinions from other authors and come to a conclusion on their own whether Carroll was a nonsense writer or gifted children’s writer.To clearly understand Carroll’s writing and form their own opinion, one must understand his past. Lewis Carroll, formally Charles Lutwidge Dodgson, was born at Daresbury, Cheshire, on January 27, 1832.
His parents were Charles and Frances Dodgson. His father was a clergyman. He was the oldest of 11 children. All through his life he loved to write, and take photographs. He was an English mathematician and writer. Educated at Rugby and Christ Church, Oxford, where he spent the rest of his life(Blake 63). He was deacon in the Church of England, as a child he suffered from a number of physical ailments. As a boy, he was subject to ridicule due to a stammer causing an introverted shyness with his peers.
He was also left-handed which was considered a correctable disorder during the Victorian Era. Young Dodgson would work with various specialists to correct both his stammer and his left-hand usage, but the only real lesson he DuPont 6learned was the “feeling that something was not right'” (Blake 65) . He expressed his sense of displacement with the analogy of trying to fit “a right-hand foot / into a left-hand shoe” (Carroll 189) . These problems caused Dodgson to withdraw from his peers, and, thus, he never quite mastered the art of relating to boys of his age.Ironically, Dodgson used these feelings of inadequacy to his intellectual advantage. Through his rich inner life, he questioned his perception of reality and developed a reversed, mirrored view and an ingenious mirror-glass style of writing. By sharing this rich inner life, young Dodgson, as the oldest of ten siblings, entertained his sisters and brothers with invented games and thought-provoking activities(Smith 55) Derek Hudson from Croft wrote in 1851 that Carroll had trouble being “without the companionship of children” (Blake 47) because children had “already become a necessity of his existence” (Smith 68) . Carroll was becoming an adult, yet he still wanted to “be like a child,” (Empson 635) and he longed to continue enlightening young minds.
At last, Carroll became enlightened himself upon meeting the enchanting four-year old girl named Alice. In fact, The Alice Books were “written for a particular child, Alice Liddell,” and “one would have liked to have known” such a child that “could spark” (Egoff 46) such imaginary travel.In the poem that begins and ends the story of Alice in Wonderland it is obviously seen that Carroll’s interaction and fascination with Liddell girls have greatly influenced his writing. The three children are the focus of the beginning poem, “Ah, cruel Three!…Imperious Prima flashes forth..
.In gentler tones Secunda hopes… While Teritia interrupts the tale”(Carroll, Lewis.
Microsoft ). Lorina is referred to as “Prima”, DuPont 7she was the oldest, Alice is “Secunda”, and Edith “Teria”. When the story begins in 1862, Alice is seven, and the story is set in May. Through the Looking-Glass takes place in November. “Without, the frost, the blinding snow”(Carroll, Lewis. Alice 103). Although the other two girls are mentioned, Carroll chose mainly to focus on Alice. Alice Pleasance Liddell is the full name of the child, “the pleasance of our fairy tale”(Carroll, Lewis.
Alice 103). In the closing poem of Through the Looking-Glass in the final chapter “Which Dreamed It?” when read downward, the initial letters of each line spell out Alice’s full name,”A boat, beneath a sunny skyLingering onward dreamilyIn an evening of July- Children three that nestle near,Eager eye and willing ear, …”(Carroll, Lewis. Alice 209 ) Other than the influence that the entire Liddell Family had on Carroll’s writing there were other incidents that had a great influence on the nonsense in his poems.
Carroll wrote other books for children, including a long poem ‘The Hunting of the Snark’ (1876). He published several mathematical works, but was not distinguished academically. He never married, and found pleasure in the company of little girls, with whom he lost his shyness. He was also an inventor of puzzles, games, ciphers, and mnemonics, and an amateur pioneer in photography.
During the Victorian Era the use of opium and other mind altering experiences resulting from narcotics could have had a great impact on the ideas behind the Alice DuPont 8books. In Through the Looking-Glass, Lewis Carroll brings up many images that can be interpreted as advice to youngsters. Authors agree that even though most of Carroll’s written work was nonsense, it can be seen as a fairy tale. In the poems of “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland” Smith points out that some of the poems characters are friends and acquaintances of the author. Some of the references are not always in the complimentary fashion.
Lorina and Edith, sisters of Alice Liddell, serve as inspirations for the characters of Lorry and the eagle. Theophilus Carter, who had known Lewis Carroll before the stories were written apparently had made a deal with Carroll and it fell through. Carroll used his literary talents as tools for revenge when Carter appears to be the Mad Hatter. The Mad Hatter had an obsession with furniture and Carter owned a furniture so the connection is obvious(Smith 63). Smith agrees that Alice is a reflection of the children who Carroll had grown to know.Most important of the poems in the books is “Jabberwocky”. This poem is the first and last verse the “Stanza of Anglo-Saxon Poetry” which Carroll had composed in 1854 to amuse his family.
The poem indicates Carroll’s complete disregarded of the Anglo-Saxon language and poetic tradition. In the preface to Through the Looking Glass “The new words, in the poem “Jabberwocky”, have given rise to some differences of opinion as to their pronunciation. It is written that words like “slithy” should be pronounced as if it were the two words “sly, the” also make the “g” hard in “gyre” and “gimble” and pronounce “rath” to rhyme with “bath”.”(Carroll, Lewis. Alice 105).
“Jabberwocky”, the strange nonsense poem made more trouble than anything else in the book did and some wild claims were made about its origin. Carroll had DuPont 9added to it a few years later during a verse-making game played with his cousins when he was staying with them one summer holiday. In the book Humpty Dumpty, Carroll actually gives Alice his explanation of the “Jabberwocky”. He explains that the brillig is four o’clock, and this is the time when one starts making dinner, and then hegoes on to explain the combination of lithe and slimy “You see- it’s like a portmanteau- there are two meanings packed up into one word”(Carroll, Lewis. Alice 161). The “Jabberwocky” is just plain nonsense. Carroll used language in “Jabberwocky” so that words and structure maintain a balance between order and disorder in relation to each other, and the understanding of Carroll’s poetry.
There can be sense made out of all nonsense, and some good and justified illustrations of this can be shown through Carroll’s poetry . Lewis Carroll has taken his life experiences and passions and twisted them together with some sense and nonsense to create an interesting story and poetry that will always be open for many differing interpretations. Each individual reader can only make these differing views. The reader can take this nonsense and make sense of it, or they can play along with the word games, and have a few confused laughs. The nonsense of much of Lewis Carroll’s work makes it more enjoyable and fun to read. This type of writing can require either loads of thinking by the reader, or the reader may choose to read them with an open mind and willingness to enjoy it without understanding. Those who choose to put deep thought into the books and poems of Lewis Carroll may find themselves deeply confused and always searching for meaning. Just remember that when writing these Carroll may have had no intention of there being meaning to his stories and poems.
DuPont 10It is interesting to think that drugs such as opium may have had quite an influence on Carroll’s writing, thus leaving reason to believe that there were no meanings to his writings. The famous story of Alice originated as a verbal story to entertain some family friends, and then written down on paper to be finally published. This “Alice” was actually a young girl who asked Carroll to tell her a nonsense story. This shows that influence can derive from anywhere or anyone and Lewis Carroll took full advantage of the influences in his life and it paid off for him. One will either love or hate the stories of Alice’s adventures. For those who hate them it is often due to their lack of understanding or for some it may be frightening. For most, however, they come as fun and enjoyable that will be remembered and passed down through generations.
It can be assumed that these stories will be around for centuries upon centuries, because those who enjoyed them as children will want their children to enjoy them in the same way. The way that Carroll combines words together to make his own defining words helps paint a better image or sometimes may leave the mind blank and open, which allows one to learn and take in more. His ability to think with an open mind makes him very unique. He shows this ability in his poems, such as in “Jabberwocky”, for example he uses the word “frumious”, to say “fuming” and “furious” at the same time.
Another example is his use of “galumphing”, “triumphantly galloping”. If it were considered proper English more people would attempt to perfect this technique and hopefully be able to make such an impact as Lewis Carroll did in his works.DuPont 11BibliographyBlake, Kathleen “Lewis Carroll.” Dictionary of Literary Biography. Ed.
Ira B. Nadel, William E. Fredeman. Rev.
Ed. 18 vols. Detroit, Michigan: Gale Research Company, 1983Carroll, Lewis. Alice in Wonderland. Norton Critical Edition. New York: W.W. Norton and Company, 1992.
“Carroll, Lewis,” Microsoft Encarta Online Encyclopedia 2000http://encarta.msn.com 1997-2000 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.Connell, Kate. “Opium as a Possible influence upon Alice Books” 22 Mar 2000. The Victorian Web.
<http://landow.stg.brown.edu/victorian/victov.html>.Egoff, Sheila A. “Worlds Within: Children’s Fantasy from the Middle Ages to Today. Chicago: American Library Association, 1988.
Empson, William. “Alice in Wonderland: The Child as Swain.” 1935. World Literature Criticism, 1500 to the Present. Ed. James P. Draper. Vol.
1. Detroit: Gale, 1992. 634-35.Sewell, Elizabeth.
The Field of Nonsense London: Chatto and Windus LTD., 1952.Smith, Karen “Lewis Carroll.” Dictionary Literary Biography.
Ed. Meena Khorana. Rev. ed. 163 vols. Detroit, Michigan: Gale Research Inc., 1996