Jabberwocky

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Marion Guignolle
Professor T. Stojkovic
603-101
August 31, 2011

« Jabberwocky » by Lewis Carroll

In order to be able to read the « Jabberwocky » poem, Alice needs to read it through a glass. Here Lewis Carroll uses his writting style to lead the reader into another world, a parrallel one where imagination is king. The fisrt stanza emplifies this notion with its made up words : « brillig » (1), « slithy » (1), « toves » (1), « gyre » (2), « gimble » (2), « wabe » (2), « mimsy » (3), « borogoves » (3), « mome » (4), « raths » (4), « outgrabe » (4). Even if there are « home-made » words, the poem is easilly understandable. The reader understands that this is a story about a boy who goes on a journey to kill a beast, the Jabberwocky. Lewis Carroll might have use the sentence « The jaws that bite, the claws that catch! » (line 6) and the words « vorpal sword » (9), « eyes of flame » (14), « vorpal blade » (18), and « slain » (21) to make the poem chevaleresque. He emphazises this mood with old english like « Twas » (1), « hast » « thou » (21) which were part of the language used in medieval stories or poem. Since those words were less common, even for Lewis Carroll's time, the reader might think of those as invented words. The effect that Lewis Carroll achieved is making the poem like a song, with the repetition of the first stanza at the end. The boy returns victorious, and the day of his victory is celebrated : « O frabjous day ! Callooh! Callay! » (line 23), like in the knight songs,
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