Deconstuction of the poem Jabberwocky by Lewis Carroll

Essay by hillduJunior High, 9th grade May 2005

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The Poem "Jabberwocky" by Lewis Carroll displays a theme of heroism and

heroic quests. It is reinforced by the many made up words Carroll used and the sound

devices in the poem. In the poem a boy ventures out on a quest to kill the Jabberwocky, a

monster, he kills the Jabberwocky and returns home where he is celebrated. The first

quatrain in the poem gives a setting for the "story." It seems to be a creepy place, maybe

a swamp. For example, 'Twas brillig, and the slithy toves did gyre gimble in the wabe

(1st Quatrain)" projects an image of some kind of creature moving around in something

with a swamp like consistency. This quatrain also sets the mood for most of the poem, a

kind of scary, creepy place where there are strange creatures much like that of J.R.R.

Tolkien's "The Lord of the Rings" In the second quatrain it is the father of the boy telling

his son to be careful.

The word "Beware" is repeated at the start of lines five and seven.

This generates more suspense and possible perils that the protagonist may face. In this

quatrain the first mention of the Jabberwocky is made with this said by the father,

"Beware the Jabberwock, my son! The jaws that bite the claws that catch" These two

lines (five and 6) project that the Jabberwocky is evil and has probably terrorized people

before. Carroll used lots of cacophony all through the poem to again create suspense and

peril and to make the boy killing the Jabberwocky even more heroic. Examples of

cacophony used in the poem are "brillig, slithy, gyre and gimble, mimsy, outgrabe etc."

Even though most of the cacophonies Carroll used were not real words it still is

unpleasant to the ear. The...

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