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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old Apr 15th, 2003, 10:02 PM Thread Starter
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JAbberwocky

has any one ever read the poem jabberwocky and understood it..because i have a project for english due on friday..and i have to tell what it means..any one wanna take a stab at it..here is the peom
The Jabberwocky
'Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
Did gyre and gimble in the wabe:
All mimsy were the borogoves,
And the mome raths outgrabe.
"Beware the Jabberwock, my son!
The jaws that bite, the claws that catch!
Beware the Jubjub bird, and shun
The 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 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 hast thou slain the Jabberwock?
Come to my arm, 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



thats it..i little confusing ain't it...any one who can help please do..because i'm swamped with projects i have like 5 due friday...


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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old Apr 16th, 2003, 12:36 AM Thread Starter
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please someone????please help...


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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old Apr 16th, 2003, 04:42 AM
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This is one of the interpretations of it in more simple English:

It was summer and the leafy trees
bloomed and prospered in the sun
the fruit in the orchards was ripe
and the farmers prospered

"Beware the big monster, my son,
the jaws that bite, the claws that catch.
Beware the falcon,
and avoid the cat."

He took his trusty sword in hand
He looked for the big monster for a long time.
He rested by a tree
and stood awhile in thought.

And then as he stood thinking,
the big monster with flashing eyes
came running through the wood
roaring as it ran.

Quickly and accurately
He attacked it with his sword
He left it dead and with its head
he went running back.

"And have you killed the big monster?
Come to my arms, my wonderful boy.
Oh Happy Day! Horray!"
He chortled in his joy.

It was summer and the leafy trees
bloomed and prospered in the sun
the fruit in the orchards was ripe
and the farmers prospered


It can have lots of meanings, as Lewis Carroll intended. Literally, it is about a boy who kills a monster. More metaphorically, it could be about life - facing problems or fears and conqering them, and life goes on (hence the repetition of the 1st verse). Probably the most important meaning of the poem as a whole is that words are ambiguous.

Lewis Carroll used the poem to illustrate how poetry, and words generally, can have multiple interpretations, they are ambiguous, somewhat like abstract art. That is why all the verbs in the poem are understandable, but the nouns and adjectives are nonsense words (at the time the poem was written words like 'chortle' and 'galumphing' had no meaning, they became part of the language today as a result of being invented by Lewis Carroll). He wanted the reader to interact with the poem, and make their own interpretations of what it was about.

As well as being a poem on its own, Jabberwocky was later used in Alice Through The Looking Glass. Alice cannot understand the poem ( "Somebody killed something: that's clear, at any rate" ) and she asks Humpty Dumpty ( the expert “of all the poems that were ever invented- and a good many that haven’t been invented just yet" ) to tell her what it means. He makes up meanings for all the nonsense words, telling Alice that there should be only one agreed meaning to a word and to the poem:

“When I use a word,” Humpty Dumpty said, in rather a scornful tone, “it means just what I choose it to mean – neither more nor less.”
“The question is,” said Alice, “whether you can make words mean so many different things.”
“The question is,” said Humpty Dumpty, “which is to be master – that’s all.”


Lewis Carroll shows that this is not the way that he thinks poetry should be read and interpreted like this by having Humpty Dumpty fall off the wall to his death while he is giving his explanation of the poem - because that is the result of interpretting the nursery rhyme Humpty Dumpty in one particular way - Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall, Humpty Dumpty had a great fall... etc. (Many of the characters in Alice have the same fate - they are trapped by the literal translation of their poems and it is their fate to end up as their characters in the poems or nursery rhymes do, which is again Lewis Carroll trying to say that things being open to interpretation is important). Basically, Lewis Carroll is saying that there is not just one meaning for any word or any poem, and that everyone should work out their own meaning as it suits them.

Another interpretation is that Lewis Carroll was saying that a poem should not mean anything, it should just be. When Alice says that the poem is about "someone killing something", that is really the whole meaning of the poem. There are probably loads of other interpretations too, which is kind of the point.

Hope this is helpful and not too rambling and incoherent
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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old Apr 16th, 2003, 07:21 PM
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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old Apr 16th, 2003, 09:41 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by geewhiz
This is one of the interpretations of it in more simple English:

It was summer and the leafy trees
bloomed and prospered in the sun
the fruit in the orchards was ripe
and the farmers prospered

"Beware the big monster, my son,
the jaws that bite, the claws that catch.
Beware the falcon,
and avoid the cat."

He took his trusty sword in hand
He looked for the big monster for a long time.
He rested by a tree
and stood awhile in thought.

And then as he stood thinking,
the big monster with flashing eyes
came running through the wood
roaring as it ran.

Quickly and accurately
He attacked it with his sword
He left it dead and with its head
he went running back.

"And have you killed the big monster?
Come to my arms, my wonderful boy.
Oh Happy Day! Horray!"
He chortled in his joy.

It was summer and the leafy trees
bloomed and prospered in the sun
the fruit in the orchards was ripe
and the farmers prospered


It can have lots of meanings, as Lewis Carroll intended. Literally, it is about a boy who kills a monster. More metaphorically, it could be about life - facing problems or fears and conqering them, and life goes on (hence the repetition of the 1st verse). Probably the most important meaning of the poem as a whole is that words are ambiguous.

Lewis Carroll used the poem to illustrate how poetry, and words generally, can have multiple interpretations, they are ambiguous, somewhat like abstract art. That is why all the verbs in the poem are understandable, but the nouns and adjectives are nonsense words (at the time the poem was written words like 'chortle' and 'galumphing' had no meaning, they became part of the language today as a result of being invented by Lewis Carroll). He wanted the reader to interact with the poem, and make their own interpretations of what it was about.

As well as being a poem on its own, Jabberwocky was later used in Alice Through The Looking Glass. Alice cannot understand the poem ( "Somebody killed something: that's clear, at any rate" ) and she asks Humpty Dumpty ( the expert “of all the poems that were ever invented- and a good many that haven’t been invented just yet" ) to tell her what it means. He makes up meanings for all the nonsense words, telling Alice that there should be only one agreed meaning to a word and to the poem:

“When I use a word,” Humpty Dumpty said, in rather a scornful tone, “it means just what I choose it to mean – neither more nor less.”
“The question is,” said Alice, “whether you can make words mean so many different things.”
“The question is,” said Humpty Dumpty, “which is to be master – that’s all.”


Lewis Carroll shows that this is not the way that he thinks poetry should be read and interpreted like this by having Humpty Dumpty fall off the wall to his death while he is giving his explanation of the poem - because that is the result of interpretting the nursery rhyme Humpty Dumpty in one particular way - Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall, Humpty Dumpty had a great fall... etc. (Many of the characters in Alice have the same fate - they are trapped by the literal translation of their poems and it is their fate to end up as their characters in the poems or nursery rhymes do, which is again Lewis Carroll trying to say that things being open to interpretation is important). Basically, Lewis Carroll is saying that there is not just one meaning for any word or any poem, and that everyone should work out their own meaning as it suits them.

Another interpretation is that Lewis Carroll was saying that a poem should not mean anything, it should just be. When Alice says that the poem is about "someone killing something", that is really the whole meaning of the poem. There are probably loads of other interpretations too, which is kind of the point.

Hope this is helpful and not too rambling and incoherent
THANK you thank you you just don'tknow how much you have helped me to take some stress off my already too stressful life


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