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Jabberwocky by Lewis Carroll - Book Report/Review Example

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Jabberwocky by Lewis Carroll

The story takes over once more and the readers happily go on to the other episodes and to the end of one of the most popular books in the English language.
So powerful is Carroll/ Dodgson's imagination, sense of humor and writing style, that his work occupies considerable adult thought. Rightfully, then, Carroll's wit and wisdom continues to be appreciated centuries later often ascribing to his words more meaning and nuance than he did himself!
This essay attempts to compare and contrast the 'original' poem by Carroll to one of his own interpretations of it through the words of Humpty Dumpty. It is the 'official' interpretation as it appears in the same book some chapters later in the story.
It might be pertinent to state an important detail before even attempting to comprehend the meaning of the poem or contrast it to its interpretation by the author. This detail addresses the manner in which Carroll/ Dodgson has chosen to present and interpret the now well-known poem of 'Jabberwocky' in the book.
Analyzing firstly, the manner of appearance of the poem we see Alice the central character of the story, chancing upon the book and the poem. It appears almost as an aside and then quite illegible too. It is only when it suddenly strikes Alice that she is in a laterally inverted land that she figures out how to decipher that cryptic writing.
Later, the poem is referr...
Further, from his figure, manner of speech and above all place (on the wall). Humpty Dumpty apparently is not to be taken altogether seriously. And yet Alice asks thinks it proper to ask him for an explanation of the poem she had barely understood some time ago.
It is observed that the manner in which the poem appears and the persona of its chief interpreter suggests that Carroll was deliberately playing down the literal meaning of the word.
Whatever, may have been the central thought behind its composition, Carroll surely weighed over all else the importance of the poem first and foremost providing a composition of words that 'sounded' good. Through rhyme and sound more than literal meaning the author succeeds in creating a picture that appealed to his readership. The meaning of 'Jabberwocky' was thus kept subordinate to the pleasure of its 'sound'.
Secondly, Alice makes little sense of the verse. However, what she does recognize is that it is 'pretty' and 'hard to understand'. She also intuitively knows ('it seems to fill my head with ideas') that Jabberwocky has the potential for many interpretations. Having observed the above she actually rushes off to the next part of the story.
When later, Humpty Dumpty provides the word meanings it is again left to Alice to make full sense of the poem. Again, Humpty turns his attentions to other issues mid-way through his explanation.
Thus it might be seen that while the poem has its place in the story, has meaning beyond its rhyme and rhythm, it is not important enough to be either entirely understood or explained.
Hence, Carroll, through his protagonist the Humpty Dumpty on the wall, explains the meanings of some of the words and leaves it to the reader to make ...Show more

Summary

At first reading which mostly happens in junior school, the poem is wonderfully 'un-adult' and is understood as something of a riddle that Alice encounters in The Looking Glass and manages to make enough sense of to allow the young reader to get on with the story…
Author : shyanne03
Jabberwocky by Lewis Carroll essay example
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