Literary Analysis Of Lewis Carroll's 'The Jabberwocky'

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In reading through texts about “Bad Girls and Bad Boys,” one will uncover that the theme of rule-breaking holds extreme significance. These works of literature are categorized as such not only because the characters themselves break rules, but the authors do as well, through style and word choices. The best example of this comes from the writing of Lewis Carroll within his creation of Wonderland. His poem “The Jabberwocky” is recited by Alice in the second half of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, titled Through the Looking Glass. The poem creates an entirely new set of rules regarding literary concepts, just as the character of Alice does regarding the idea of growing up. Carroll proves that rebellion is not solely useful for storylines, but can also apply to the use of literary devices and word choices and their meanings. It takes an out of the box mindset to appreciate the imagery at work in “The Jabberwocky,” which reveals that perspective is the key to understanding. In the case of this poem specifically, grasping the nonsense in the words opens up rest of…show more content…
The initial lines of the poem hold words that are not common to any language, as they bear no origin other than that of Carroll’s mind. Strange words appear instantly, such as “brillig,” “slithe,” and “toves.” Explained within the context by Humpty Dumpty, these are combinations, made up, or stemming from existing words. The word “slithe” blends “slimy” and “lithe” together to describe a “tove,” or a type of badger with long back legs, horns, and a hunger for cheese. “Brillig” is derived from the verb “broiling” and holds the definition for “a time at which dinner is broiled in the late afternoon.” Right away, this gibberish engages the attention and imagination of the reader, if the title itself did not already do
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