JABBERWOCKY

Lewis Carroll

(from Through the Looking-Glass and What Alice Found There, 1872)

`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, has thou slain the Jabberwock?
  Come to my arms, 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.

94 Comments

  1. hramage said,

    When I first read this poem, I was totally frustrated and I thought it was a bunch of garbage because none of the words made sense. Then I read it again and I realized that not only did it make sense, it was telling a story. Now I am fascinated by this poem because of how playful it is – the writer felt free to make up and use whatever words he wanted to use.

    FYI – Before this poem was published the words “chortled” and “galumphed” did not exist.

    Describe your first reaction to Carroll’s poem (What does it remind you of? How does it make you feel? What is the author talking about?).

  2. Mr. Atkins said,

    My best friend in high school loved this verse and would wander around the campus alternately muttering or bellowing its wonderful, inventive language. Lewis Carroll delights us with his inventive language and uses his whimsical words to create a world of images and actions – “And through and through The vorpal blade went snicker-snack!” Indeed!

    Can you re-tell the story of the Jabberwocky using “normal” vocabulary? What is lost in that re-telling? Isn’t all of the magic, power, and majesty of the deed lost?

    Release the kraken (whatever THAT is? Sounds bad though!)!

  3. Ejup said,

    To be honest, the first couple of times I read this it didn’t make much sense. After reading this poem a good amount of times I understand that it’s about a boy that is getting ready to go kill the Jabberwocky and his father warns him about the dangers. When he kills it he is welcomed by his father. I did some research on this poem and found out that it is considered one of the best written nonsense poems in the english language.

    • Emilyyy. said,

      Ejup,
      I agree with your idea that the boy was planning to kill the Jabberwock and his dad was warning him. I think the dad was not telling him not to kill the Jabberwock, but only encouraging him and cautioning him about the dangers that would cross his path. I think the father was helping his son by giving him the vorpal sword, and I think the father had this planned for him to slay the Jabberwock. I think this because as the father was giving his son the vorpal sword, he was cautioning him about the JubJub bird and the Bandersnatch, which were creatures that lived in the forest where the son would be traveling to find the Jabberwock. The vorpal sword that the father gave his son was not only to slay the Jabberwock, but also to protect him on this journey.
      The reason I believe the boy was not disobeying his father is the way the poem is set up. After each stanza in the body of the poem, there is no time delay. The next event happens immediately. The idea that the father told these warnings to his son and the son had time to think about rebelling, in my opinion is false. It assumes a huge time delay between the second and third stanzas, when there is no time delay between any of the other stanzas.
      That’s my opinion :)

  4. Kiersten said,

    I Googled the meaning of this poem and apparently the Jabberwocky was said to be inspired by the area legend, The Lambton Worm. The legend was from the town Lewis Carrol was staying in to visit his relatives called, Whitburn. The Lambton Worm was even mentioned in the book, “Alice in Sunderland.”

    The fist draft of this poem was actually created to entertain his family and whatnot. It also appeared in the book, “Mischmasch” Although the poem doesn’t make sense to most readers, Wikipedia says it is, “…perfectly consistent with English poetry.”

    To tell you the truth, Jabberwocky is just a fun word to say and as we speak I am repeat it over and over! Jabberwocky…..Jabberwocky…..Jabberwocky!! But, the poems is rather fun to say as well. Thus, I am now singsonging the poem as I try to memorize it. For I know we’ll need this somewhere down the “Honor World Literature road!!”

    “Jabberwocky…..Jabberwocky…..JABBERWOCKY!!!!” (: tee hee

    • hramage said,

      Snickersnack….snickersnack…snickersnack!!!

  5. Dustin Vance said,

    This poem made sence to me the first time Audry read it to us. I new that it was about the Jabberwocky being sleighn by the vorpal swoard. What amazes me about this poem though is all the new words that Lewis Carrol made up to put in it. i can only amagine this poem talking place in my head.

    • Paige Wheeler said,

      I definetly agree that this is a poem that you can see in you head. The words are so discriptive and even though most of them are “nonsense” they seem to make sense in a childish sort of way. I was reading between the lines of this poem and somehow I can see a tragedy. I may be making up my own story here but this is a little bit of what really takes place in my mind. I see this boy as rebellious kid and he has slain other monstrous creatures so he feels very confident in himself. So his father seeing him be so prideful posses him a challenge, “Beware the Jabberwock my son” It is too dangerous for you. The boy decided to go challenge it anyway. However for a moment he thinks about what his father said to him for once. I think this moment to think is also respecting the Jabberwock as a real foe. The Jabberwock appears. The boy fights the Jabberwock and wins “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.” The dad is then very happy because the boy comes back alive and the father is happy, I think, because you can only defeat the Jabberwock if you are teachable. So I see this poem as a tragedy-test. The father tests the son to see if he is humble but the boy quite possibly might have died. I also worry now that the father might have made a mistake since all parents aren’t perfect. Now that the boy has slain the Jabberwock he is more proud. In conclusion I belive that you have to be teachable and not be so puffed up in pride.

  6. Olivia Cooperrrr said,

    This poem doesn’t make a lot of sense at first, but after reading it a few times it starts to make more sense. This poem is about a boy who is about to battle the Jabberwocky, and after battling it, his father, who had before warned him, was very happy. For a poem that doesn’t make a lot of sense, this poem is pretty good.

  7. Kristen Hansen said,

    When i first heard the poem in class i thought that the nonsense words were not a good way to write a ‘famous’ poem. But when i was able to read it again (and again and again), i realized those words were essential to make the Jabberwocky poem well known. The Jabberwocky is about a boy slaying a terrible monster. This poem reminded me of the old fairy tales. the kinds with monsters and such:)

  8. hramage said,

    O Frabjous day! Comments look great so far!

    • Kierstennn(: said,

      Haha…That comment was frabjabulously splendiferific!!

  9. Shelby Peabody said,

    i didn’t really get this poem when i first read it, it really made absolutely no sense. But i had to read it 4 or 5 more times to finally get it. this poem is about a boy (of course), who is preparing to slay a terrible monster (as is one in all the old stories…:)) and as he waits to slay it, he is wondering what will happen and remembering what his father said to him. And finally, he slays it and the battle is over. i love the usage of words, (even though they are very big for my mind…haha), i will always remember this one because it is a good story that lets you imagine all this stuff, yet it is told in a very short little poem.

  10. Jake Stafford said,

    At first the poem made absolutely no sense at all to me, but after a couple of times reading it I realized that the poem is about a dad telling his son about the horrible jabberwok and the boy going out and slaying it for his dad. The phrases and words are so weird fake they seem real.

  11. Maddie said,

    When i first heard this poem, i had absolutely no idea what i was supposed to think about it, other than it was confusing and made no sense in the real world. I dug deep into my imagination to figure out and to have a better understanding about it. It’s about a young boy, slaying or horrible monster. It is difficult for him at first, to believe that he will succeed. Once he had done so, he was very proud. I love the choice of vocabulary… it makes the poem much more unique and enjoyable.

    • sandra hales said,

      i like you thought on the Jabberwocky. I thought the same thing about the Bean Trees book. Not knowing what to think. Then getting a better description. I try to understand it but that still sometimes did not make more sense. When you read the book The Bean Trees did you have a hard time keeping up in the change of characters in the begging?

      • Ejup said,

        Yea i experienced the same thing, the first two chapters were confusing because they were switching narrator’s and this poem is just confusing becasue of all the random vocabulary. I thought about the words the author used and I think we’ve all done that. For example, when teenager’s text they abreviate words and sometimes make up words.

    • Charlie Davidson said,

      I agree with Maddie. I am not convinced that the son is rebelling against his father. I think the father is warning him about the dangers in life. He is taking a risk by facing all of his fears, concerns, and problems that he is going to encounter in his new life. I believe that it is good to take risks, because if you don’t take risks you will just hang out in the safe zone and it won’t allow you to progress. The benefits of risk taking is more knowledge, expertise and confidence.

      This poem also reminds me of Alice in Wonderland. It’s easy to see the little boy falling asleep, having a crazy dream, and then waking up again in the same peaceful setting.

  12. Shea said,

    i love this poem by Lewis Carroll. this poem makes me smile because it uses suck random and exuberant words. its fun and happy even though the story it tells is important to the young boy that has to battle the jabberwocky.

  13. Caleb Mahon said,

    It’s a very descriptive story about the awakening of the dangerous fiend, I think. The many twisted words like “Bandersnatch” and “frabjous” leave the reader questioning. This leads to more reading. I have not yet read the books but, have heard and read many different quotes about “Alice and Wonderland”. Also seeing the movie i encourage everyone to read the books and maybe see the movie and hope that one day I to will read this nonsensical series about a girl and what seems to be her imagination come to life.

    • hramage said,

      Good use of the word feind.

  14. sandra said,

    when i first read this i got so confused not knowing what some of the words ment or why they were even there. then after thinking about it i finaly got through without having to much truble.i was frustrated as well but i think it’s a poem about life that can in some peoples opinion be funny then to others not. it caught my etention but did not make sence for a while then i thought it through and found it funny. it kind of reminded me of fairy tails whith the prince and prinses’s, even the love because i fell in love with this poem.

    • Abby! said,

      I like how you related the poem to princes and princesses because it definitley had a magical fairytale feel to it. I also agreed with you about wondering why some of those crazy words were even there!! But I think that the author had a deeper intention than just entertaining with a goofy poem. I think that he was standing up for kids thoughts and their actions. He is trying to say that sometimes kids know better than adults. In this situation, the father warns the son about the horrible Jabberwocky beast. The son disobeys his father and comes across the beast and slays it, even though it was very risky and dangerous.

      I probably would have listened to my parents in this situation because risking my life to kill a monster isn’t really how I’d like to prove myself. But I think we all have different ways of proving ourselves and I know I haven’t listened to my parents before because I wanted to prove to them that I could handle whatever they thought I couldn’t. You almost have to trust your instincts sometimes, but most of the time, I still listen to my parents caues they still know a lot more than me, however capable I think I am!!

  15. Jenny said,

    When Audrey read the pom out loud, I thought this poem was just a bunch of sing-song words thown together that had absolutely no meaning. Then I realized that this boys father warned him of the danger that he was about to encounter when he killed the Jabberwolk.

  16. Sammie Hendrickson said,

    The first few times I read this poem, I was utterly confused. All these words that were unheard of to me, actually do make sense, after you understand the poem. It is about a father warning his son not to confront the Jabberwock. The son disregards what his father had told him, and he destroyed the beast. In the end, instead of being enraged with him, the father was proud of his son. I think this poem is representing not to advise someone to do something, until you actually know what the end result will be.

    • Maddie said,

      Yeah. I definitely think that the father was trying to warn the son, and make sure he knows to be cautious. The son had to be very courageous to slay the Jabberwocky, and his father was trying to help. If the fathers opinion was wrong, the son obviously knew what wasn’t.

  17. Eisha said,

    I love this poem. I love the silly words, they are fun to say and get stuck in my head so easily. I think this poem is really entertaining. As far as understanding it…that was a little tough but after reading it 2 times i finally got it. I wish we used these words everyday!!!

    Callooh!

    • Jake Stafford said,

      Eisha you are so right the first time I heared this poem all the crazy words and phrases got stuck in my head. Most of the words in this poem that Caroll uses in this poem I have never heared before, but now that I’ve heard them they are stuck and I think they will forever more. I think thats what Caroll was trying to do. The things he says get stuck in your head and they make you think about it. I mean if you are like me those words have been stuck in my head and I just think about them.

  18. Lindsey Marquardt! said,

    I think this poem is reallly good considering all of the funcky words that were used. It is nothing like i have read before which only made me all the more interested. It has a fairytale like concept with a great ending, when the boy finally ends up killing the horrible monster. This poem gave me a new understanding of what “being creative” means. I like how Lewis Carroll was not affraid to make up words to better his writting. I can understand why this piece of writting becam so famous, considering I’m deffinatly a fan :)

    • Kierstennn(: said,

      Me too…I love this poem and can read it over and over again!! I mean I get stumped by not having words that rhyme in poems…so might as well grin and flaggledorf!

  19. Haley Wight! said,

    This poem didn’t really make a lot of sense the first time i read it, so i kept reading it a few more times. Then finally I realized that it was about a man warning a boy to stay away from a certain creature, “The Jabberwocky!” But of course the boy didn’t listen and fought the Jabberwocky. He ended up killing it, and the man who told him to stay away from it, was very happy to find out that some one had actually killed the creature.

    This was really interesting to me because even though the poem is about a boy hacking an animal to pieces, it’s kind of funny. The way the words are used almost makes it seem like a happy poem rather than a horror story.

    • hramage said,

      Good analysis.

    • Maddie said,

      So true!

    • Abby! said,

      Haley, I really agree with you about how the author made the poem seem happy and silly when it’s acually about a kid destroying a monster even though his father advised him not to!

    • Hailee H said,

      I agree with you Haley. The words used most definitely make the story sound happy and cheerful..especially how audrey read it! But in fact its about death and slaying and danger.

      I think it would be okay to rebel…especially if it involves saving a town. The boy was very brave to risk his life to do something good for other people. He didn’t listen to his father and on this occasion I find that okay. He ended up being the hero!

  20. Cassidy Vlasdelicious said,

    When i first read this poem it made absolutley no sense to me. I had to read it a couple of times to really get it. Lewis Carroll’s vocabulary in this poem is very confusing, it’s hard to stay focused at first, just like the Bean Tree’s but once you finally get the meaning of it you can understand it way better.

    The story’s about a boy attempting to fight a monster, his dad told him about the monster and what would happen, when the boy kills the Jabberwocky his father was very blessed and honored that his son killed the monster.

    • Lindsey Marquardt! said,

      I like how you related this poem to The Bean Trees. I couldn’t agree with you more, Cass!

      • Cassidy Vlasdelicious said,

        Thanks Linds :)

  21. Sam Herscovitz said,

    When I first heard this poem in class, I didn’t understand it, I was confused, and felt dumb. After reading it a few times i feel like I get it more. The poem is clearly about a boy who has heard of the horrible monster through his father, the Jabberwocky! His father describes the beast to him, and he finally decides to take his sword, and fight it himself. The boy defeats it, and everyone is happy. I personally think this poem is geniously ridiculous, the made up words make sense, sound right, and work, and the fact that some were made in to actual words is great. Lewis Caroll did a great job while creating it.

    • Sam Margheim said,

      I totally agree with you Sam :D. I like that you said it was ” geniously ridiculous. i love this poem now that i know what it is about. I also LOVE the words that Lewis Caroll made up!!!!!

    • Olivia Cooperrrr:) said,

      I think you did a nice job stating about the poem, I like the way you stated some of your sentences in the response. Good job, Sam.

      • Sam Herscovitz said said said said,

        Thank you Olivia and Sam :)

    • Jenny said,

      I also agree with you Sam. I was hearing the words in class but they just didn’t click until once I was home and read it a few times. It sounds as though the mood should be dark and serious. Instead, it sounds joyful and happy with all of the made up words. I think that was Lewis Caroll intention. To get you to think twice about the whole thing.

      I personally think it is okay to rebel against what somebody says as long as you personally think it is the right thing to do. The boy in the poem realizes that the Jabberwocky is a threat to everyone and decides make everyone safe again. From his father’s stories, he knows how dangerous it will be but he does it anyway.

      After he slays it, the boy’s father is so proud of him. The boy rid of the big beast and everyone is happy and safe again. He turns into a hero because of his bravery.

  22. Hailee H said,

    This poem is hard to understand at first. All of the words Lewis Carrol came up with for this poem amazes me. I guess it is about a boy who kills the Jabberwocky after he is warned about him by his father then ends up killing it and being accepted by him after. I have to say this poem does make me laugh! (:

    • Sam Herscovitz said said said said,

      Hailee I agree with you, this poem was and still is so confusing, but once read verse by verse, and broken down, it is much easier to comprehend. This poem also amazes me and after doing some research, I found out that when he wrote it to show how not to write a poem.

      • Sam Herscovitz said said said said,

        Sorry I messed up and posted this twice.

    • Sam Herscovitz said said said said,

      Hailee I agree with you, this poem was and still is so confusing, but once read verse by verse, and broken down, it is much easier to comprehend. This poem also amazes me and after doing some research, I found out that when he wrote it to show how not to write a poem. But I honestly think that who ever reads this poem must think “what a genius” and look up to it and want to achieve that level of writing. The Jabberwock is a funny poem even though it’s a “scarish” story, but the tone of voice makes it sound playful.

  23. Abby! said,

    At first I was like, “are we all speaking English here???”. But then after I recognized a few of the words, they clicked together and all the crazy words fit in place too! They add character to this whimsical little poem and you can definitely get the meaning of (most) of them just by the way they sound. It helps the whole story flow – I mean hey, if ya have a made up story like Alice in Wonderland, might as well make up a language too!!
    The poem also has two sides to it. It’s very silly and fun, but it’s about a boy who doesn’t listen to his dad and proves himself by killing this… Jabberwocky. It makes you give it a second thought.

    • hramage said,

      Very good.

    • Dustin Vance said,

      I truly beilve in all that abby said. I feel also that Walt Disney took the fun side of the stories for Alice and Wonderland, and Tim Burton took the more dark side of the books. i feel by watching the new movie and Tim Burtons take on the book that Lewis Carrol was trying to prove a very good point that also fits with this poem. What he is trying to prove is that we all have our one life and cand chose our path.

      This fits with the poem perfectly. The boy choose to slay the Jabberwock and rebel against what his dad told him. He could of listned to his dad but he didnt. I honestly cant tell you if rebeliun is good or bad. In this case it was really good and was celabrated because of it. sometimes it might not be so good though. It all depends on what you fell is right or rong.

      I also feel parents are mostly right and you should listen to them. Thats not the case in all senarios.I your parents told you to jump of a bridge would you?

      • hramage said,

        Solid reply and analysis.
        Further food for thought:
        Why do you think Burton chose the dark side? Why did Disney choose the “fun” side? Does it change the message of the work? Which is more successful?

  24. truman said,

    I dont understand this.Maybe if he used english i would get the point?In the sentence,”Twas brillig, and the slithy toves.Did gyre and gimble in the wabe?”,The only english i found was and,the,and in.I would question what substence he was on but i dont think they did anything back then so thats out of the question.I saw some people god an understanding out of this but i didnt.All i noticed was that he killed something.This poem made me wonder if there was a weird slang back then.It did remind me of something dr seuss would write.

    • hramage said,

      So…yeah…just so you know – they’ve been using drugs since Biblical times so that’s always something to take into consideration. Good, honest response though.

      • Caleb Mahon said,

        Yes, both times Louis Carol wrote “Alice in Wonderland” and “Through the Looking Glass” he was using a drug called L.S.D. also known as “Lysergic acid diethylamide” which you can find out more on this link http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/L.S.D.

      • Ejup said,

        Well i cant reply to Caleb so here is my reply:

        @Caleb
        The rumor that he was under the influence of LSD was started by psychiatrists who introduced LCD to the general public. The rumor was spread to make the drug more popular, keep in mind that the LCD was new at this time so it wasnt that popular. Wikipedia isn’t always a reliable source, i got this information from

        http://www.alice-in-wonderland.net/alice11.html#2

    • Shelby Peabody said,

      I agree with what teddy said, it does sound like something Dr. Seuss would say or write depending on the year. I would like to add though, that back in those days, the people talked very much different than we do now. It is mostly due to the fact, (and i know it is very hard to admit this all of you, but face it my dears…), that the American language has gotten very lazy over the years and really, talking doesn’t matter anymore. We care about money and games, and…well, more money.But, back then, talking was more important than it is now. Also, back then, we didn’t have phones, or even any electronics, so talking was really all we had.And to conclude this statement, i would like to say, girls CAN be heroes. It doesn’t matter if you are a girl, boy, women, or man. It doesn’t matter what gender people are, heck, we could be a bird and still be a hero. And also, NO… We do not have to face danger to be a hero. For example, you can talk someone out of committing suicide…Your a hero, did you face danger? Nope. So that’s my analysis.

    • Kierstennn(: said,

      Oh Teddy…(:

    • Ejup said,

      @Teddy
      Yea it does sound like something Dr.Seus would say, they have similiar writing styles.

      I looked it up and it doesnt say he was on drugs when he wrote “Allice in Wonderland”. If it was written while Lewis Caroll was under the influence it wouldn’t have this much meaning. Check out my response to Caleb, i wrote more about it there.

  25. Sophia Hart (: said,

    When I first read this poem, it didn’t make sense at all. After reading it a few times and looking up words that I didn’t understand, it started to make more sense. I love the random, happy words used in this poem. Even though it doesn’t make much sense, I enjoy reading it and learning more and more about it each time.

  26. Johnny Kang said,

    Listening and reading this poem the first time left me REALLY confused because of all the odd and unique vocabulary Carroll uses and how his rhyme REALLY got me thinking “what in the world?” After reading it two more times, I finally understood why the boy would risk his life to kill the jabberwocky. This poem reminded me of Jack in the Beanstalk because he was just a poor boy that wasn’t acknowledged as much, until he killed the giant and was named the hero. Also this poem reminds me of when the “brave” knight go saves their damsel in distress and has to kill the “big” monster in order to be a hero for their damsel in distress. “Jabberwocky” made me have multiple emotions because it was sad how the boy was finally getting noticed by his father, but it also made me happy for the boy that he saved the day. I think what the author is talking about is that if you do one big thing to everyone, you would most likely get noticed and known for what you do.

    • hramage said,

      Good analysis. What if the hero turns out to be a girl? In this case Alice?

      • Kierstennn(: said,

        Then she will totally kick it’s butt with her awesome girl power!!! ;)

    • Kristen Hansen said,

      Johnny-
      I agree with the sentence: “Jabberwocky made me have multiple emotions because it was sad how the boy was finally getting noticed by his father, but it also made me happy for the boy that he saved the day”.
      I think this poem is also symbolizing a boys struggle to be independent and earn his fathers respect. He took his fathers warning of the Jabberwocky as a challenge to earn his fathers attention. i think, in the end that his fathers attention meant more to the boy then his victory in slaying the Jabberwocky.
      Another opinion of mine that I discovered from reading this poem is that it isn’t bad to rebel…as long as your intentions are good.

      • hramage said,

        Interesting analysis, especially the comparison of getting a father’s attention and the victory of slaying the Jabberwocky.

  27. MaKayla said,

    The first time I read this poem, I was so confused. Then, I started to get it. It’s about a boy going to slay a monster (the jabberwock) with the vorpal blade. And will he is battling he remembers what his father has told him. Most of the words didnt make sense to me at first, and some still dont. :)

    • Danny Romjue said,

      I agree 100% MaKayla it uses very old books literature like a lot of old stories that Disney happened to turn into fairy tales , one example is Pinokio the original story was a very complicated verse and as well was very violent and hard to understand in comparison to Walt Disney’s Pinokio which was a very gentle kids book. As well none of the words make sense, and to most people the words never will make sense.

  28. Alix Raya said,

    I have to admit when this was first read to us out loud i was totally confused. but now that i got to sit down and look at each sentence carfully i really started to understand it. this is an amazing poem that must have taken great thought by Lewis Carroll to get this poem how it is now. this poem really got me in deep thought about words because the words really confused me. but eventually i was able to see the story behind them! It is about a boy who is going out to slay the jabberwocky and his father is warning him about the great dangers about the jabberwocky like his teeth and claws!! but finally he slays the jabberwocky and he comes home with the head and his father is so proud of him! i cant help but smile when i read this poem because the words used in it really interest me!

    • Haley Wight! said,

      Alix,
      I agree with you totally with the part about smiling when reading this. Even though its a story telling us about a boy that is murdering and slaughtering a creature, the words just lighten up the mood. I find it weird that we all think it is a funny story. But that’s probably what Lewis Carrol wants us to think about the story. To make us think twice about what is actually going on.

      I personally think that Lewis Carrol is trying to tell us that kids will rebel when they really want something, even if their parents tell them not to do something. I’m not sure if that’s a bad thing about children. I mean depending on what your parents tell you what to do. I understand that the boy in the poem shouldn’t have gone and fought the Jabberwocky, because it was very dangerous and too violent for a child to be dealing with. But when the boy came back home to his father, the father was happy. I find that very hypocritical. Especially for a parent. One of the main rules that my mom told me about being a parent is that when you say something to your child, you have to stick with it. If you don’t, they will grow up and think if they keep nagging you, you will eventually say, “Okay, go ahead!”

      I think the boy was very heroic when killing the Jabberwocky. It takes great courage to face a man eating animal like that. But to be a hero, you don’t have to come to violence like that. Well depending on the situation. If you do a good deed for a community, or a certain person, or even something, I consider you a hero.

      • Lindsey Marquardt! said,

        Haley, I like the way you described a hero. You said that you don’t have to be violent to be a hero, and I totally agree with you on that.
        It seems that in stories, the heros are usually the characters that sleigh the dragon. When in fact that would never happen in real life. For one, there are no such thing as dragons. And two, heros don’t ever get that much credit. If you think about it, when someone helps an elderly person across the street, do they get to be on the news for it?
        Or if a leadership calss picks up trash along the highway, do they expect for everyone to know about the good deed they have done?
        A hero is someone that does good things because they can. They don’t expect to get in the paper or money for their hard work. Gradad I know that sometimes people do get onT.V. for helping out, but that wasn’t the reason they did it. That to me is a true hero.
        Even though the boy in the poem did a good thing by killing the jabberwocky, did he do the right thing?

  29. Charlie said,

    I was so confused just like everyone else. I literally had to read it ten times for it to finally make sense! The whole poem is pretty much an example of onomatopoeia. It is telling a story with lots of wacky, made up words that echo the actions and emotions of the characters, and successfully describe the setting. It’s about a king that has been trying since he was a little boy to slay the Jaberwocky, but never was successful. He encourages his son to try to complete the task he had to face before. The son goes out into the forest, with his sword in hand, and waits for the beast. The Jaberwocky comes out of hiding making monster noises. The boy fights him off and finally slays the beast. He rides back on his horse, with the Jaberwocky’s head in his hand, and is triumphantly congratulated by his father.

    • Johnny Kang said,

      What I think about what you said Charlie really made sense because it is like the father is trying to use his son to fulfill his dream to defeat the Jabberwocky. The message is that you should despise all of the warnings(even if you die, you would’ve died in honor trying.) that you heard and just do what you really want. Sometimes, it is okay to rebel and that we shouldn’t always have to do what an adult says because you would never know what kind of task or challenge that you are going to face and what you would get in award. This may sound negative, but the part about how you said that the father is encouraging his son to kill the Jabberwocky isn’t what i had in mind because it sounds like that the father is trying to tell his son to do it for him(plus we don’t know if the son likes doing dangerous tasks anyway). Other than that, I think how you actually put the poem in a story version is good(I probably wouldn’t even think about doing that) and it makes it easier to understand it better. By the way, I think that girls can be hero’s because there’s not much of an difference between guys and girls and that sometimes girls can be stronger than guys. Even if men thinks that girls are weak and pathetic, girls are basically smarter(no offense to the us guys) and would actually think of an strategy(not like guys because we might just go to the monster and try to kill it without thinking).

  30. Morgan MacInnis said,

    Well this story was very confusing and had me quite frustrated by the sixth time reading it, but it suddenly made sense to me! The way Carroll used such creativity and put such a happy and joyful image into your head about something that is so frightful, is spectacular! The poem is about a boy who disregards what his father told him about staying away from the “Jabberwocky” and proves himself by slaying it. But the poem also makes you question your thinking,” And, has thou slain the Jabberwock?” Then goes on to talk about how proud his father is of him for slaying the awful creature, but has he truly slayed the Jabberwock….

    • Sammie Hendrickson said,

      Morgan, I agree with the frustration of understanding because I had the same problem. I probably read it 15 times before beginning to understand it. I love how you pointed out the happy image in your head out of something frightful. That kind of writing is hard to find, and greatly appreciated. His writing does remind me a lot of Dr. Seuss and his creative writing.

  31. Paige Wheeler said,

    Upon reading this poem I was amazed. Then I wanted to know where this inspired piece of work came from. I thought at first, Shakespeare, it has to be him. However, I was surprised to find that it was an original work from Lewis Carroll. It is about a boy who is warned by his father about the Jabberwock. The boy is not worried but he still makes sure to take thought into this Jabberwock. He ends up slaying the Jabberwock and he brings it home to his delighted father. There is a huge celebration and he is thought of as a hero. This poem makes me feel triumphant and I Iove how it sounds.

    • Caleb Mahon said,

      That’s what i thought to when i first read it a few years ago but, it was actually him on a mixture of drugs plus he lived in a forest and wrote about what everything looked like to him. But still Shakespeare is a great writer. I don’t get how he made the characters but, this story is very intricately planned out especially for someone whose mind isn’t exactly straight. Anyway. Paige pretty much said it all but, in my opinion the child was probably trying to get his fathers attention by doing an amazing feat that was said to be impossible. to man. It was right for him to break the rules because, if he hadn’t his life would be boring with his dad ordering him around and not caring about his only son.So by writing this “tragedy” for kids he was trying to come across that if you are alone and “weak” than try to be “heard” to become more.

      • hramage said,

        Solid.

  32. Emily said,

    Personally, I think this world is just so enjoyable when you make up words! That’s one of the things I love about this poem; the author made up words but they went with the story. In fact, the silly words were giving a description of the character and their personality and lets you get an idea of how they talk. I feel like the way this poem was written, let’s you in and you can feel a connection with the narrator. The way the father was giving advice to his son and really sharing his wisdom makes you think that the connection between the two of them gave the boy enough courage to sleigh the dreaded Jabberwocky. Even though this poem had to be read several times, I loved it!

    • Morgan said,

      I thought the same thing as you, Emily. The words really do give you a feeling of the narrator and how it was written and the time. You can really connect with the characters and really get into it. I really do enjoy all of the words that were made up but they really complete the story. I feel like in this particular story, yes, he should have diobeyed his father and defeated the Jabberwocky. I like how the words are fun and exuberant but the story itself was dark and the new Alice in Wonderland is a good representation of the darker side of the story.

      • hramage said,

        Why is it okay in this case and not others? Also why didn’t the father step up and fight the jabberwocky himself? How do you know when it is “okay” to disobey your parents?

      • rachel14mayes said,

        You guys are both spot on! Except I must say that I feel like the son should have disobeyed his father and NOT sleighed the Jabberwocky. For the most part it is the right thing to do to listen to what your elders tell you. But sometimes the adult figures in your life can be bad influences for a number of reasons. It is sad but some people need to understand that the adults don’t always have the right answer.

      • Shea said,

        i think your right about the new Alice in wonder land, how its like a darker version of the story. i think Lewis Carroll was right to have the son in the story disobey his father because some one needed to slay the beast but no one had the courage. the boy may have done the right thing for the wrong reasons but at least he did something. most people let opportunities pass them by but the little boy didn’t.

  33. Danny Romjue said,

    At the first glance this poem is very confusing, but after reading a couple more times you can follow the story like a book. It’s just a mythical story about a knight like person fighting a monster and winning. It tells a very good story and is very old fashion in the way it is written.

    • Eisha said,

      Danny, i like how you said you can follow this poem like a book, because its completely true. Lewis Carroll did a fantastic job at being able to have such a cooky poem also translate into such a great story. When you said you thought of a knight it occured to me that i never thought that and perhaps this boy later on becomes a knight or perhaps had always wanted to be one so he went after the Jabberwock. I think it very odd how Walt Disney made his point of veiw of this poem so happy and light, and as you said this one is writtien very old fasioned and i think its also quite dark. Its tragic and exciting at the same time…which i think Lewis had planned…i think it was meant to give us mixed emotions.

  34. Sam Margheim said,

    When i first read this poem it made no sense. I read it a second time and came to conclusion that people have to overcome challenges in life. As in the boy slaying the Jabberwocky. I also think that it means to overcome your fears. In the poem the fear is the Jabberwocky, and the boy slaying the Jabberwocky with his vorpal blade means that the boy overcame his fear.

  35. Morgan said,

    This poem absolutely made sense too me the first time I heard it. I knew that it was talking about the Jabberwocky was being sleighed by the Vorpal sword. The words in this poem amaze too think that he just made some of them up and yet it is a famous poem that so many people know. I enjoy reading this poem and it made the new Alice in Wonderland movie a fantastic movie.

  36. Dustin Vance said,

    I<3 Alice and Wonderland

  37. Madison said,

    My original responce to this poem made me laugh because it reminded me of something that my brother would say. For as long as I can remember my brother has always came up with his own way of saying things, often times using words that aren’t real. (:

  38. Kierstennn(: said,

    *Like I said earlier, Lewis Carroll created this poem to amuse his family and friends. It was based on the legend of the Lambton Worm and yadda yadda yadda….(:

    Lewis Carroll was obviously fighting the English language with this poem, but maybe there was something more? Possibly, he had issues with his father when he was a mere boy. Now I’m saying exactly, but there may be a slight chance that Lewis’ father told him he was unable to do something and thus, Lewis probably ran off and did it anyway. And this poem may being a sign of Carroll trying to show his father that he was WRONG (the worst thing a man could hear).

    The purpose of this poem was, now I’m going on a limb here, but maybe Lewis Carroll just wanted to make new words up because nothing rhymes with outgrabe. Haha, my spell checker even says outgrabe isn’t a word! I don’t know about you, but this man might just be reporting his “visions” from his “Happy Place.” I must say, this poem (and his book) are a joy to read and fun to say aloud! I can’t believe I’m saying this, but…”THANK GOODNESS LEWIS CARROLL TOOK A…..A…..TRIP?!” I don’t what this world would be like without the Mad Hatter or Red Queen? Okay…maybe we could live without the Red Queen, but I cannot live without the March Hare! Always throwing things at people…awww…it’s like we truly connect! Haha, just kidding.

    So…..the child rebelled against his father? Huh? Well, it was a good thing he rebelled or else the Jabberwocky would nom, nom, nom all over the town, and that would not be pleasant. Is it okay to rebel? You see, it truly depends on the thing you’re rebelling against. If it was something like, “Don’t eat for a week.” Then heck yeah, I would rebel! But, if it was something like…oh I don’t know…slay a Jabberwocky, then I would not rebel. But, the kid did and we can’t do anything about that. The same goes for society. If it’s dumb, then yeah…but, if it’s reasonable, then no. It is certainly okay to take risks with your life, because if you don’t you won’t accomplish the impossible.You always know when to obey adults when they put your precious items (cell phone, TV, video games, etc.) on the line. Because, you don’t want to lose those!!

    –“…frumious Bandersnatch.”

  39. rachel14mayes said,

    Okay I just read this through a couple times and its starting to make sense. This is actually pretty depressing when you think about it. This boys father sort of tricked his son into doing his dirty work for him. And since he’s still just a young boy I don’t think he fully understands this fact. Actually there is no way he understands that his father has another agenda because he is focusing on gaining his approval and praise. HE did succeed but what would have happened if he hadn’t?

    • Abby! said,

      Rachel, I like how you mentioned what would have happened if he hadn’t managed to slay the Jabberwocky. When he came back to his father, everyone was like, “ok yay! he slayed the Jabberwocky!!” His father didn’t really give a second thought about how the son risked his life and disobeyed him. Would he still have been considered a hero if he hadn’t of succeeded??

      • Morgan MacInnis said,

        Very good point Rachel. His father did trick him into doing it for him, and made his son feel good about doing something behind his back. I think he still would have been considered a hero even if he didn’t slay the Jabberwocky.I think this because a hero isn’t someone who always succeeds. It’s the fact that he would risk his life for the people around him, that makes him the hero.

  40. truman said,

    you guys are blowing my mind right now.i dont know how to do annalysis really.ill just answer a couple questins she wrote on the board.
    i think the the author was trying to say that its good to stand up to chalanges because you never know if you can over come them.he just just put it in the way of a little kid killing a giant monster.which is only possible if the kid was roiding and hit when he was born.
    i think the authors purpose was to be inspirational to people who have things to big things to do.

  41. Shelby Peabody said,

    i agree with teddy but also, the kid doesn’t have to be a superhero . you could be surprised what kids can do. it doesn’t really matter what size or age you are. i also agree with morgan on her statement.i think its good that his dad tricked him so that he would feel good about himself. but also it is kind of bad because his dad is risking his own sons life. what kind of dad would do that? i mean, yeah he succeeded in the task but still. what if he didnt succeed? how would his dad feel? obviously very stupid for trying to make him do that? Anyway, i agree with truman in the sense of why the author wrote this, partially, but i think the author also wrote this because it describes the kind of stuff that fathers would do back then. they would just risk anybody elses lives so they didnt have to do the dirty work. WRONG!

    I dont know if it was a very good thing to rebel though. what if he rebelled, and say…died. then his dad could be really sad to lose his son, but also be mad that he rebelled. curiouser and curiouser.

  42. anonymous...;) said,

    tee hee…what is this? language arts???

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