Lerntippsammlung Headergrafik


Analysis of Poem "Lewis Carroll - Jabberwocky" - Referat

Lewis Carroll - JABBERWOCKY

1) About the Author

Lewis Carrol (Charles Lutwidge Dodgson)

Born: 27 January in Daresbury, Cheshire, England
Death: 14 January 1898
British author, mathematician and photographer.
Famous writings: Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and its sequel Through the Looking-Glass, as well as the comic poem The Hunting of the Snark.
His facility at word play, logic and fantasy has delighted audiences ranging from the most naive to the most sophisticated.
His works have remained popular since they were published.
They influenced children's literature, but also a number of major 20th century writers.

1.2) Content and message

The poem “Jabberwocky” by Lewis Carroll was published in 1855 in a comic-magazine. It tells the story a fantasy-story about a boy, who went into the forest to find the green pigs, that ran away from home. Before, his father advised him to beware of the Jabberwocky and other frightening creatures, but all of a sudden the boy stood in front of the beast and killed it honorable. Back home he arrived as a hero with the Jabberwocky-head in his back.

The use of own-invented-words creates a humorous atmosphere which reminds of a typical fairytale.
Maybe the author wrote this poem in a none-sense way to enlarge or inspire the usual poem styles. Obviously Carroll plays a lot with language. Most noticeable are the strange words which are of Carroll's own invention.
Concerning a topic or a didactic purpose, there are no clear aspects that can be recognized.

2) Analysis

The poem is particularly interesting because although it contains many nonsensical words, the structure is perfectly consistent with classic English poetry.
With regard to the fact that it is a telling story, it can be classified as a ballad. The sentence structure is accurate and the rhyme scheme is regularly cross rhyme (a,b,a,b). Moreover this poem contains seven four-lined stanzas. The first one is repeated at the end. This stanza is like a description of the surrounding area, but it is hard to understand because of the numerous use of own-invented words.

The story is told by a narrator, but in the second and sixth
stanza the narration is interrupted by a literal speech by the father. This intensifies the tension and the threat by the Jabberwocky.

Concerning the metaphors, many people discussed in the internet about the meaning of various words. For example the “Tumtum tree” where the boy arrested just about to attack the monster, could also be turned around, so it becomes the Mutmut tree, that made him strong. (Like the German “Mut”)

2.2) Vocabulary + Invented Words

First, I have to say that the translation of nonsense poems is very complex, because when there are no explicit meanings they can't be translated. Another difficulty is the feeling that the author creates, it would not be the same if it is translated into another language.

Another interesting feature to look more closely at is the combination of two existing words. Carroll merged for example “miserable” with “flimsy” and created the new word “mimsy”.

A try to translate the first stanza:

It was afternoon, and the slimy lizard-badger-corkscrew-creature
Spinned round and made holes into the grassy-border of a sundial
All skinny were the sleazy birds,
And the green pigs had lost their way in the mist

=> conclusion: it doesn't make more sense than before

Quellen: wikipedia.de, diverse Foren
Dieses Referat wurde eingesandt vom User: Kimera

Kommentare zum Referat Analysis of Poem "Lewis Carroll - Jabberwocky":