"Jabberwocky" by Lewis Carroll Poem Summary

"Jabberwocky" by Lewis Carroll Poem Summary

"Jabberwocky" is a nonsense poem written by Lewis Carroll and published in his 1871 novel, "Through the Looking-Glass, and What Alice Found There." The poem is known for its playful and inventive use of language, with many of its words being nonsensical or made-up. 

"Jabberwocky" by Lewis Carroll Poem Summary-Although it may seem chaotic and nonsensical at first, "Jabberwocky" follows a narrative structure and tells the story of a young hero's quest to slay a fearsome creature called the Jabberwock.

"Jabberwocky" by Lewis Carroll Poem Summary

The poem begins with the introduction of the protagonist, a young boy who embarks on a dangerous journey into the realm of the Jabberwock. The first part sets the tone by describing the "vorpal sword" that the boy wields. 

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"Jabberwocky" by Lewis Carroll Poem Summary-The word "vorpal" itself is nonsensical but carries a sense of danger and power. Armed with this weapon, the boy sets off to find the creature.

As the boy continues his journey, the second part introduces the reader to the bizarre and imaginative world of the poem. Carroll's mastery of wordplay is evident as he creates words like "tulgey" and "uffish" to describe the surroundings. These nonsensical words evoke a sense of unfamiliarity and otherworldliness, adding to the dreamlike atmosphere of the poem.

In the third part, the boy encounters the "Jabberwock" itself. Carroll describes the creature as "eyes of flame" and "jaws that bite." The Jabberwock is depicted as a fearsome and monstrous entity, inspiring both terror and awe in the reader. 

"Jabberwocky" by Lewis Carroll Poem Summary-The boy must summon all his courage and skill to face this formidable adversary.

In the fourth part, the tension reaches its peak as the boy engages in a fierce battle with the Jabberwock. The poem takes on a rhythmic and chant-like quality, emphasizing the intensity of the fight. Carroll's use of nonsensical words and onomatopoeia, such as "snicker-snack" and "whiffling," adds to the chaotic and energetic nature of the combat.

"Jabberwocky" by Lewis Carroll Poem Summary-In the final part, the boy emerges victorious, having slain the Jabberwock. He returns triumphantly to his father, who welcomes him back with joy and pride. The father celebrates his son's bravery and success, and the poem ends on a note of triumph and accomplishment.

Despite its nonsensical language, "Jabberwocky" is not devoid of meaning. Carroll's use of invented words and playful language serves a purpose beyond mere entertainment. The poem showcases the power of language itself and the ability of words to create vivid and imaginative worlds. It demonstrates that even without traditional meaning, words can still convey emotion, atmosphere, and narrative.

"Jabberwocky" also highlights the theme of heroism and the transformative power of facing one's fears. The young protagonist embarks on a perilous quest and overcomes a formidable opponent, symbolizing the journey from innocence to courage. The poem suggests that in the face of adversity, one must muster the strength to confront the unknown and emerge victorious.

"Jabberwocky" by Lewis Carroll Poem Summary-Carroll's whimsical and inventive style in "Jabberwocky" has made it a beloved and enduring piece of literature. It has captured the imaginations of readers for generations, inspiring countless adaptations, interpretations, and analyses. The poem's nonsense language and fantastical elements invite readers to engage their own creativity and embrace the joy of linguistic play.

Jabberwocky Poem

’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 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.


"Jabberwocky" is a captivating and enduring piece of literature that showcases Lewis Carroll's mastery of language and his ability to create imaginative worlds. Despite its nonsensical and made-up words, the poem follows a clear narrative structure and explores themes of heroism and the transformative power of facing one's fears.

"Jabberwocky" by Lewis Carroll Poem Summary-Carroll's playful and inventive use of language in "Jabberwocky" demonstrates the power of words to convey emotion, atmosphere, and narrative, even when their traditional meanings are absent. The poem invites readers to engage their own creativity and embrace the joy of linguistic play.

"Jabberwocky" by Lewis Carroll Poem Summary-"Jabberwocky" has left a lasting impact on literature and popular culture, inspiring numerous adaptations, interpretations, and analyses. Its whimsical style and imaginative storytelling continue to captivate readers of all ages, highlighting the timeless appeal of Carroll's work.

"Jabberwocky" by Lewis Carroll Poem Summary-Ultimately, "Jabberwocky" serves as a testament to the boundless possibilities of language and the importance of embracing creativity and imagination. It reminds us of the joy and wonder that can be found in exploring the unfamiliar and venturing into the realm of the unknown.


Q: Who wrote "Jabberwocky"?

A: "Jabberwocky" was written by Lewis Carroll, the pen name of Charles Lutwidge Dodgson. He was an English writer and mathematician, best known for his Alice books, which include "Alice's Adventures in Wonderland" and "Through the Looking-Glass."

Q: When was "Jabberwocky" written?

A: "Jabberwocky" was written in 1871 and was published as part of Carroll's novel "Through the Looking-Glass, and What Alice Found There."

Q: What is the meaning of "Jabberwocky"?

A: "Jabberwocky" is known for its nonsensical language and the use of invented words. While the individual words do not have specific meanings, the poem as a whole tells a story of a heroic quest and embodies the power of imagination and storytelling.

Q: Why did Lewis Carroll write "Jabberwocky"?

A: Lewis Carroll was known for his fondness for wordplay and nonsense literature. He wrote "Jabberwocky" as a playful exploration of language, embracing the joy of inventing words and creating an imaginative world through poetry.


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