Jabberwocky Criticism

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"Jabberwocky," the central poem in Through the Looking-Glass, is typically categorized as a non-sense poem. It has, however, been taken seriously by writers, as well as by scholars of literature, logic, and language. For example, the portmanteaus in "Jabberwocky" are a primary element of composition adopted by the Irish writer James Joyce for his modernist novel Finnegans Wake. Indeed, Martin Gardner draws a compelling parallel between the poem and the abstraction of the modernist painting of Picasso; however, his conclusion that Carroll is concerned with the sound of words over the sense of words indicates a lighthearted play that many logicians and linguists would deny. What Patricia Meyer Spacks says about the seriousness of Through the Looking-Glass is typically categorized as a nonsense poem. It is specifically true of "Jabberwocky": that Carroll's singular gift is the ease with which he conceals the significance of the logic of his...

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This section contains 507 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Jabberwocky Study Guide
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Poetry for Students
Jabberwocky from Poetry for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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