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by Lewis Carroll

Jabberwocky Good vs. Evil Quotes

How we cite our quotes: (line) or, if referencing Looking Glass, (page)

Quote #4

And, as in uffish thought he stood,
The Jabberwock, with eyes of flame,
Came whiffling through the tulgey wood,
And burbled as it came! (13-16)

This is the bit in the poem where the good and the evil actually come into real contact. Up until this point it's been mostly setup. We've gotten the idea that the Jabberwock is up to no good, and we've gotten the idea that therefore, the protagonist taking up his sword must be championing for the good guys. We're still unsure, a little, about that first stanza, but it makes us uneasy. And now here comes the creature itself, crashing through the woods as our hero stands there in thought. "In thought" is an important phrase here with regard to the distinction between good and evil. The hero standing there in thought is in direct opposition to the Jabberwock. There's a hierarchy here of beings: those that think, and those that don't. The fact that the protagonist is standing "in thought" as the beast approaches just further differentiates hero from enemy.

Quote #5

"And hast thou slain the Jabberwock?
Come to my arms, my beamish boy!
O frabjous day! Callooh! Callay!"
He chortled in his joy. (21-24)

We've been picking apart what distinguishes the good from the bad in this poem, and here's the strange but perhaps most important scene: that of joy. The father is simply elated that his son has returned triumphant, and there's a warm, familial sense to the whole scene. We get the distinct feeling that all is safe now, at least in this human setting. (See the theme "Man and the Natural World" for some possible evidence to the contrary.)

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