Study Guide

Jabberwocky Stanza 7

By Lewis Carroll

Stanza 7

Lines 25-28

'Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
Did gyre and gimble in the wabe;
All mimsy were the borogoves,
And the mome raths outgrabe

  • We've seen this before: it's the exact same difficult, whimsical stanza as the first. What's the poem doing, putting this stanza in here twice?
  • We aren't going to explain the vocab here, so feel free to check out the first stanza if you need a quick refresher.
  • Here we're interested in what's happened in between these "book-end" stanzas.
  • Well, at first it would seem that everything after this incident returns back to normal. The stanza repeating itself would indicate that all the creatures who were presumably disturbed by the Jabberwock go back to doing whatever it was they were doing before.
  • This sounds peaceful, but what about the Jubjub bird and the Bandersnatch?
  • Oh yes, this is not a done deal. Though the repetition of the first stanza would seem to indicate that all thing in Wonderland have gone back to the way they were before the Jabberwock came into the picture, the hero has not vanquished all foes.
  • Thus, the possibility for further evil, and further battle, remains in the ending pastoral scene.
  • This slight opening of the ending makes the poem more interesting, we think, because of the way that it mimics life.
  • It's almost as if the message is: good can triumph, but it's never an absolute. Appearances can be deceiving. Don't let your guard down. Especially not in Wonderland.