Jabberwocky inspiration

Alice through the Looking Glass

The themes and settings of Through the Looking-Glass make it a kind of mirror image of Wonderland: the first book begins outdoors, in the warm month of May (4 May),[a] uses frequent changes in size as a plot device, and draws on the imagery of playing cards; the second opens indoors on a snowy, wintry night exactly six months later, on 4 November (the day before Guy Fawkes Night),[b] uses frequent changes in time and spatial directions as a plot device, and draws on the imagery of chess. In it, there are many mirror themes, including opposites, time running backwards, and so on.

The White Queen offers to hire Alice as her lady’s maid and to pay her “Twopence a week, and jam every other day.” Alice says that she doesn’t want any jam today, and the Queen tells her: “You couldn’t have it if you did want it. The rule is, jam tomorrow and jam yesterday—but never jam to-day.” This is a reference to the rule in Latin that the word iam or jam meaning now in the sense of already or at that time cannot be used to describe now in the present, which is nunc in Latin. Jam is therefore never available today.[2]

Chess[edit]

Lewis Carroll’s diagram of the story as a chess game

Whereas the first book has the deck of playing cards as a theme, Through the Looking-Glass is based on a game of chess, played on a giant chessboard with fields for squares. Most of the main characters are represented by a chess piece, with Alice being a pawn.

The looking-glass world is divided into sections by brooks or streams, with the crossing of each brook usually signifying a change in the scene, and corresponding to Alice advancing by one square. Furthermore, since the brook-crossings do not always correspond to the beginning and ends of chapters, most editions of the book visually represent the crossings by breaking the text with several lines of asterisks ( * * * ). The sequence of moves (white and red) is not always followed. The most extensive treatment of the chess motif in Carroll’s novel is provided in Glen Downey‘s The Truth About Pawn Promotion: The Development of the Chess Motif in Victorian Fiction.

https://en.wikisource.org/wiki/Jabberwocky

John Tenniel’s original 1871 illustration of the Jabberwock

Jabberwocky Themes

© 2019 Shmoop University.

Violence

The climax of “Jabberwocky” is violent indeed – a hallmark of the “epic ballad” form, of which this poem is a tiny sample. The warnings in the second stanza of the poem set up the danger, which is quickly followed up by the protagonist heading directly off to rid the forest of the wild and unseemly creatures that are described. Not only does the hero vanquish the most fearsome of his foes, but he also beheads him, dragging the bloody thing back in order to prove his might to his father. The violence here plays to our desire for good to stomp evil right into the ground.

In “Jabberwocky,” the violent dismembering of the Jabberwock is representative of a human desire to annihilate that which threatens us.

The battle in “Jabberwocky” is crucial in placing this poem among older, “epic” poems that typically glorify violent encounters.

  1. Do you think that “Jabberwocky” is too violent to be called a “children’s poem”?
  2. Why do you think that the battle, even though it’s the climax of the action, only takes up two lines of the poem?
  3. Do you think that this poem glorify things like hunting?
  4. Can you envision an “epic adventure” that isn’t violent? Why do the two so often go together?

In keeping with the “epic” scope of the poem, our protagonist’s journey is no walk in the park. In order to triumph, he must first persevere. This theme is related to the theme of “Men and Masculinity” – it almost seems as if the protagonist has something to prove, as he hears his father’s warnings and promptly goes out to find and vanquish the badness that lurks beyond. He seeks and seeks, and though we don’t have a sense of the temporal element of the his journey (after all, we only get 28 lines), our hero’s determination pays off. He’s rewarded, as one might expect, with a joyous homecoming.

Perseverance

Perseverance In keeping with the “epic” scope of the poem, our protagonist’s journey is no walk in the park. In order to triumph, he must first persevere.

  1. Why do you think the protagonist is determined to find the Jabberwock, even after being told to “beware” by his father?
  2. Do you think that there is a larger message about perseverance in “Jabberwocky”?
  3. Does determination always lead to success? What is the definition of success, anyway? Simply triumph?
  4. How does the long struggle fit into the overall action curve of the poem? How does it affect the reader?

The implication of a long search in “Jabberwocky” adds authenticity, even through the nonsense, to both the story and the protagonist.

The narrative in the poem is too compressed to give the reader a sense that the protagonist goes through any real struggle to find his adversary.

Good vs Evil

In “Jabberwocky,” “Good vs. Evil” is linked with the theme of “Violence.” When good (our hero) and evil (the Jabberwock) meet in this story, violence ensues. “Jabberwocky” pits the individual (one lone man) against a mythical beast. Since this beast doesn’t exist in our world, it becomes something bigger, a kind of metaphor for Evil with a capital E. If it were simply human vs. human – say, white knight vs. black knight – you could draw the same conclusions, but perhaps the outcome would be less surprising. One small man triumphing over a big huge beast is an order of magnitude unto itself.

  1. How do you feel about the scene that opens the poem? Do you think that it’s an unequivocally peaceful scene, or is there uneasiness there?
  2. Beyond the “beware,” what indicators do we have that the Jabberwock is bad news? Why are those indicators threatening?
  3. Why do we root for the human, and against the beast?
  4. Collectively, what form does evil take in the narrative (we’re not only talking about the Jabberwock here)?

We fear, and often label as “evil,” that with which we are unfamiliar.

Evil in “Jabberwocky” takes the form of a beast because it makes evil seem alien and inhuman.

Men and Masculinity

Carroll first published a bit of “Jabberwocky” as a kind of satire of Anglo-Saxon verse, which might well be the “manliest” poetry there is (in addition to being the earliest in English). Think Beowulf: a man goes out to fight a monster. While it’s more complicated than that, Beowulf set the tone for centuries to come, and Carroll knew it. “Jabberwocky” is all about conquest, which has traditionally been considered the domain of the masculine. The fact that the protagonist, after hearing the dire warnings given him by his father, picks up his sword and heads out into the woods anyway, is one of those brave-but-maybe-unreasonable things that heroes tend to do in adventure tales. “Jabberwocky” is no exception.

  1. Why do you think it is that men are typically associated with killing things with swords?
  2. Couldn’t the hero of “Jabberwocky” have been female?
  3. How does this poem construct “the man” as a whole?
  4. What are some other ways to define masculinity that are perhaps less violent? Can you find any instances of this in the poem?

The protagonist in the poem is stereotypically masculine.

The heroic figure in “Jabberwocky” – male and nearly foolhardy – is in keeping with the adventure epics after which the poem is modeled.

Man and the Natural World

“Man and the Natural World” might be the most interesting theme in the whole poem, because it’s the one theme in which we can bring in the goofy language. How, you ask? Well, the “natural world” that Carroll creates certainly doesn’t seem to have anything to do with the “natural world” that we inhabit, yet there are many similarities between the world of the Jubjub bird and the world of the ordinary owl. Carroll’s positioning of hero vs. beast is essentially the age-old story of Man vs. Nature. While the theme “Good vs. Evil” also figures into “Jabberwocky,” the Evil in this case is basically Stuff We Are Afraid Of In the Woods. Even the first peaceful stanza is full of unknowable, strange creatures doing unknowable, strange things. And they get significantly less peaceful when they return in the second stanza, because not all the evil has been banished.

  1. How does the nonsense-verse impact your sense of the “natural” in this poem?
  2. Is the outside (i.e., non-human) world in this poem a friendly place? Why or why not?
  3. From beginning to end, how does “Jabberwocky” construct nature?
  4. How is Wonderland similar to our land?

“Jabberwocky” is an example of man’s desire to conquer nature.

The fantastic setting of the poem exploits both our fear of, and curiosity about, the unknown natural world.

Jabberwocky inspiration orig

Alice through the Looking Glass

The themes and settings of Through the Looking-Glass make it a kind of mirror image of Wonderland: the first book begins outdoors, in the warm month of May (4 May),[a] uses frequent changes in size as a plot device, and draws on the imagery of playing cards; the second opens indoors on a snowy, wintry night exactly six months later, on 4 November (the day before Guy Fawkes Night),[b] uses frequent changes in time and spatial directions as a plot device, and draws on the imagery of chess. In it, there are many mirror themes, including opposites, time running backwards, and so on.

The White Queen offers to hire Alice as her lady’s maid and to pay her “Twopence a week, and jam every other day.” Alice says that she doesn’t want any jam today, and the Queen tells her: “You couldn’t have it if you did want it. The rule is, jam tomorrow and jam yesterday—but never jam to-day.” This is a reference to the rule in Latin that the word iam or jam meaning now in the sense of already or at that time cannot be used to describe now in the present, which is nunc in Latin. Jam is therefore never available today.[2]

Chess[edit]

Whereas the first book has the deck of playing cards as a theme, Through the Looking-Glass is based on a game of chess, played on a giant chessboard with fields for squares. Most of the main characters are represented by a chess piece, with Alice being a pawn.

The looking-glass world is divided into sections by brooks or streams, with the crossing of each brook usually signifying a change in the scene, and corresponding to Alice advancing by one square. Furthermore, since the brook-crossings do not always correspond to the beginning and ends of chapters, most editions of the book visually represent the crossings by breaking the text with several lines of asterisks ( * * * ). The sequence of moves (white and red) is not always followed. The most extensive treatment of the chess motif in Carroll’s novel is provided in Glen Downey‘s The Truth About Pawn Promotion: The Development of the Chess Motif in Victorian Fiction.

https://en.wikisource.org/wiki/Jabberwocky

John Tenniel’s original 1871 illustration of the Jabberwock

https://en.wikisource.org/wiki/Jabberwocky

Jabberwocky Themes

© 2019 Shmoop University. All Rights Reserved. We speak student®

Violence

The climax of “Jabberwocky” is violent indeed – a hallmark of the “epic ballad” form, of which this poem is a tiny sample. The warnings in the second stanza of the poem set up the danger, which is quickly followed up by the protagonist heading directly off to rid the forest of the wild and unseemly creatures that are described. Not only does the hero vanquish the most fearsome of his foes, but he also beheads him, dragging the bloody thing back in order to prove his might to his father. The violence here plays to our desire for good to stomp evil right into the ground.

In “Jabberwocky,” the violent dismembering of the Jabberwock is representative of a human desire to annihilate that which threatens us.

The battle in “Jabberwocky” is crucial in placing this poem among older, “epic” poems that typically glorify violent encounters.

  1. Do you think that “Jabberwocky” is too violent to be called a “children’s poem”?
  2. Why do you think that the battle, even though it’s the climax of the action, only takes up two lines of the poem?
  3. Do you think that this poem glorify things like hunting?
  4. Can you envision an “epic adventure” that isn’t violent? Why do the two so often go together?

In keeping with the “epic” scope of the poem, our protagonist’s journey is no walk in the park. In order to triumph, he must first persevere. This theme is related to the theme of “Men and Masculinity” – it almost seems as if the protagonist has something to prove, as he hears his father’s warnings and promptly goes out to find and vanquish the badness that lurks beyond. He seeks and seeks, and though we don’t have a sense of the temporal element of the his journey (after all, we only get 28 lines), our hero’s determination pays off. He’s rewarded, as one might expect, with a joyous homecoming.

Perseverance

Perseverance In keeping with the “epic” scope of the poem, our protagonist’s journey is no walk in the park. In order to triumph, he must first persevere.

  1. Why do you think the protagonist is determined to find the Jabberwock, even after being told to “beware” by his father?
  2. Do you think that there is a larger message about perseverance in “Jabberwocky”?
  3. Does determination always lead to success? What is the definition of success, anyway? Simply triumph?
  4. How does the long struggle fit into the overall action curve of the poem? How does it affect the reader?

The implication of a long search in “Jabberwocky” adds authenticity, even through the nonsense, to both the story and the protagonist.

The narrative in the poem is too compressed to give the reader a sense that the protagonist goes through any real struggle to find his adversary.

Men and Masculinity Carroll first published a bit of “Jabberwocky” as a kind of satire of Anglo-Saxon verse, which might well be the “manliest” poetry there is (in addition to being the earliest in English). Think Beo…

Good vs Evil

In “Jabberwocky,” “Good vs. Evil” is linked with the theme of “Violence.” When good (our hero) and evil (the Jabberwock) meet in this story, violence ensues. “Jabberwocky” pits the individual (one lone man) against a mythical beast. Since this beast doesn’t exist in our world, it becomes something bigger, a kind of metaphor for Evil with a capital E. If it were simply human vs. human – say, white knight vs. black knight – you could draw the same conclusions, but perhaps the outcome would be less surprising. One small man triumphing over a big huge beast is an order of magnitude unto itself.

  1. How do you feel about the scene that opens the poem? Do you think that it’s an unequivocally peaceful scene, or is there uneasiness there?
  2. Beyond the “beware,” what indicators do we have that the Jabberwock is bad news? Why are those indicators threatening?
  3. Why do we root for the human, and against the beast?
  4. Collectively, what form does evil take in the narrative (we’re not only talking about the Jabberwock here)?

We fear, and often label as “evil,” that with which we are unfamiliar.

Evil in “Jabberwocky” takes the form of a beast because it makes evil seem alien and inhuman.

Men and Masculinity

Carroll first published a bit of “Jabberwocky” as a kind of satire of Anglo-Saxon verse, which might well be the “manliest” poetry there is (in addition to being the earliest in English). Think Beowulf: a man goes out to fight a monster. While it’s more complicated than that, Beowulf set the tone for centuries to come, and Carroll knew it. “Jabberwocky” is all about conquest, which has traditionally been considered the domain of the masculine. The fact that the protagonist, after hearing the dire warnings given him by his father, picks up his sword and heads out into the woods anyway, is one of those brave-but-maybe-unreasonable things that heroes tend to do in adventure tales. “Jabberwocky” is no exception.

  1. Why do you think it is that men are typically associated with killing things with swords?
  2. Couldn’t the hero of “Jabberwocky” have been female?
  3. How does this poem construct “the man” as a whole?
  4. What are some other ways to define masculinity that are perhaps less violent? Can you find any instances of this in the poem?

The protagonist in the poem is stereotypically masculine.

The heroic figure in “Jabberwocky” – male and nearly foolhardy – is in keeping with the adventure epics after which the poem is modeled.

Man and the Natural World

“Man and the Natural World” might be the most interesting theme in the whole poem, because it’s the one theme in which we can bring in the goofy language. How, you ask? Well, the “natural world” that Carroll creates certainly doesn’t seem to have anything to do with the “natural world” that we inhabit, yet there are many similarities between the world of the Jubjub bird and the world of the ordinary owl. Carroll’s positioning of hero vs. beast is essentially the age-old story of Man vs. Nature. While the theme “Good vs. Evil” also figures into “Jabberwocky,” the Evil in this case is basically Stuff We Are Afraid Of In the Woods. Even the first peaceful stanza is full of unknowable, strange creatures doing unknowable, strange things. And they get significantly less peaceful when they return in the second stanza, because not all the evil has been banished.

  1. How does the nonsense-verse impact your sense of the “natural” in this poem?
  2. Is the outside (i.e., non-human) world in this poem a friendly place? Why or why not?
  3. From beginning to end, how does “Jabberwocky” construct nature?
  4. How is Wonderland similar to our land?

“Jabberwocky” is an example of man’s desire to conquer nature.

The fantastic setting of the poem exploits both our fear of, and curiosity about, the unknown natural world.

Photolithography

Using drawings and tusche on mylar as the plate

Preparing photographs

All digital images or photographs need to be converted to greyscale and printed in black ink only onto transparent film using an inkjet or laser printer. If an image contains greys it is better to darken them as they are likely to overexpose and not show up in the print.

  • Image sizes:Image resolution: 300ppi.
  • Plate sizes: A3 37x45cms allow 6cms border so height 39cms and constrain proportions. A4: 38×25.3cms

Use CMYK? 8bit. Convert to bitmap. Output 700dpi. Method Halftone screen OK. Frequency 47 lines/inch, angle 30 degrees, Shape round.

Shutterstock

Inspect all images at 100% resolution

1) For Commercial Stock: trademark issues (send as editorial)

  • no brand names
  • no IPP
  • keywords should not contain trademarks
  • no isolated pictures of single buildings and avoid landmark modern buildings

2) Noise

  • filmgrain
  • compression artefacts
  • posterisation
  • check skies and shadows

3) Composition/Concept

  • what is concept? what could it be used for?
  • arrangement not optimal. leading lines, rule of thirds. use in-camera grid
  • distracting elements
  • horizon line crooked
  • negative space so customers can insert text
  • shoot from different angles

4) Focus

  • Focus a bit too soft. try single and continuous focus
  • Camera shake: stabilise yourself against a tree, elbows in and don’t breathe
  • avoid zoom lens or move closer

5) Exposure

  • under or over-exposed – use histogram and correct
  • not good lighting
  • avoid midday, ‘golden hours’ 1 hour before or after sun

If rejected

  • look at on-line resources
  • use critique section on forums
  • sometimes they do make an error
  • make correction and re-submit

Sketchbook practice

Draw, draw, draw 

Draw or paint anything you see: trees, flowers, a bicycle, a sheep, a dustbin, a cup and saucer, the texture of old stonework, a group of figures at a bus stop, waves breaking on a beach, shadow patterns in a sun-lit room. 

  • Draw something for a second or third time, perhaps in a different medium. 
  • Draw the same objects or figure from a different viewpoint. Draw unusual views. 
  • Draw the mundane: your favourite drink, your bed, your toothbrush. 
  • Draw people. Anyone is fair game. Draw your friends, your family, your pets. Don’t worry if they move, you’ll get better at drawing them the more you practice. 
  • Vary the size of your sketchbook work, do magnified views of things. 
  • Sketch details that catch your eye. 
  • Draw other people’s work. Go to an art gallery and sketch a picture you find interesting. Note the colours, the composition, the style and the techniques. 
  • Draw a day in your life, turn it into a cartoon in windows. 
  • Planning the design and composition for a project in your sketchbook. 
  • Draw your sense of excitement, your sad feelings. 
  • Draw your dreams, your nightmares. 
  • Capture a thought or an image from your memory before it is lost. 
  • Make a doodle of a flower, a heart, or a squiggle. 
  • Use watercolours to add some colour to the stark white pages for variety. Add colour to some drawings later on. 
  • Drag a light layer of acrylic paint across the page before or after drawing on it. 
  • Glue a background of sheet music, wrapping paper, tissue paper, sweet wrapper or text to the page. 
  • Look up, look round, stay where you are, just draw! 

Draw anything and everything. The more you draw the better you will be. 

Make thumbnail sketches 

Thumbnail sketches are quick, abbreviated drawings in any medium. It’s helpful to draw up some boxes in your sketchbook to prepare for thumbnail work, just a few centimetres square. Thumbnails are good memory aids and planning tools too, excellent for gallery visits to remember key aspects of an artwork. You can also plan compositions by trying out different versions in quick thumbnails. Use thumbnails to plan colour schemes, just mark different combinations in each box. Don’t forget that it is often useful to make notes alongside thumbnail sketches to help illuminate them, especially when you look back at the work a few months later. 

Practice 

Use your sketchbook to try out different drawing techniques. Do negative space exercises in your sketchbook, do a ‘blind’ contour drawing (drawing your hand (for example) from memory without lifting your pencil from the paper). Do some 30second rapid sketches. 

Collect and glue 

Collect pictures and drawings from magazines and marketing materials that inspire you. Photocopy photographs and drawings in library books or periodicals. Paste these into your sketchbook. Keep things that remind you of places, people, atmospheres and feelings: a piece of fabric, a leaf, a bus ticket, a bill. Secure them in your sketchbook along with small sketches and notes. 

Muse 

You should carry your sketchbook around with you all the time, it is your home for personal musings. It is a refuge to draw meditatively with or without particular purpose. It is a place for spontaneity as well as for thoughts and work that take some considerable time. 

Exercise: Pick some reference material to draw from, perhaps a single photograph with a figure and

some other details. It could be a photograph you’ve taken or one you’ve found.

Draw what’s in the photograph – the figure, their expression, their clothes, the setting. Try and record all the information from the photograph in your drawing.

Now, draw it a second time but do it quicker. Pick out the important elements in the image and focus your drawing on these. Leave out the information that is less important.

Put the original photograph away and draw it again, this time from memory and with reference to your other drawings.

Finally, draw it again, this time with no reference material at all.