Upon reading the first stanza of Lewis Carroll’s poem “Jabberwocky”, a reader may note his use of nonsense words and dismiss the poem as one intended for a child. This poem, however, brings to life a heroic tale influenced by each individual reader's imagination, cultivating a customized experience with each interpretation. Through close reading and examination, a more critical poetic rule-follower, may be subdued with the proper form of this poem’s structure and Carroll’s use of many literary elements such as diction and allusion. The advantage he gives the poem's tone is influenced by his visual and auditory imagery. His use of rhyme and rhythm, figures of speech, as well as his manipulation of denotation/connotation both strengthens his words and helps Carroll to put forth the message of his poem.
Throughout “Jabberwocky” Lewis Carroll used closed form narrative, adhering to the prescribed rhyme scheme and line length structure normally associated with a literary ballad. The seven quatrains, composed of three lines of iambic tetrameter and a final line of iambic trimeter, mirror the chaos of his inventive words, leaving the reader a little off balance. The prosody of the poem provides momentum to the reader through consistently recurring rising meter, reinforcing the theme: journey. Of the seven stanzas, four use common meter, noted by the abab rhyming scheme, and three are ballad stanzas using the abcb rhyming scheme with an internal rhyme on the c line. At the conclusion of the poem a refrain of the first stan