I have an assigment in English Lit involving two poems:
Jabberwocky by Lewis Carrol and The Children’s Hour by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
We are supposed to analyze and comment on the importance of these works on the nature of childhood, adolescence, and/or adulthood. All the while using scholary historical refferences. Further, include how these works are enduring today.
For background information on Jabberwocky, have a look at that indispensable guide, The Annotated Alice by Martin Gardner. (The 2000 revision is the most complete). Lotsa entries on Jabberwocky, although I don’t know if any of them will help with the theme of your assignment.
Just remember, at the time Jabberwocky was put into its final form the British were just beginning to expand agressively in India. This may help put some of the imagery into perspective.
And of course, “The Children’s Hour” was written during the very tense build-up to the American Civil War, and is quite subversive if one recognizes what our modern-day pundits call “dog-whistles” to those who aligned with Longfellow’s politics.
Jabberwocky is a favorite of mine. When my daughter was little I would recite it to her, she seemed calmed by the rhyme and rhythm.
Also, there is a great piece of music (the Wonderland Duets, by Raymond Luedeke) for two tubas and narrator. This four movement work has poems from Alice in Wonderland. It is just a great piece of music, Jabberwocky is the last movement; that piece is a terrific end to any recital.