Bandersnatch

From Academic Kids

For other uses, see Bandersnatch (disambiguation).

The Bandersnatch is a fictional creature mentioned in Lewis Carroll's poem Jabberwocky. The form or size of the creature is not described. Nor is it clear whether the Bandersnatch is a singularity, like the Phoenix.

The only description given of it is that the hero should "shun the frumious Bandersnatch." Other advice given to the beamish hero proving quite accurate, one must dismiss the possibility that the speaker within the poem was uninformed about the Bandersnatch, which, however, does not actually make an appearance in "Jabberwocky". Thus it is clear that the Bandersnatch is not of a size or character to be embraced. Elsewhere in Through the Looking-Glass, however, it is implied (but not stated) that a Bandersnatch is quick-moving, and that there may be more than one of it: "She runs so fearfully quick. You might as well try to catch a Bandersnatch!"

It is not stated whether there are non-frumious Bandersnatches, or whether these can be approached safely, merely that the hero of the poem must shun a Bandersnatch that is frumious. At the same time, it may be that 'frumious' is not a merely descriptive adjective, but a definitive one, describing the essential quality of the Bandersnatch. 'Frumious' is a portmanteau word combining 'furious' and 'fuming'.

Fortunately, Carroll's The Hunting of the Snark (Fit the Seventh) settles some of these questions: in an encounter with a bandersnatch it is described as moving swiftly, having a neck it can extend, and having snapping, frumious jaws, with which it tries to grab the Banker.

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