The Walrus And The Carpenter | Lewis Carroll

Summary: The Walrus And The Carpenter by Lewis Carroll is a poem about a walrus and a carpenter who trick young oysters into being eaten after a "walk" on a shoreline


Walrus - The carpenter's friend that does much of the talking and convincing to get the young oysters to follow them on the shore and get eaten

Carpenter - The walrus' friend who at the end shows a bit of eagernessin the eating session of the young oysters

Eldest Oyster - Wisely does not leave the oyster-bed

Young Oysters - "Eager" to "walk" on the shore with the walrus and the carpenter which ultimately leads to their doom

Stanza 1:

  • Even though it was the "middle of the night" the sun was shining the very best that it could
  • The sun trying to shine at night was "odd"

Stanza 2:

  • The moon was sad that the sun was present for the moon thought that he shouldn't be there
  • The moon thought the sun was "rude" and was "spoiling" the fun

Stanza 3:

  • The author tells us that "the sea was wet as wet could be" and that the sands on the shore were "dry"
  • The sky was clear even of birds and clouds

Stanza 4:

  • As the walrus and the carpenter walked on the shore they "wept" for the quantity of sand and wished for it to be "cleared away"

Stanza 5:

  • The walrus asked if "seven maids with seven mops" swept all the sand for six months that it would be cleared
  • The carpenter did not think so while he "shed a bitter tear"

Stanza 6:

  • The walrus begs the oysters to come with the walrus and the carpenter on a walk on the "briny beach"
  • The walrus tries to convince the oysters by telling them that they would have a "pleasant" walk and talk
  • One per had the walrus told the oysters

Stanza 7:

  • The eldest oyster was too wise to leave the oyster-bed
  • The eldest oyster told the walrus that he would not go, not with words, but with a shake of his head and a wink of his eye

Stanza 8:

  • Four young oyster "hurried" to go on the walk
  • The four young oysters tidied themselves up including their shoes even though they had no feet

Stanza 9:

  • At first four more oysters came to follow on the walk
  • Then many oysters joined them on the walk, "scrambling to the shore"

Stanza 10:

  • The walrus and the carpenter walked about a mile and rested on a low rock
  • The oysters "waited in a row"

Stanza 11:

  • The walrus told the oysters that it was time to talk about "things"
  • Among the things that the walrus told them it was time to talk about it was "cabbages", "kings" and "whether pigs have wings"

Stanza 12:

  • The oysters thanked the carpenter for giving them a chance to rest for the oysters were all "fat"

Stanza 13:

  • The walrus told the oysters it was time to "feed" with the assistance of pepper, vinegar and "'a loaf of bread'"

Stanza 14:

  • The walrus asked the oysters if they "admired the view" as the oysters turned "blue"
  • The oysters could not believe after "such kindness" that the walrus would eat them but the walrus just said that "the night is fine"

Stanza 15:

  • The walrus thanks the oysters for coming and said they were "nice"
  • The carpenter asked the walrus to cut them more bread and scolded the walrus for having to be told twice to do so

Stanza 16:

  • The walrus was apologetic that the walrus and the carpenter had brought the oysters so far for a "trick"
  • The carpenter just complained that there was too much butter on the bread

Stanza 17:

  • The walrus cried into his "pocket-handkerchief" while sorting the oysters by the "largest size"
  • The walrus told the oysters that he sympathized with them

Stanza 18:

  • The carpenter ends the poem by asking the oysters if they had a "pleasant run"
  • There are no more oysters to talk to because the walrus and the carpenter had eaten them all

Other Notes:

  • This seems to be a humorous poem of the survival of the wisest and least gullible
  • This seems to be a bit of a warning too to youth to think about what they're doing before they go and do it because often youth think wrecklessly
  • Lewis Carroll also wrote Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass
  • In Lewis Carroll's work, he brings out his creative imagination very skillfully with much want for the audience to enjoy

© 2009 copyright The Walrus And The Carpenter | Lewis Carroll