The Walrus and the Carpenter Summary Notes

The Walrus and the Carpenter About the Author

Lewis Carroll was the pseudonym of Charles Lutwidge Dodgson (1832-1898). He was an English novelist, mathematician, logician, poet, photographer and teacher. He is remembered for his two novels for children – Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and its sequel Through the Looking – Glass. Many of the characters from the novels have become iconic. He was also noted for his facility at word play, logic, and fantasy.

‘The Walrus and the Carpenter’ is a narrative poem, a bizarre animal fable famous for the themes of death and betrayal. This poem speaks about a Walrus and a Carpenter who trick innocent young Oysters and eat them after a walk on the seashore. The themes of cunningness, trickery and selfishness in human nature are strewn across the poem. There is clear illustration of the hypocrisy of those in power who talk a good show about caring for those in need, then preying on them (their money, or their emotions, …etc.). At the deeper level, the poem has the gleaning of postcolonial interpretation as well.

The Walrus and the Carpenter Summary

“The Walrus and the Carpenter” first appeared in 1871, in Lewis Carroll’s fictional story “Through the looking Glass”, the sequel of ‘Alice in Wonderland’. The poem is recited by Twiddledee, one of the two fat little men, Tweedledom and Tweedledee, whom Alice, encounters as she is seeking the way out of the forest of confusion through which she has been wandering.

Inside ‘Through the Looking Glass’, ‘The Walrus and the Carpenter’ reflects the world that Alice has entered when she went through the looking glass to the other side of it, where everything is perversely inverted, accounting for what seems to be the nonsense of the poem.

‘The Walrus and the Carpenter’ is an unusual animal feble, offering a moral warning against following tempting strangers. The poem is suggestive of something being expressed symbolically where each element of the poem is undefined and can be interpretive as one pleases. Charles Lutwidge Dodgson whose pet name was Lewis Caroll, a mathematician by profession was devoted to literature.

“The sun was shining on the sea,
Shining with all his might:
He did his very best to make
The billows smooth and bright
And this was odd, because it was
The middle of the night.”

Though the poem ‘The Walrus and the Carpenter’ is nonsensical it is extremely lyrical. The poem suggests deception and betrayal. Lewis Caroll begins the poem with a paradox, by presenting a peculiar imagery of the sun shining with all his might in the middle of the night. The bright sun had calmed the breeze and hence the sea was calm. It is strange that the sun is shining brightly in the night. Now, if the sun is shining, how can it be night?

“The moon was shining sulkily,
Because she thought the sun
Had got no business to be there
After the day was done
“It’s very rude of him,” she said,
“To come and spoil the fun!”

The second stanza presents a conflicting seenario. The sui and the moon shine at the same time. The moon is ‘shining sulkily’. The moon is annoyed because she thought that the sun had got no business to be there in the middle of the night, long after the end of the day. She felt that it was very rude of the sun to come and spoil the fun. The sun does not belong to the night. The night is the domain of the moon. Thus the sun is encroaching the moon’s right to shine brightly in the night.

“The sea was wet as wet could be,
The sands were dry as dry.
You could not see a cloud because No cloud was in the sky:
No birds were flying overhead
There were no birds to fly.”

In this stanza Caroll describes, the surrounding in which the poem is set. The poem is set on a beach. ‘The sea was wet as wet could be’, the predominant characteristic of the sea is its wetness and the predominant characteristic of the sand on the beach is its dryness.

The sky was cloudless. And there is no need to explain why the sky was cloudless. It was because of the simple reason that there were no clouds in the sky. Similarly there were no birds flying overhead for the simple reason that there were no birds at all, probably because it was the middle of the night. Stanza 1 and 2 suggest that the poet has depicted an imaginary world which is not similar to the natural world.

“The Walrus and the Carpenter
Were walking close at hand:
They wept like anything to see
Such quantities of sand:
“If this were only cleared away,”
They said, “it would be grand!”

In these lines the main characters of the poem the Walrus and the Carpenter are introduced. They are seen walking hand in hand on the beach full of dry sand. Here the poet gives us a hint of some unholy nexus between the two. The Walrus being a sea creature and the Carpenter being a land creature. Oddly they are seen crying uncontrollably over the large quantities of sand lying all over the beach. They think that the beach ‘would be grand’ if all the sand was cleared away. Now a beach without sand is an unimaginable sight.

“If seven maids with seven mops Swept it for half a year,
Do you suppose,” the Walrus said,
“That they could get it clear?”
“I doubt it,” said the Carpenter,
And shed a bitter tear.”

In these lines the Walrus reflects on the futility of the exersise in clearing all the sand off the beach. He asks the Carpenter, if seven maids with seven mops (oddly not brooms) swept the beach for six months, could they clear all the sand? Hie Carpenter replies that he doubts it can be cleared and sheds a bitter tear. The reader can imagine how absurd it is to think of clearing all the sand on the beach. This sets the pitch for what would happen afterwards. It suggests that their motives are deceptive and their intentions dark.

“O Oysters, come and walk with us! ”
The Walrus did beseech.
“A pleasant walk, a pleasant talk,
Along the briny beach:
We cannot do with more than four,
To give a hand to each.”

Here the attention is drawn away from the beach towards the sea. The Walrus suddenly stops talking about clearing the sand from the beach. He addresses the Oysters lying on the Oyster bed and pleads them to come with them for a pleasant walk on the briny (salty) beach. So they could also have a pleasant talk. The Walrus entices the Oysters saying that only four Oysters can come along with them because he and the Carpenter joinly have only four hands and hence they can only hold four Oysters by their hands.

“The eldest Oyster looked at hiiti,
But never a word he said;
The eldest Oyster winked his eye,
And shook his heavy head
Meaning to say he did not choose
To leave the oyster-bed.”

An elderly oyster looked at the Walrus with disinterest and never said a word. He winked his eye knowingly and shook his head. It suggested that he did not wish to leave the oyster bed. Maybe he was wise enough to know that he would be gobbled up by the Walrus or he was old and weary and did wish to strain himself.

“But four young Oysters hurried up,
All eager for the treat:
Their coats were brushed, their faces washed,
Their shoes were clean and neat- And this was odd, because, you know,
They hadn’t any feet.”

The poem gets more and more nonsensical. We see that four young oysters are enticed by the Walrus’s plea and leave their bed in the sea to join the Walrus and the Carpenter eager to take a walk on the beach. The oysters are surprisingly given human characteristics with clean feces and are described as wearing clean and neat shoes and wearing coats, even though it is an established fact that Oysters do not have feet. It indicates trickery on the part of the Walrus and the Carpenter.

“Four other Oysters followed them,
And yet another four;
And thick and fast they came at last,
And more and more and more- All hopping through the frothy waves,
And scrambling to the shore.”

As soon as they saw the first four oyster’s go on to the beach, four more follow them and many such groups of four oysters followed them one after another; hopping through the frothy sea waves and scrambling to the shore. It suggests a herd mentality when one does something the others also do the samething.

“The Walrus and the Carpenter Walked on a mile or so,
And then they rested on a rock Conveniently low:
And all the little Oysters stood And waited in a row.”

The walrus and the Carpenter walk along the beach, with two oysters holding their hands each. After they walked for a mile they stopped for a rest. They perched themselves on a rock ‘Conveniently low’. We do not know why the poet is suggesting that the Walrus and the Carpenter have choosen a low rock to rest. The gullible little oysters are found standing in a row waiting with great anticipation.

“The time has come,” the Walrus said,
“To talk of many things:
Of shoes – and ships – and sealing – wax
Of cabbages – and kings
And why the sea is boiling hot
And whether pigs have wings.”

Here the Walrus the addresses then expectant oysters, and tells them that the time has come to discuss numerous things, such as of shoes, ships, sealing-wax, cabbages and kings and why the sea is boiling hot or to ponder whether pigs have wings. It suggests the Walrus’s attempt to browbeat the oyster’s and fill them into a false sense of security, and diverting their awareness of the impending danger at the hands of the Walrus and the Carpenter.

“But wait a nit,” the Oysters cried,
“Before we have our chat;
For some of us are out of breath,
And ah of us are fat!”
“No hurry!” said the Carpenter.
They thanked him much for that.”

The excited Oysters plead the Walrus to wait for sometime before begining the discussion. They reasoned that they had walked for a mile and being fat they need to catch their breath The Carpenter who hadn’t said a word until then tells them that there isn’t any urgency to conduct the debate and that they could rest for a while. The oyster’s thank him for holding the debate until after. They were gullible enough to not realize that they had be tricked.

“A loaf of bread,” the Walrus said,
“Is what we chiefly need:
Pepper and vineger besides
Are very good indeed
Now, if you’re ready, Oysters dear,
We can begin to feed.”

Here the Walrus reveals their real intention ofinviting the Oysters for a walk on the beach. Their thought suddenly changes to what kind of food they would like to have. The Walrus declares the they mainly need bread and when pepper and vinegar is added the meal would be very tasty. Without revealing their intention to eat the oysters also, the Walrus deceptivly asks them if they can begin to feed.

“But not on us!” the Oysters cried,
Turning a little blue.
“After such kindness, that would be A dismal thing to do!”
“The night is fine,” the Walrus said,
“Do you admire the view?”

The gullible Oysters are now dismayed, realizing with helpless shock that they would be devoured soon, by their cunning hosts. They protest saying that it was disgraceful to eat them after being treated with such kindness until then. The Walrus ignores their plea and simply says that the night is fine and asked them if they admired the view.

“It was so kind of you to come!
And you are very nice!”
The Carpenter said nothing but “Cut us another slice.
I wish you were not quite so deaf- I’ve had to ask you twice!”

The Walrus then graciously thanks the Oysters for coming along with them and complements them for being so accommodating. The Carpenter ungratefully indifferent and uncaring ignores being thankful to them but rudely hurries the Walrus to cut them another slice of bread. He accuses the Walrus of being deaf for he had to ask him twice for another slice of bread. In this stanza we notice that the Carpenter has assumed the role of the leader. The role of the Walrus is sidelined to that of a mere helping hand in preparing the meal.

“It seems a shame,” the Walrus said,
“To play them such a trick.
After we’ve brought them out so far,
And made them trot so quick! ”
The Carpenter said nothing but “The butter’s spread too thick!”

Strangely, the Walrus seems apologetic of the oysters. He expresses his regret for playing such a trick on them and for having them out so far in such a hurry. The Carpenter is unmoved, unsympathetic andun-regretful. He just responds saying the butter is spread too thickly on the slices of bread.

“I weep for you,” the Walrus said:
“I deeply sympathize.”
With sobs and tears he sorted out Those of the largest size,
Holding his pocket-handkerchief Before his streaming eyes.”

The Walrus continues his dramatic yet false expression of sympathy for the oysters. Even though he seems to be crying uncontrollably he consciously separates large Oysters from the smaller ones. He is seen wiping his streaming eyes with a handkerchief.

“O Oysters,” said the Carpenter,
“You’ve had a pleasant run!
Shall we be trotting home again?”
But answer came there none- And this was scarcely odd, because They’d eaten everyone.”

Here we see the carpenter addressing the oysters. He expresses his insincere sympathy for his victims, after having made a sumptuous meal of them. With false sentimentality he asks the oysters if they had a pleasant run and if they want to trot back home. But the oysters did not reply. The poet-speaker now intervenes pointing out that the situation was not odd or strange, because ironically there was no answer for all the oysters had been devoured by the Walrus and the Carpenter. The poem is about enticement, deception and betrayal.

The Walrus and the Carpenter Glossary

  • Might: Power or Strength
  • Billows: A poetic word for wave
  • Odd: Strange
  • Sulkily: Not happy about something
  • Shed a bitter tear: Cry sadly
  • Oysters: A shellfish, some oysters produce precious jewels (pearls)
  • Beseech: Ask very strongly
  • Briny: Full of salt
  • Scrambling: To move quickly
  • Sealing-wax: Is a kind of oil used to protect wood
  • Dismal: Bad and sad
  • Streaming: Wet with tears
  • Trot: To walk quickly or run
  • Scarcely odd: Not strange

The Walrus and the Carpenter Questions and Answers

Question 1.
Where is the poem set?
Answer:
The poem is set on a sandy beach beside a bring sea.

Question 2.
Why is the moon angry at the sun?
Answer:
The moon is angry because the sun is blazing at midnight. She feels that the sun has encroached upon her domain, because the sun has got bo business to be there at night. She is angry that he has mdly come to spoil the fun.

Question 3.
How can the sand removed from the beach according to Walrus and the Carpenter?
Answer:
On seeing so much sand on the beach the Walrus asks the Carpenter, if seven maids with seven mops swept the beach for half a year, does he think that the sand can be cleard. The Carpenter replies that he doubts it.

Question 4.
What treat does the Walrus offer the Oysters?
Answer:
The Walrus offers the Oysters a pleasant walk and talk along the briny beach.

Question 5.
What does the Walrus represent?
Answer:
The Walrus represent a predator.

Question 6.
Why did the eldest Oyster wink?
Answer:
The eldest Oyster winked because he is wise enough to know the Walrus’s intention and did not care if the Walrus gobbled up the young Oysters and he did not choose to leave the Oyster bed.

Question 7.
What are the topics the Walrus wanted to talk about?
Answer:
The Walrus wanted to talk about inane and unexciting topics such as about shoes, ships sealing wax and why the sea is boiling hot or wheather pigs have wings.

Question 8.
“I weep for you” says the Walrus. What is the tone of the speaker?
Answer:
False sympthy for the Oysters.

Question 9.
What is the moral of the poem?
Answer:
The Moral of the Story is that we should be wary of hypocrites and should not believe everything they say.

II. Answer the Following Questions in About a Page Each:

Question 1.
How does the element of fantasy depicted at the begin-ning of the poem, lead to the victimization of the Oysters?
Answer:
At the beginning of the poem the poet gives the imagery of a fantastical world. The sun is shining brightly over a calm sea in the middle of the night. Surprisingly moon is also shining and she is angry with the sun encroaching on her domain. The sea is wet and the sand on the beach is dry. We see an unlikely friendship between a Walrus and a Carpenter.

They are seen walking together hand in hand on the sandy beach beside the calm sea. There is a unholy nexus between the two. Oddly they are seen crying uncontrollably over the large quality of sand lying on the beach and the Walrus wants the clear the beach of all the sand. A beach without sand is unimaginable. The reader can imagine how absurd it is to think of clearing all the sand on the beach. This sets the pitch for what would happen afterwards. It suggests their motives are desceptive and their intentions dark.

Suddenly their motives and intentions become clear when their entice the sea Oysters for a pleasant walk on the beach and to talk ofthis and that. The unsuspecting and unassuming Oysters join them for a walk. Interesting the Oysters are dressed in coats and their faces are clean. They also happen to be wearing shoes, which is quite unbelieveble as Oysters do not have legs and their shells are coated in slime.

After a mile or so, the Walrus calls for rest. He declares that they will talk about innocus things such as shoes, ships, sealing wax, cabbages, kings etc. When the Walrus reveals that he and Carpenter chiefly need bread, pepper and vineger, we come to know of their deception. In the end, the Walrus and the Carpenter – gobble up all the oysters along with the bread. We can also note that they have the courtesy to thank the Oysters, but oddly none of the Oysters were alive to accept their gratitude.

Question 2.
Describe the game plan of the Walrus and the carpenter to succeed in their mission?
Answer:
At the beginning of the poem the poet gives the imagery of a fantastical world. The sun is shining brightly over a calm sea in the middle of the night. Surprisingly moon is also shining and she is angry with the sun encroaching on her domain. The sea is wet and the sand on the beach is dry. We see an unlikely friendship between a Walrus and a Carpenter. They are seen walking together hand in hand on the sandy beach beside the calm sea.

There is a unholy nexus between the two oddly they are seen crying uncontrollably over the large quality of sand lying on the beach and the Walrus wants the clear the beach of all the sand. Abeach without sand is unimaginable. The reader can imagine how absurd it is to think of clearing all the sand on the beach. This sets the pitch for what would happen afterwards. It suggests their motives are desceptive and their intentions dark.

Suddenly their motives and intentions become clear when their entice the sea Oysters for a pleasant walk on the beach and to talk of this and that. The unsuspecting and unassuming Oysters join them for a walk. Interesting the Oysters are dressed in coats and their faces are clean. They also happen to be wearing shoes, which is quite unbelieveble as Oysters do not have legs and their shells are coated in slime.

After a mile or so, the Walrus calls for rest. He declares that they will talk about innocus things such as shoes, ships, sealing wax, cabbages, kings etc. When the Walrus reveals that he and Carpenter chiefly need bread, pepper and vineger, we come to know of their deception. In the end, the Walrus and the Carpenter gobble up all the oysters along with the bread. We can also note that they have the courtesy to thank the Oysters, but oddly none of the Oysters were alive to accept their gratitude.

Question 3.
Bring out the contrast between the young Oyster and the old Oyster?
Answer:
The Walrus invites the sea Oysters for a pleasant walk on the beach. An elderly oyster looked at the Walrus with disinterest and never said a word. He winked his eye knowingly and shook his head. It suggested that he did not wish to leave the oyster bed. Maybe he was wise enough to know that he would be gobbled up by the Walrus or he was old and weary and did wish to strain himself. The poem gets more and more nonsensical.

We see that four young oysters are enticed by the Walrus’s plea and leave their bed in the sea to join the Walrus and the Carpenter eager to take a walk on the beach. The oysters are surprisingly given human characteristics with clean feces and are described as wearing clean and neht shoes and wearing coats, even though it an established fact that Oysters do not have feet. It indicates trickery on the part of the Walrus and the carpenter.

As soon as they saw the first four oyster’s go on to the beach, four more follow them and many such groups of four oysters followed them one after another; hopping through the frothy sea waves and scrambling to the shore. It suggests a herd mentality when one does something the others also do the samething.

Question 4.
The excitement of the victims is j uxtaposed with the cold deception of the carpenter? Discuss?
Answer:
The walrus and the Carpenter walk along the beach, with two oysters holding their hands each. After they walked for a mile they stopped for a rest. They perched themselves on a rock ‘conveniently low’. We do not know why the poet is suggesting that the Walrus and the Carpenter have choosen a low rock to rest. The gullible little oysters are found standing in a row waiting with great anticipation.

Here the Walrus the addresses the expectant oysters, and tells them that the time has come to discuss a numerous things, such as of shoes, ships, sealing-wax, cabbages and kings and why the sea is boiling hot or to ponder whether pigs have wings. It suggests the Walrus’s attempt to browbeat the oyster’s and fill them into a false sense of security, and diverting their awareness of the impending danger at the hands of the Walrus and the Carpenter.

The excited Oysters plead the Walrus to wait for sometime before begining the discussion. They reasoned that they had walked for a mile and being fat they need to catch their breath. The Carpenter who hadn’t said a word until then tells them that there isn’t any urgency to conduct the debate and that they could rest for a while. The oyster’s thank him for holding the debate until after. They were gullible enough to not realize that they had be tricked.

Here the Walrus reveals their real intention of inviting the Oysters for a walk on the beach. Their thought suddenly changes to what kind of food they would like to have. The Walrus declares the they mainly need bread, and when pepper and vinegar is added, the meal would be very tasty. Without revealing their intention to eat the oysters also, the Walrus deceptivly asks them if they can begin to feed.

The gullible Oysters are how dismayed, realizing with helpless shock that they would be devoured soon, by their cunning hosts. They protest saying that it was disgraceful to eat them after being treated with such kindness until then. The Walrus ignores their plea and sitnply says that the night is fine and asked them if they admired the view.

Question 5.
The Carpenter responded “No hurry” when the Oysters asked for a break before the talk. What caused the change in urgency?
Answer:
The Oysters join the Walrus and the Carpenter for a pleasant walk on the beach. After a mile or so they take a break and decided to talk about this and that. The Oyster plead the Walrus to wait as they need to catch their breath. They reasoned that they had walked for a mile and being fat they were out of breath. The carpenter argrees to give them time to rest. The carpenter was in a great hurry to eat the Oysters before they realized that they had been tricked.

Question 6.
What realization dawns upon the Oysters? What strategy does the Walrus adopt to allay their fears?
Answer:
The Oysters join the Walrus and the Carpenter for a pleasant walk on the beach. After a mile or so they take a break and de¬cided to talk about this ap^that. The Oyster plead the Walrus to wait as they need to catoktfceir breath. They reasoned that they had walked for a mile an$tyeing fat they were out of breath. The carpenter argrees to give them time to rest. The carpenter was in a great hurry to eat the Oysters before they realized that they had been tricked.

Here the Walrus erveals their real intention of inviting the Oysters for a walk on the beach. Their thought suddenly changes to what kind of food they would like to have. The Walrus declares the they mainly need bread when pepper and vinegar is then added the meal would be very tasty. Without revealing their intention to eat the oysters also, the Walrus deceptivly asks them if they can begin to feed.

The gullible Oysters are now dismayed, realizing with helpless shock that they would be devoured soon, by their cunning hosts. They protest saying that it was disgraceful to eat them after being treated with such kindness until then. The Walrus ignores their plea and simply says that the night is fine and asked them if they admired the view.

III. Answer the Following Questions in About two Pages Each:

Question 1.
The poem depicts the exploitation of the innocent. Substantiate?
Answer:
In the poem ‘The Walrus and the Carpenter’, we can easily judge the Walrus and the Carpenter as cronies in exploitation of the innocent, gullible, unsuspecting and unassuming Oysters. The Wal¬rus, the Carpenter and the Oysters are given human characteristics. The Walrus and the Carpenter ensnare the Oysters through trickery and deception.

The Walrus and the Carpenter, entice the gullible Oysters to leave the safety of their Oyster beds to take a pleasant walk on the sandy beach. The eager Oysters join them without any thought. An elderly Oyster knows the truth yet he doesn’t warn them nor does he venture out of the safety of the Oyster bed.

Despite the Oyster being faceless and limbless, they are portrayed as having clean feces, wearing coats and shoes. Only when they see the Walrus and the carpenter preparing bread and when the Walrus talk about beginning to cat, do the Oyster realize that they are to be eaten. They could only meekly protest that their exploitation is disgraceful and that it is impolite to abuse them. But then it was too late.

Question 2.
‘Appearances are deceptive’. Elucidate?
Answer:
Deception literally means saying something that is very different from how it seems or appears to be. In the poem ‘The Walrus and the Carpenter’ the appearances of the Walrus and the Carpenter and their attitude is very deceptive. The Walrus and the Oysters are deceptively given human characteristics. The setting is also deceptive. We are forced to accept the imagery where the sun and moon are both shining brightly in the middle of the night over a calm sea.

This sets the pitch for what would happen afterwards. As the Walrus and the Carpenter are walking over the sandy beach they are seen crying uncontrollably over the large quantity of sand lying all our the beach and the Walrus thinks of clearing all of it from the beach. This is a sure sign that they are trying to encroach upon the area and loot it.

It suggests that their motives are descptive and their intentions dark. The Walrus sweet-talks the gfullible Oysters into joining them for a pleasant walk on the sandy beach. It is known fact that the Oysters are faceless and limbless, yet the come out of their Oyster-bed with clean faces, dressed in coats and with shoes on their feet.

This represents their eagerness and gullibility. They are enticed by their prospective exploiters who appear deceptively harmless. In order to conceal their deception the Walrus and the Carpenter invite the Oysters (oppressed) to talk about innocus things such as shoes, ships, sealing wax and if pigs have wings. It suggests they clearly intend to browbeat the Oysters, and prevent them from realizing their dark intentions.

While they are busy preparing a meal of bread, pepper and vinegar they divert the attention ofthe Oysters towards the pleasant night asking them to admire the view. Alas, when the Oysters realize that they have been decieved it is too late yet they protest meekly but their wicked oppressors greedily devour them with relish, without a morsel of sympathy or compassion. Thus we see that appearances are truly deceptive.

Question 3.
Discuss the contemporary relevance of the poem?
Answer:
The poem ‘The Walrus and the carpenter’ at first glance appears a nonsensical poem, considering the elements of absurdity in the poem But if we analyze the poem in different perspective, we realize there are also many subtle references which are of contemporary relevence.

In one way, the poem warns innocent people against being mislead by cunning and shrewd people who will ultimately destroy them. On another level the poem can also be interpreted as a commentary on the prevailing political situation across the world. The Walrus and the Carpenter are comparable to the Earopean imperialists who came to many eastern countries in the guise of traders, hoodwinked the gullible people of those countries and eventually colonized them and exploited their human and natural resources and enriched their own countries. For instance the British imperilaists exploited India’s natural and human resources and eventually left it a very poor country.

In the same way, politicians across the world present a rosy picture by the future to their electorate. They promise better facilities, better life and ensnare, The gullible people elect them to the government. But in reality everything they do is deceptive. They dwell on useless issues similar to the Walrus and the Carpenter, who try to divert the attention of the Oysters from the real issue and ask them to enjoy the scenery of the beach.

In the end, after the corpses of the innocent people Utter the path of the Walrus and the Carpenters of the world, they will shed false tears of remorse. The hypocrisy of the exploiters yets exposed only after several people are dead. This is similar to the Walrus and the carpenter in the poem who make a sumputous meal of the Oysters and then shed false tears, holding their handkerchief to their streaming eyes. Actually they are preparing to re-enact their deception with more gullible people of the nation.

Question 4.
‘The poem highlights the contrast between the reckless-ness of the young and the wisdom of the elderly’. Explain?
Answer:
The Walrus invites the sea Oysters for a pleasant walk on the beach. An elderly Oyster looked at the Walrus with disinterest and An elderly oyster looked at the Walrus with disinterest and never said a word. He winked his eye knowingly and shook his head. It suggested that he did not wish to leave the oyster bed. Maybe he was wise enough to know that he would be gobbled up by the Walrus or he was old and weary and did wish to strain himself.

The poem gets more and more nonsensical. We see that four young oysters are enticed by the Walrus’s plea and leave their bed in the sea to join the Walrus and the Carpenter eager to take a walk on the beach. The oysters are surprisingly given human Characteristics with clean feces and are described as wearing clean and neat shoes and wearing coats, even though it an established fact that Oysters do not have feet. It indicates trickery on the part of the Walrus and the carpenter.

As soon as they saw the first four oyster ’s go on to the beach, four more follow them and many such groups of four oysters followed hem one after another; hopping through the frothy sea waves and scrambling to the shore. It suggests a herd mentality when one does something the others also do the samething.

English Summary

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