Edward Lear - Humor & Nonsense literature

"the Jumblies"

Function of humor in the 19th Century

Nonsense (from OED): Senses relating to absence of rationality or meaning; absurd or meaningless words or ideas; foolish or extravagant conduct, misbehavior; nonsensicalness

"The Jumblies"  Consider the description of the Jumblies (stz 1; meaning of "jumble"?), the travelers' journey and attitude (stzs 3 & 4), the attitude of "everyone" (stz 2), and the goods the travelers purchase (stz 5).  Rhyme scheme?  Use of repetition?

Also, consider the passage I read to you at the end of class on TH from the introduction to a collection of Lear's work.

"Lear's nonsense songs are perhaps no more than a game, a jest, but it is a game with a purpose, for they demonstrate that only by taking risks and confronting danger can you discover your real abilities and limitations"

"'[Nonsense] is a philosphy as much as a genre,'" said Lear.  The introduction goes on to say
that "[nonsense] found its home among the less educatied gorups in society--including children.  Its inversion of the natural order, joyful abandon and unaffected, robust humour demonstrated a spiritual freedom and independence which could temporarily ignore the oppression of sad inevitability."

Themes to consider: