Miscellaneous Alice > The Hunting of the Snark - whatever happened to the Baker?

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The Hunting of the Snark - whatever happened to the Baker?

Postby Piecraft » Wed Aug 24, 2005 12:41 pm

Has anyone given a glance-over at this poem? It's rather a mystery!

Whilst adding more material on the Bandersnatch over at Wikipedia I came across several members discussing the odd occurrence of the Baker's disappearance, not to mention a conspiracy theory concerning the character of Boots!

It has always been a mystery as to what happened to the Baker, did he meet with a dreaded Boojum? or was their foul play afoot? There are people who believe that only the Baker was vulnerable to Boojums due to his Uncle's warning:

"But oh, beamish nephew, beware of the day,
If your Snark be a Boojum! For then
You will softly and suddenly vanish away,
And never be met with again!"

However, another rival school of interpretation of the poem suggests that in fact there was no Boojum, but that the Boots betrayed them all and murdered the Baker, and that this was what the latter was trying to say when he died. It is worth mentioning that the Boots is the most mysterious of the crew members. He is alluded to very shortly in Fit the First and Fit the Fourth and nowhere else, and is the only one of the crew members which does not appear in any of the original illustrations. It is also reasonable to assume the Boots (shoeshine in contemporary English) would have a particular grudge against the Baker, as he was wearing 3 pairs of boots one over the other (Fit the first, and this also appears clearly in the illustrations) as explained:

"It's a Snark!" was the sound that first came to their ears,
And seemed almost too good to be true.
Then followed a torrent of laughter and cheers:
Then the ominous words "It's a Boo-"
Then, silence."

The other crew members disagree whether they heard the syllable "-jum" after this.

Contrariwise, if you look at the last illustration by Henry Holiday, take a very detailed look and you shall find within the darkness you can make out the dark outline of the Baker with a look of shock on his face, having his right hand being bitten by what appears to look like an almost bird-like creature. Could that creature very well be the Boojum?

What does everyone else think?

Also any theories as to who is Boots? Someone else in the discussion forum of article said that most people believe Boots to be a shoeshine rather than a servant, or even female for that matter - thus having been depicted in the illustration that can be found on the illustration at the end of Fit the Fourth.

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