Lewis Padgett’s “Mimsy Were the Borogoves” and Robert Shaye’s The Last Mimzy
Departmental Bulletin Paper
This essay examines Lewis Padgett’s “Mimsy Were the Borogoves” and Robert Shaye’s film adaptation The Last Mimzy. Both are inspired by Lewis Carroll’s Through the Looking-Glass. In the original story by Carroll, ‘mimsy’ is one of the hard words in the poem ‘Jabberwokky.’ In the film, the word is turned from an adjective into the proper name of a stuffed bunny. It carries the DNA of a pure child Emma to the future and saves the future generation that is going to become extinct. The spelling of ‘mimsy’ also has been changed from ‘-sy’ to ‘-zy’ making a new word ‘Mimzy,’ by which it is indicated that it is no longer an adjective. Owing to these alterations the film is made easier to understand for the public than the original short story by Padgett. Surprisingly, Alice Liddell appears in the short story by Padgett as a true author of ‘Jabberwokky’ and we are informed about the circumstance of the creation of the Alice books. It seems a very exciting hypothesis for enthusiastic Alice fans. On the other hand, Emma in the film finds in the book a picture of Alice, who is holding a stuffed bunny almost identical to the one that Emma always caresses. Alice in the film is one of the predecessors of the savers of humankind. Thus, both the short story and the film depict Alice Liddell as an important figure, though the theme and details of each work of art differs very much.
Journal of Language and Literature
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Integrated Arts and Sciences