They pursued it with forks and hope;
They threatened its life with a railway-share;
They charmed it with smiles and soap.
This poem provides examples of:
- Arc Number: 42 has significance at several points.
- Anthropomorphic Personification: One illustration portrays the crew with two goddesses, who are supposed to represent Hope and Care.
- Author Avatar: According to Martin Gardner's The Annotated "Hunting of the Snark", the Baker is an avatar of Carroll himself. One early line is "A dear uncle of mine, after whom I was named..."; Carroll's full name was Charles Luttwidge Dodgson, and he had an uncle whose first name was Luttwidge.
- Bit Character: The Billiard Marker and Bonnet Maker really don't do much during the whole story. One member of the crew, the Boots, could well be The Ghost; he's mentioned once, but doesn't even appear in any illustrations.
- Downer Ending: So much so that the first edition included a pamphlet about the meaning of Easter, to serve as a counterpoint.
- Eldritch Abomination:
- The Bandersnatch. We don't get much of a description, but it is stated to be wickedly fast, has snapping, sharp-toothed jaws and is capable of extending its neck. Its Eldritch Abomination status is proven by the effect it has on the Banker; merely being in its presence is enough to drive the poor banker insane.
- The Snark itself, which, if a Boojum, is capable of completely erasing people from existence.
- Everyone Calls Him Barkeep: Most of the characters.
- Feathered Fiend: The Jub-Jub Bird. It's described as having a "shrill and high scream" like a pencil squeaking on a slate, and significantly scares those who hear it, including the Beaver who "turned pale to the tip of its tail" and being desperate and in a constant state of passion. There are also some Snarks that "have feathers and bite".
- Fire-Forged Friends: The Butcher and the Beaver initially don't get on, but their encounter with the fearsome Jub-Jub leads to them becoming close friends for life.
- For Doom the Bell Tolls: As well as several mentions in the text, it's notable that the Bellman's bell is in almost every single illustration.
- Go Mad from the Revelation: The Banker loses his sanity after being attacked by a Bandersnatch.
- Hey, You!: Played with, due to the Baker having forgotten his own name:He would answer to "Hi!" or to any loud cry,Such as "Fry me!" or "Fritter my wig!"To "What-you-may-call-um!" or "What-was-his-name!"But especially "Thing-um-a-jig!"
- This also leads to an I Have Many Names:His intimate friends called him "Candle-ends,"And his enemies "Toasted-cheese."
- This also leads to an I Have Many Names:
- Lame Pun Reaction: The Bellman has this:The Bellman perceived that their spirits were low,And repeated in musical toneSome jokes he had kept for a season of woeŚBut the crew would do nothing but groan.
- Also, snarks look grave at them.
- The Musical: One was made of it in The Eighties.
- No Body Left Behind: What happens to you if you find out that the Snark you're hunting was a Boojum. This is the eventual fate of the Baker.
- No Sense of Humor: Snarks have a hard time understanding jokes, as the Bellman explains:The third is its slowness in taking a jest.Should you happen to venture on one,It will sigh like a thing that is deeply distressed:And it always looks grave at a pun.
- Ragtag Bunch of Misfits
- Rule of Three:"Just the place for a Snark!" the Bellman cried,As he landed his crew with care;Supporting each man on the top of the tideBy a finger entwined in his hair."Just the place for a Snark! I have said it twice:That alone should encourage the crew.Just the place for a Snark! I have said it thrice:What I tell you three times is true."
- Tastes Like Purple:"Let us take them in order. The first is the taste,
Which is meagre and hollow, but crisp:
Like a coat that is rather too tight in the waist,
With a flavour of Will-o'-the-wisp.
- Theme Initials: Everyone's appellation starts with a B.
- World of Chaos