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An Analysis of Extraordinary Little Cough

An Analysis of Extraordinary Little Cough

The text written by Dylan Thomas is an interesting semi-autobiographical one, that may seem to be a simple piece of prose at a first glance, but goes a lot deeper, by playing with the language, and cultural peculiarities.

One of the things that distinguishes this text from a lot of his others, is the fact that it is partially written in a narrative form. The author takes two roles in this piece of prose. Some of the time he takes on the role of a narrator, and is telling the story, as if he were telling the reader about something that happened to him as a child.

“As I bent down, three lumps of sugar fell from my blazer pocket.”

However, in other parts of the story, he also takes on the part of a character in the book. Then he slips out of his role as narrator, and takes over the character of the boy who can’t seem to handle girls in a way, that would make him very popular with them.

“You’ve got a beautiful name.”

Another thing that makes this passage so interesting is the fact that the author uses a semi-colon instead of a full-stop in his sentences. This gives the text a certain amount of continuity, and thus makes it more enjoyable to read.

” Their arms and legs and throats were brown as berries; I could see that when they laughed their teeth were white; they stepped onto the beach (…)”

The exception to this, are the monologues between the various characters (especially between a boy and a girl). Here the sentences on the whole, seem to be very short, sharp, and almost comical. Dylan Thomas does this to emphasise the insecurity between the different sexes, and to bring out the idea that we are reading about children in puberty, where they are confronted with many problems, such as discovering the opposite sex.

“oh! it’s just ordinary.”

“Shall I see you again?”

“If you want to.”

These short sentences are also to be seen in line twenty, where the author leaves a sentence all by itself on that line. Short sentences, like in the dialogues help to emphasise the awkwardness between boy and girl at this age, and underline the style used in the dialogues between the two sexes.

“The cap dropped at her feet”

Odysseus’ Search for Purpose in Homer’s Odyssey

Odysseus’ Search for Purpose in The Odyssey

As a wayfarer in life, The Odyssey focuses on life’s greater purpose through the fulfillment of destiny, perseverance, and loyalty. These three themes recur continuously throughout Odysseus’ journey, molding life’s greater vision. Odysseus comes to understand his purpose in life by remaining true to these major themes as he faces and conquers each obstacle in his journey.

The overarching theme of The Odyssey is the belief that man cannot escape the destiny which has been preordained for him by the gods. Destiny plays a vital role in the survival of Odysseus throughout his adventures. As Odysseus languishes on the island of Calypso, Hermes commands her to free Odysseus in order for the will of Zeus to be carried out, “This is the man whom Zeus now bids you send away, and quickly too, for it is not ordained that he shall perish far from friends; it is his lot to see his friends once more and reach his high roofed house and native land” (47). It is evident that Zeus does not want his predetermined plans for Odysseus to be altered by any being, mortal or god, and will not allow anything to stand in the way of the destiny he has set out for Odysseus.

Although no mortal can escape his destiny, it is the more heroic mortals that attract the attention for (better or worse) of the gods. Odysseus’ bravery in battle fascinated the gods, causing them to take a special interest in him. During Odysseus’ trip to the underworld, he meets with Hercules who relates to the special notice that the gods have taken in Odysseus, ” high-born son of Laertes, ready Odysseus, so you, poor man, work out a cruel task such as I once endured when in the sunlight, I was the son of Kronian Zeus, yet I…

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…he heroic figure in Greek literature by living out the destiny that the gods set out for him.

Works Cited and Consulted

Bloom, Harold , Homer’s Odyssey: Edited and with an Introduction, NY, Chelsea House 1988

Crane, Gregory , Calypso: Backgrounds and Conventions of the Odyssey, Frankfurt, Athenaeum 1988

Griffin, Jasper, Homer: The Odyssey Cambridge UP 1987

Heubeck, Alfred, J.B. Hainsworth, et al. A commentary on Homer’s Odyssey. 3 Vols. Oxford PA4167 .H4813 1988

Murnaghan, Sheila, Disguise and Recognition in the Odyssey, Princeton UP 1987

Peradotto, John , Man in the Middle Voice: Name and Narration in the Odyssey, Princeton UP 1990

Thalmann, William G., The Odyssey : an epic of return. New York : Twayne Publishers. PA4167 .T45 1992

Tracy, Stephen V., The story of the Odyssey. Princeton, N.J. : Princeton University Press, c1990. PA4167 .T7 1990

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