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December 2018

A Child’s Christmas in Wales

A Child’s Christmas in Wales Literary Analysis

By Rylan Chandler

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“Christmas is a season not only of rejoicing but of reflection.”Winston Churchill

    Life quickly becomes boring without imagination. In the book, A Child’s Christmas in Wales, by Dylan Thomas, Dylan and Jim let their imaginations run wild. They began by discussing Christmas, but then they started to get sidetracked by their imagination. 

    It is Christmas Eve, and Dylan is discussing how he wants to go out into the snow with his new boots and leave huge footprints. Then Jim says, “I bet people will think there's been hippos.” 

‘What would you do if you saw a hippo coming down our street?’

‘I'd go like this, bang! I'd throw him over the railings and roll him down the hill and then I'd tickle him under the ear and he'd wag his tail.’

Imagination is a key theme in A Child’s Christmas in Wales because most of the book is about Dylan and Jim’s imagination. Their imagination kept the conversation exciting; moreover, their imagination made the book exciting, and their imagination saved the book from being boring. Imagination gave A Child’s Christmas in Wales life, but a book can’t solely survive on imagination.

    People respond to what they see and feel. In the book, A Child’s Christmas in Wales, Dylan Thomas uses similes and muscular verbs to create a vivid image in the reader’s head. They not only make the scene interesting, but they make the book exciting

    Thomas is describing the things that they had done on past Christmases. He mentions the tall tales that they used to tell by the fire.

Bring out the tall tales now that we told by the fire as the gaslight bubbled like a diver. Ghosts whooed like owls in the long nights when I dared not look over my shoulder; animals lurked in the cubbyhole under the stairs and the gas meter ticked.

Thomas uses two similes and three muscular verbs in just two sentences. He opens the door for the reader to immerse themselves in the scene. He makes the scene exciting by using his imagination to produce words from the furthest corners of his vocabulary. Dylan Thomas uses similes and muscular verbs very effectively in this book to add detail and make the book, A Child’s Christmas in Wales, engaging.

    Imagination gave this book life, and Thomas’ use of similes and muscular verbs made it great.


The Power of Collective Tradition

The Power of Collective Tradition

By Rylan Chandler1A8F974F-AD0A-4EB3-99CE-BCCE35F50D97

“It takes an endless amount of history to make even a little tradition.” — Henry James

    An essential element to religion is tradition. Every year, in mid-April, my family comes together for Passover. We all travel to my grandparents’ house, which is my mom’s childhood home, and we are able to catch up with our cousins who live far away. It is the only time of the year that we get to see them because they live in North Carolina. After catching up for an hour, we sit down for dinner. That’s the best part. We eat tons of great, traditional food. My favorites are matzah ball soup and kugel. I generally hate soup, but my grandmother’s matzah ball soup is to die for. Kugel is my favorite Jewish food, and Passover is the only time that I am able to enjoy it. Kugel is like a baked pudding or casserole. After dinner, we go through the story of Passover. We read from the Haggadah (the book read on Passover). One of the most important parts of the book is the four questions. It is traditional for the youngest member of the family to read them, so for years I had this task. After the four questions, we read about the story of Passover. It is the most exciting story behind a holiday there is. The best part is when God sent ten gruesome plagues upon the Egyptians. The Passover story concludes the night and we all go home excited for next year. In a religion, holidays and traditions are important because they bring people together to celebrate. My favorite tradition is the celebration of Passover. It brings my whole family together to connect and provides delicious foods. It is something to look forward to for months and is always a highlight of my year. Traditions are important; moreover, traditions are exciting, and traditions create memories to last a lifetime.