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December 2018

The Power of Tradition

Good Morning

by Oscar Patton



There are two great days in a person's life - the day we are born and the day we discover why.-William Barclay

For everyone their birthday is one of the best days of the year. In my family we have one special tradition on our birthdays. The morning of a birthday I (or whoever’s birthday it is) get breakfast in bed. The feeling of the whole family walking in and singing an out of tune happy birthday and placing a giant cheesy omelette my lap is a very comforting and pleasant way to wake up. It’s great to be the center of attention, no fights and everyone has to be nice. The whole family focuses on one person who gets to have their special family moment on the day that they were born. After eating whoever’s birthday it is gets to open one big present, since I know it’s coming there is lots of anticipation about what I might get the night before my birthday. I remember on my eleventh birthday when I learned that I would be traveling with my mom and dad on one of my dads business trips to Barcelona and I totally lost it, I was so excited. It was like no present I had ever received before, I had never been out of the country before. It’s always an incredible way to start off a day that I’ve been looking forward to the entire year. Not many people are as lucky as I am and can not afford to have such an elaborate birthday experience. I try not to feel guilty on my birthday, but sometimes it’s hard knowing how lucky I am and how I haven’t really done anything to deserve it. Aside from the guilt, I do really enjoy how family oriented this tradition is. Everyone else in the family wakes up early just to prepare a special meal. I get to wake up to my family just sitting around me and being nice and I love it. Traditions are a big part of what makes family unique. Without tradition most families would celebrate everything the same and the point of a birthday is to have one day to feel special.

A Child's Christmas in Wales Literary Analysis Essay

Jumbled Memorie

A Little Boy


Christmas isn't a season. It's a feeling. -Edna Ferber

In literature, there is truly nothing more charming than a talented writer describing childhood memories. In the short story A Child's Christmas in Wales by Dylan Thomas, he describes his jumbled memories of Christmas in wales with incredible detail and poetic essence. Thomas uses such advanced language and detail to describe such childish thoughts, the reader can’t help but smile. Thomas uses perfect figurative language to describe his festive childhood memories. 

The style of writing perfectly shows the way his memories are jumbled and distorted but still keep their childishness. When he describes his memory of a house fire, he describes it with cheerfulness, because a child would think of it as a cool opportunity to pretend be firefighters, or be heroes, but not as a real, potentially life-threatening problem. 

"Call the fire brigade," cried Mrs. Prothero as she beat the gong. "There won't be there," said Mr. Prothero, "it's Christmas." There was no fire to be seen, only clouds of smoke and Mr. Prothero standing in the middle of them, waving his slipper as though he were conducting.

"Do something," he said. And we threw all our snowballs into the smoke - I think we missed Mr. Prothero - and ran out of the house to the telephone box

"Let's call the police as well," Jim said. "And the ambulance." "And Ernie Jenkins, he likes fires.

The two children did end up calling the police, but the dialogue in this excerpt is definitely funny. The way they talk about a wacky friend they have who likes fires before they even call the police is hard not chuckle at. It truly is the perfect description of what little boys are like. This was one of the best pieces of writing I have ever heard, the detail and vocabulary was admirable. It’s a simple story but it tells so much at the same time. Thomas perfectly describes his jumbled Christmas memories as a child with a balanced mix of charm, imagination, and humor. 

Many different writing styles can be effective. Having just learned about all sorts of different description and sentence building writing techniques, the way Dylan Thomas flawlessly displayed how they should be used really resonated with me. His muscular verbs, similes, and metaphors were truly impressive. It is like no writing I have ever seen before, it’s a beautifully written short story. Not only is it a pleasant story, but it is also perfectly detailed story. At the beginning of the story, as Thomas sets the theme of the story, he describes how he and his friend, Jim used to throw snow balls at cats for fun. His use of metaphors, similes, and muscular verbs really enhances the memory:

Patient, cold and callous, our hands wrapped in socks, we waited to snowball the cats. Sleek and long as jaguars and horrible-whiskered, spitting and snarling, they would slink and sidle over the white back-garden walls, and the lynx-eyed hunters, Jim and I, fur-capped and moccasined trappers from Hudson Bay, off Mumbles Road, would hurl our deadly snowballs at the green of their eyes. The wise cats never appeared.

He goes on for the rest of the story to have long detailed sentences like this one. The sentences are so unique and full that no matter how long they are they never sound like run-on sentences. Thomas has a unique style of writing that is entertaining and impressive. If given the opportunity I would surely read more books and short stories by Dylan Thomas. 

The techniques and detail that went into this piece of writing are impeccable and Dylan Thomas is a truly talented writer who deserve to be read by all.