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Analysis of "Holiday Memory" by Dylan Thomas

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  • Essay length: 2220 words
  • Submitted: 15/08/2003
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Analysis of "Holiday Memory" by Dylan Thomas

Some of Dylan Thomas' best-loved works are those pieces which evoke memories of his childhood. This is probably because every adult shares the common bond of experiencing childhood and owning personal memories which, although infinitely variable between us in their intensity and nature, help to form who we are as mature people. We all have our own sanitised nostalgia, wistful perhaps, sentimental certainly, so that when Thomas chronicles his own rose-coloured background, his work instantly strikes a chord within us all.

Dylan Thomas mines this rich seam of his schoolboy and adolescent memories in many of his short stories and poetic works. Some of the most evocative of these recall his childhood holidays with relatives in Carmarthenshire. This is the case with "Holiday Memory", a joyous short story, also broadcast as a radio play, in which Thomas recalls an idyllic and raucous August Bank Holiday spent by the seaside. The story can be divided into two contrasting but complementary parts: the bright, riotous day spent on the beach, eating cockles, going for donkey rides and watching Punch and Judy shows, and the noisy, boisterous evening spent at the funfair.

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