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Truman Capote's A Christmas Memory is a story that mainly centers on the relationship between a character buddy and his older cousin, with whom they share the Christmas season, and portrays this as the happiest time that the two spend together. They spend time together baking cookies for friends and exchanging presents. Despite their age gap, they spend an afternoon flying kites and enjoying oranges together. The story evokes the readers' own Christmas memories, which are often made up of happy moments shared with families.
Buddy's mood at the end of the story can be characterized as solemn and depressing. He has memories of the last Christmas they had spent together "I keep searching the sky. As if I expected to see, rather like hearts, a lost pair of kites hurrying toward heaven"(Cyber Explorer, 2000).He is sad for he went to the military school and was separated from his friend. Somehow after receiving the news, he had felt the passing of his heart through the connection they had shared.
Buddy feels that his cousin understands him on a level that no other adult understands him. He feels as if they are equals and unselfish, joying in the simple activities that they do. When he is away at schools, Buddy feels as if though his cousin is the only person who provided a link between his and home. He thinks that her cousin gives him all the attention and also teaches him things that are of value to him.
Buddy and his friend feel resolute. Because it's a day filled with sunshine breezes and good company.
The story takes place in the rural south state
In the 1929 to 1939 decade.
Dilapidated which is symbolized by the old baby carrier and it means it was broken down or shattered but it still held what the two needed to carry. Just as the family had neglected Buddy's cousin but they still held on to each other.
Distemper is a viral disease that mostly affects dogs and causes fever. Queenie the dog in the narrative had survived distemper and also two rattlesnake bites which show she was a resilient dog
Windfall means the pecans that had been blown by the wind and had formed a heap.
Paraphernalia meaning pieces of things
Mite meaning small bits of the cake that buddy's cousin fed to the dog.
Similes in the excerpt
Buddy talks of the baby carriage wheels being as wobble like a drunkard's legs. He also describes Haha's café saying the river trees where moss drifts through the branches like grey mist.
Example of alliteration in the excerpt
"Satisfied, sun-warmed, we sprawl in the grass and peel Satsumas and watch our kites cavort. Soon I forget the socks and hand-me-down sweater."
"We're up, wide-eyed and wandering while we wait for others to waken."
"Dollar Bills, tightly rolled and green as May buds" whereby the may bud are represented by the dollar bills as the indicative of the phase of seasons and hope.
Use of imagery
There has been the use of imagery in the instance where Buddy and his cousin are going to the woods to fly kites, "there is a creek to cross with the speckled trout" there are also shrilling's, gaudy fungus and moulted feathers."
Also when Buddy and his friend take the old baby carrier, the buggy is described as being made of wicker which is unravelling and legs which wobble.
Use of onomatopoeia
"Among the concealing leaves, the frosted, deceiving grass. Caarackle! A cheery crunch, scraps of miniature thunder sound as the shells collapse and the golden mound of sweet, oily ivory meat mounts…" which is similar to the sound of shells falling into a bowl.
"A renegade hog grunts in the undergrowth. Soon, by the edge of knee-deep, rapid-running water, we have to abandon the buggy" grunt which the sound is made by hogs.
The story is written in the first person.
Use of personification
"Long after the town has gone to sleep, and the house is in silence..." the town is given the human character of sleeping.
Use of irony.
It's ironic that despite the dog being named as Queenie, which is a royal name, the dog lives in poor conditions, feeding on mite and looking forward to a bone on Christmas day.
Cyber-Explorer (2000). A Christmas Memory By Truman Capote 1924-1984.
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