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A Critical Analysis of Truman Capote’s A Christmas Memory_Part 1

By Febry Iffan

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Truman Capote is an artist, novelist, short story writer, playwright, and screen writer. His real name is Truman Streckfus Persons, but he is also known as Truman Capote. He was born in 1924 and died in 1984 (aged 59). Truman had written novels, novellas, short story, etc. He also wrote “A Christmas Memory” which was  published in 1956.


“A Christmas Memory” is a short story which represents his life when he was seven-years-old. Truman wrote the short story when he was an adult. He had lived in such a hard life at the time. Especially, when the Great Depression began, the people or the citizen in the town had to endure and survive as possible as they can.


The story tells about a child who is known as Truman, but in the story he was called as “Buddy” by his friend, an old woman. The story shows how they could survive at the time when the economic was going down. It also shows a good relationship between both of them. Moreover, they could survive it because they did many things together.


Therefore, my analysis will reveal the plot, the characters, the settings, the tones and styles, the symbols and allegories, the ironies, the themes, and the point of view which included in the story. The story is very nice and the story can develop our view about the real world. I also put a synopsis of the story for you to know the story deeper.

 

Image is property of Goodreads
Truman Capote. Image is property of Goodreads

Synopsis


There were an old woman and a boy; she was sixty-something, while the boy was seven years old. They were cousins and they lived together in a house of their relatives. As a result, they had no power to rule the house. Their relatives frequently made them cry. They also had a dog, Queenie which  survived from many diseases and attacks from rattlesnakes, and it often accompanied them in their lonely times. It was November, and winter season was coming with many birds went to the warmer part of the country. The old woman sat at a window and suddenly told to the boy that it was fruitcake weather. Then, they went  to someone’s garden to pick fruits and they sold some of them to the owner. They did it until evening and they finished their supper, then they went to sleep. The next day was the best day for the boy because they would buy many things in the  market. They went to buy all of the ingredients which they needed to make the fruitcake. It was a lot of money and they  could earn money to pay all of the ingredients.


They had saved a lot of money  for Christmas. They did many things to earn  money, but the most luckily thing was that when they won a grand prize of naming a product. They had won fifty thousand dollars. As a result, they could pay the sum. On the other hand, there was one thing that they needed to get for making the fruitcake, and it is a whiskey. At the time, there was so hard to buy a whiskey because it was forbidden. However, people knew how they could buy the whiskey. They could get one from Mr. Haha, he was an Indian and he was big with a scar across his neck. People called him “Haha” because he never laughs. In fact, they had to get whiskey from him, but in the last year, they got the whiskey from his wife. On the contrary, this time they were dealing with her husband.


As they arrived to Mr. Haha’s home, they knocked at the door and suddenly Mr. Haha came out. Both of them were trembled and he asked them, what they wanted. With slow and low voice, she told him that she needed a bottle of whiskey for cooking. It took 2 dollars, but he turned back the money and asked them to give him a fruitcake. The woman and the boy were so happy because of that and they decided to give him a special fruitcake.Not long after that, they began to make the fruitcake. They produced 31 fruitcakes for all of the people around them and also for people who are nice in their minds. Day by day which they passed had been a nice day for them. On the other hand, when they got nothing to do, there was a little bit of whiskey on the table, and the woman started to drink it with the boy. They got drunk and then the relatives entered the house. The relatives were very mad and they scolded the woman because of letting the boy drink the whiskey.

As a result, the women ran to her room and started to cry until night. The boy tried to make her calm and not long after that she calmed down herself. They started to talk about Christmas. It was December and she thought about a Christmas tree. She remembered when her father had made a great Christmas tree from holly. Then, she told him that the next day they would search for holly and it could be a long journey for them.

Image is property of : http://i45.photobucket.com/albums/f69/thethuthinnang/stuffz/achristmasmemorybanner.jpg
Image is property of : http://i45.photobucket.com/albums/f69/thethuthinnang/stuffz/achristmasmemorybanner.jpg

They passed some rivers, underbrush, and gardens till they got into a shore. They saw a good holly and they began to cut it. They brought it home, but on the way home; some people tried to buy it, but she refused all the offers. As they arrived at home, they decorated it with many accessories which they got in the attic of the house. Not good but not bad also, but it was very nice for them. When they started to make a present for each other, they separated because it was a secret present.


When the day came, they gave the present to each other and they got a kite. She couldn’t give him a bike because she did not have  enough money, so she gave him a kite as usual. Queenie got a present also; she got a beef bone as usual. Day by day had passed, and when they had nothing to do while the wind was blowing; they ran to pasture and play the kites. Suddenly, she realized something about death, about Lord, about when she left the world. Moreover, when the boy went to military school, he succeeds, he got a new house, and he got a better life; but not long after he went to military school she died. However, in December, he walked across a campus and he still searched for the kites which he played before because he wanted to see the kites fly to heaven.

< End of Part 1 >


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