Writer : Dylan Thomas
This story is not written chronological in order. To have better understanding it can be divided into five episodes.
The narrator describes his uncle, Mr. Thomas and aunt, Mrs. Sarah. The couple looked unmatched to the boy, as the former is abnormally huge and noisy in comparison to the latter, who very small, gauzy and quiet.
In this part the boy heard about the outing for the first time. Mr. Benjamin Franklyn, a friend of the boy’s uncle, came with the news that everything was going right according to the plan. He said he had collected enough money for the charabanc and twenty cases of pale ale. In addition to this, he also declared to give a pound to every member on the first stoppage. But Will Sentry was sceptical of him as Bob the Fiddle, their ex-treasurer, had swindled money on their last outing. After that it was decided that the new treasurer must show the account clearly.
On the next Sunday Mr. Franklyn came with the list of the members going on the outing. Everybody got satisfied and the plan was approved. It was decided that they would go on the outing on coming Saturday.
When Sarah heard that Mr. Thomas is going on an outing, she didn’t like it. She gave him option to choose one between wife and outing. Quite surprisingly uncle chose the latter. But it does not mean that their relation is broken after that, Mr. Thomas raised her onto a chair and got punishment from her, which was always several blows from a china dog. Sarah went to her mother’s house on Saturday leaving the required instructions in a note like every year.
The final part of the story describes the outing and the peculiar habits of its members from a boy’s perspective. Mr. Thomas took his nephew with him on the outing. The other members did not like that but they soon forgot it as they wanted to start at right time for the Porthcawl. But when they left the village and reached a bit further they found O. Jones missing. They had to return back to village to take him which Mr. Weazley didn’t like. But when they set off again, Mr. Weazley remembered that he had forgotten his teeth at home. He requested them to go back to the village but this time on one listened to him.
In the way they stopped at every pub, assigned the boy to look after the old bus and drank a lot. The whole afternoon passed in drinking and at dusk they reached to a stream. They swam in it and forgot that they had to reach Porthcawl. Actually, they could not reach the place they had aimed for and returned home from the mid-way. While returning home they didn’t find any pub open. Thus, the thirty drunkards decided to assemble into a field and drank more. By this time the boy was so tired that he fell asleep. This humorous story ends by showing how in our day to day life we run after glamour, immediate gains, and amusement. The thirty men never reached the destination they had aimed for as they didn’t realize the value of time. It also makes us realize that how the grown-ups always dictate the children about the right and wrong things but they hardly bother what example they themselves set for them.
Q. 1. Describe the narrator’s uncle and his Aunt.
Ans: The description of Uncle Thomas and Aunt Sarah is quite humorous. The narrator, who is a small boy, has used child imagery to describe them. He has used different similes and metaphors and hints that the couple is unmatched. The Uncle is so huge that the whole room becomes smaller when he comes in side it. He looks like a buffalo squeezed into an airy cupboard. He is very noisy and his voice is compared with the trumpet of an elephant. He doesn’t seem well mannered and when he eats, litters his waistcoat which is as big as a meadow for the boy.
But quite opposite to the husband Mrs. Sarah, the boy’s aunt, is quite small. She hardly makes her presence felt wherever she goes. Unlike her husband, she is soft spoken, which the boy tells is like the squeaking of a mouse. She is also a perfectionist and most of her time goes in arranging and dusting the things in her house. Above all she is a caring wife too. We see when she leaves for her mother’s house in anger she doesn’t forget to remind Mr. Thomas about food.
The description of Mr. Thomas and Mrs. Sarah might appear unmatched from a small boy’s perspective, but the caring attitude of wife towards the husband and willingness of the husband to get the punishment from the wife also suggest that there is a good understanding between them.
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1. The boy, the narrator, feels that he is very happy and boring. He smells tobacco, cheese, sweet biscuits and snuff. His friends too are of the same type. They are all care free, good for nothing fellows.
2. The relation between Thomas and his wife seems good. She lets him drink a little and on Sunday she doesn’t let him play checkers. When she gets angry, Thomas lifts her up on the chair or on his arm and she hits him with a China dog on his head. He doesn’t react this beating. She doesn’t like his outings so she goes to her mother’s house, although, she prepares some eggs for him. She orders him to take the shoes off before going to bead. So, instead of some dissatisfaction the relation seems good.
3. My wife gave me a choice either to sit with her or to go outing but I chose to go outing and she went to her mother’s house. On Sunday, I went to Porthcawl with my friends. I took my nephew with me to the trip but my friends opposed and soon they forgot it. On the way Mr. Weazley made me laugh because he wanted to bring his teeth from the house as he forget thinking of eating anything but I suggested to him that there’s no need. We reached a pub and had a lot of alcohol with friends. We discussed a lot about different subjects for a long time. We finished all the things up and went to another pub. The pub was closed but we used to go in through the back door. I sang songs. On the moonlight we got off the bus and went to a stream. We were wet. There was no house on the way so we climbed down the bus and went to the field with some rest cases of beer. We drank all beer and came to our house at midnight.
4. Really the plan was to go to Porthcawl for the outings but they never reached there. When they were going there, they found a pub house on the way. They stopped and went to the house for drinking. After 45 minutes they finished all the drinks, so they went to another pub house by bus. They used the back door to drink and the time was up so they returned home. On the way, they sat on the field and finished off the rest of the beers. They reached home at midnight the field and finished off the rest of the beers. They reached home at midnight but they didn’t reach Porthcawl. They sang and talked about Porthcawl. Because of drinking, they didn’t reach the planned place Porthcawl.
5. The narrator has used a lot of simile and metaphor and he uses different metaphors and smile for the description of his uncle and aunt, for example, to explain his uncle’s appearance. “like an old buffalo”, “like hawsers”, “loud check meadow” etc. and for his aunt he uses ‘padded paws’, ‘a quick as a flash’ etc. Metaphor and simile are used to make the expression impressive. Simile is with “like” and “as” but metaphor is without them. It is very useful in literature.