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An Analysis of Extraordinary Little Cough

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An Analysis of Extraordinary Little Cough

The text written by Dylan Thomas is an interesting semi-autobiographical one, that may seem to be a simple piece of prose at a first glance, but goes a lot deeper, by playing with the language, and cultural peculiarities.

One of the things that distinguishes this text from a lot of his others, is the fact that it is partially written in a narrative form. The author takes two roles in this piece of prose. Some of the time he takes on the role of a narrator, and is telling the story, as if he were telling the reader about something that happened to him as a child.

"As I bent down, three lumps of sugar fell from my blazer pocket."

However, in other parts of the story, he also takes on the part of a character in the book. Then he slips out of his role as narrator, and takes over the character of the boy who can't seem to handle girls in a way, that would make him very popular with them.

"You've got a beautiful name."

Another thing that makes this passage so interesting is the fact that the author uses a semi-colon instead of a full-stop in his sentences. This gives the text a certain amount of continuity, and thus makes it more enjoyable to read.

" Their arms and legs and throats were brown as berries; I could see that when they laughed their teeth were white; they stepped onto the beach (...)"

The exception to this, are the monologues between the various characters (especially between a boy and a girl). Here the sentences on the whole, seem to be very short, sharp, and almost comical. Dylan Thomas does this to emphasise the insecurity between the different sexes, and to bring out the idea that we are reading about children in puberty, where they are confronted with many problems, such as discovering the opposite sex.

"oh! it's just ordinary."

"Shall I see you again?"

"If you want to."

These short sentences are also to be seen in line twenty, where the author leaves a sentence all by itself on that line. Short sentences, like in the dialogues help to emphasise the awkwardness between boy and girl at this age, and underline the style used in the dialogues between the two sexes.

"The cap dropped at her feet"