38 pages 1 hour read

Dylan Thomas

Under Milk Wood

Fiction | Play | Adult | Published in 1954

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Important Quotes

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“To begin at the beginning.”


(Part 2, Page 3)

The opening lines of Under Milk Wood draw attention to the loose narrative structure. There is an active decision to begin at the beginning, even though the story progresses little while depicting a day in the life of a small town. Instead, the opening hints at a Biblical sense of beginning, hinting that this parochial form of existence is derived from an innocent age, before modernity began to tarnish Wales and Welsh life.

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“I never done what she said I never.”


(Part 1, Page 5)

The drowned dead men of Captain Cat’s dreams declare their innocence from beyond the grave. The grammatically incorrect phrasing of the declaration jumbles the reality of what is being denied. The Third Drowned man is claiming to not have done whatever the woman claimed that he did not do, even though this may not be his intention. The lack of clarity is important, indicating that—in the world of the dead—reality is in perpetual flux. As Rosie no longer remembers existing, the Third Drowned man barely remembers whether he has done whatever he was accused of doing. All that is left is the emotion, the sense that he has been wronged.

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