In my opinion the reason Thomas is constantly talking of this is because he would like the audience to try to share his non- material view of life- meaning that he values the countryside a lot and thinks very highly of it. Thomas has created a very complex cast of characters. This is so because the characters are associated by many different things and some are even imaginary to the other characters that are supposed to be active in the play.
An example of this is with Captain Cat and his past friends (Rosie Probert and first to fifth drowned). This is what I would call the ‘sailing’ group.
This character group mainly consists of dead people except for Captain Cat and they are his creation via his dream- in a sense he is being haunted by the people he knew who died. Another example of this is in the case of Mrs Ogmore Pritchard’s supernatural marriage to Mr Pritchard and Mr Ogmore.
She displays comments such as calling “Husbands”. This is plainly an uncommon way of marriage but I sense it is humour instead created by Thomas- this sense of humour fits right into this witty wry play and is a fine way of gaining the readers attention to refocus them on the play.
Then there are the married couples who consist of the likes of the Pritchard’s, Pugh’s, Waldo’s, Utah Watkins, Owens, Willy Nilly, Price, Diah Breads and the Beynons. This group is especially important and are the key characters in the play as they act as passive narrators. An example of this is when Mrs Price is describing Mr Mog Edwards she releases the information that Mr Mog Edwards is money hungry and values money as greatly as love.
The use of passive narrating allows Thomas to add some understanding to the passage he is at to help develop the reader’s ideas and thoughts of what’s going on- almost as if he is just hinting the way to think about a particular thing. The next group is the group that could be called the ‘extras,’ and these include people like ‘a drinker,’ or even ‘a child,’ these acts do not have particularly large apparent parts but they do to a lesser extent contribute to the general running of the play and the way it flows.
The final group I think needs attention, is the group of people who are ‘unasocciated,’ by this is mean that all other characters are not emotionally connected to these people. In this group I would include characters such as Jack Black, Sinbad and the Old Man. These people in Thomas’s play are created for a ‘target’ in some way as they are the characters that it is easy to mock or equally sympathise with the character.
An example of this is Jack Black fastening his night wear to his ankles to futilely prevent sexual thoughts- this is humour and it does make the audience laugh- it achieves what it is meant to and helps again to involve the reader more and give them more information. The characters in the play are all very bold in some way- in my view this is because Thomas is targeting the audience and challenging them to think- and example of this is Mr Pugh trying to poison his wife- this constant plot of Mr Pugh’s research into poison challenges one to think why?
, why does he want to kill his wife? – It forces one to formulate and opinion onto the characters and the characters surrounding creating this all from a single thread plot. In my opinion Thomas is not sympathetic towards his creations as he does not express sympathy through other characters however- I think that occasionally Thomas lets his emotions slip and he empathises with Mr Pugh as he creates a one sided scene where Mr Pugh is bringing Mrs Pugh a cup of tea in the morning and Mr Pugh does everything in her power to reject that offering.
I think Thomas does this not only expressing his emotion but to create a general aura of sympathy towards Mr Pugh throughout the general audience viewing the play. In the village there is an obvious highlighting of social positions within the general community. This is most easily recognise though the names of the characters for example it is apparent that Lord Cut Glass is the most distinguished of all the characters where as Mr Dia- Bread is a lot lower on the social ladder as he is a baker and not a Lord.
A characters social position does not really affect them in this novel as every one lives in this fairly poor village (with the exception of Lord Cut Glass) on a reasonably self sustained poor/ traditional lifestyle- the reason for this is that the play is about this type of life, the play is about the poor life’s that the welsh villages lead and how to these people it doesn’t matter and they are happy; Thomas has used this so many times however it still remains effective.
Another way in which the people are socially expressed is the way in which they act, a key contrast to show this point is Mr Dia Bread saying “Me, Dia Bread, hurrying to the bakery” and Mr Pugh saying “yes, dear” to his wife; this use of language effectively portrays the character and the characters social class. The characters and setting are created very differently to an average play or story which would describe each character for example “He has large teeth, a pale face and a humongous nose” it is different as it does not openly describe characters but ‘shows’ characters.
What I mean by this is that Thomas shows characters by how the characters wish to describe themselves which draws the audience into the play and in a sense gives a better image as the (imaginary) character created by Thomas has its own say about its self- Thomas’s say- it is more ‘real’. An excellent example of this is the short but informative description of Nogood Boyo by another child (feminine), this child says to her mother “Nogood Boyo gave me three pennies yesterday but I wouldn’t”.
This is a precise example as it brings up so many ideas from one sentence such as it challenges the audiences view on sex by raising suspicion and it asks the question of how the mother fells- however, most importantly it informs the audience what Nogood Boyo is really like and his view on girls- this humour is though very light hearted but I could understand how it has more meaning to it as it challenges the audience to think.
Thomas uses this greatly to his advantage as he again draws the reader into the story and this time enforces that the audience must form an opinion on Nogood Boyo. The setting is created mainly by the people that are in it. I think that personalities such as Dia- Bread and even Jack Black clearly convey a message of Llareggub being a small rural and traditional village. So basically the village is created by people’s stereo types.
This is what Thomas wants one to think at the beginning of the play as Thomas develops this further and shows that there is more to a village than its stereotype and he adds excitement to it that one would find in their common lives such as Mr Pugh conspirering to murder his wife, Polly Garter crying touchingly for her beloved ‘wily- wee’ and even Mr Dia Bread’s alternative wife’s. This transforms the village as it underlines Thomas’s supposed key objective which was to show there was more to the Welsh people than thought to the stereotypical image of a Welsh person.
Cite this essay
“Under milk wood”. (2020, Jun 02). Retrieved from https://studymoose.com/under-milk-wood-12159-new-essay