The Swans Clifford Dyment Analysis Essay

Response Journal For "The Charmer" By Budge Wilson

Budge Wilson's "The Charmer" is a remarkable tale of loss, morality, and love. It is the story of how a young girl comes to realize that her devilishly handsome brother is nothing more than a charmer. It is set in a 1950's Halifax home where Zachary, the narrator's brother, repeatedly abuses his privileges and takes advantage of his family.

Zack seems to believe that his looks will help him escape any situation he may find himself in. He uses his sense of humour and charm to manipulate his family and friends. Zack has a way of making those around him feel special, and uses this quality to his advantage. His sister, Winnifred, washes his bike and fetches his baseball glove just to see his "flashing Colgate smile" and to be called Posie, the nickname he has chosen for her to let her know that she has measured up. He is aware that the cake his mother has baked is not meant for him, yet he eats it anyway. He offers an insincere but convincing apology, and she starts to bake another cake. His family are his willing slaves, and it is only after the tragedy of Lizzie's death that they finally begin to see who Zachary really is.

Zack is the imperfect model son, but his family is too blinded by love to see his flaws. His fake apologies somehow manage to touch their hearts, and allow them to forgive all of his mistakes. Zachary steals money and alcohol from his parents, but manages to get away with it. He gambles and crashes the family car, but goes unpunished. He is "the only son, the only brother, the oldest child," but even more than that, he is as the title implies, the charmer.

Despite his good looks and charming personality, Zachary does not accomplish anything in life. At twenty-four, he still lives at home, still wolfs down chocolate cakes, and still borrows the family car. He spends his money on his girlfriends and his alcohol, and gambles away what is left of it. He loses job after job, and is becoming, if he is not yet, an alcoholic. Zack has so much offered to him, but fails to apply himself to improve his situation. However, he cannot be held entirely responsible for his failures, as his family holds some of the blame. If they had only shown less sympathy, and had seen past his false façade, he would have learned early on that he could not charm his...

Loading: Checking Spelling

0%

Read more

Response for "The Swans". Essay

1040 words - 4 pages The Swans, by Clifford DymentMidstream they met. Challenger and champion,They fought a war for honorFierce, sharp, but with no honor;Each had a simple aim and sought it quickly.The combat over the victor sailed awayBroken,...

The Piano Lesson by August Wilson

2410 words - 10 pages The Piano Lesson by August Wilson: The Wisdom of the Ivories Can a treasured object of the past serve as a teacher for the future? Once people share the historical significance of it, an object can symbolize the overcoming of hardships of those lives in which it becomes a part. Therefore, it may indeed “instruct” future generations to glean wisdom from the past. August Wilson’s play The Piano Lesson centers on the trials and triumphs of a...

The Piano Lesson by August Wilson

1505 words - 6 pages “I got the power of death” (Wilson 29). You might recognize this quote from Boy Willie in The Piano Lesson by August Wilson an African American play writer. In this essay I am going to highlight some things about his life. According to (Britannica Concise Encyclopedia) August Wilson was born on April 27, 1945 in the town of Pittsburgh Pennsylvania. He was born Frederick August Kittel, Jr. Son of a German immigrant named Frederick August Kittel...

Analysis: The Piano Lesson by August Wilson

2242 words - 9 pages August Wilson’s The Piano Lesson, tells a story of a family haunted by the pain of their past and their struggle to find peace to move forward. The story begins with character Boy Willie coming up from the south visiting his sister Bernice. Boy Willie introduces the idea of selling the family’s heirloom, a piano, to raise enough money to buy the land on which his ancestors were enslaved. However, both Boy Willie and his sister Berniece own half...

Summer of the Monkeys by Wilson Rawls

2195 words - 9 pages OUTLINE Topic: Jay Berry Purpose: To identify the nature of the force of the conflict which Jay Berry encounters, and indicate how they help or hinder Jay Berry the protagonist in Wilson Rawls novel Summer of the Monkeys Thesis: Before Jay Berry succeeds his goal he encounters many conflicts that both hinder and help him...

Journal Entries for the play, "Of the Fields, Lately" by David French.

2123 words - 8 pages Of the Fields, LatelyRESPONSE JOURNALMarch 9, 2003The play Of the Fields, Lately portrays an average working class family living in the cold, isolated area of...

Macbeth - journal for lord macbeth entry after murder of the king by him and lady macbeth.

810 words - 3 pages To whomever it is that is reading this, I am Lord Macbeth, and I have just recently been crowned king of Scotland. You have probably discovered this letter after my death and supposedly after Burnham wood has moved up to Duns Inane. I have written this letter as something to be found after my death to answer any questions anyone has about what has been going on lately.Well about..... 2 weeks ago now I was riding back from an errand with...

A critical analysis of the sonnet by Sir Thomas Wyatt beginning "My galley charged with Forgetfulness" and of The sonnet by Samuel Daniel entitled "Care-charmer Sleep".

2583 words - 10 pages The Renaissance period brought a revival to all forms of the arts, including that of literature. Poetry became a way for writers to display their skill with language as they artistically sculpted the words and lines of their poems. Poetry at this time followed strict forms that gave the structure within which the poet can operate. One such form that became very popular...

The Future of Life by: Edward O. Wilson

2844 words - 11 pages This chapter to me was all about organisms that can survive in extreme conditions. How every square inch of earth is inhabited with creatures of one kind or another. I learnt the fundamental principle of biological geography, that wherever there is liquid water (h2o), organic molecules, and an energy source, there is life. I found out about the McMurdo Dry Valleys of Antarctica, who soils are the coldest, driest, and most nutritionally deficient...

Lessons from The Piano Lesson by August Wilson

949 words - 4 pages What should one do with their legacy, and how should it be put to use? In the play “The Piano Lesson”, the Charles' family faces this question, and struggles to find the answer. The family’s legacy is in the form of a piano. On the piano are carvings of their ancestors. The two main characters that are having a conflict over the piano are Berniece and Boy Willie. Boy Willie wants to sell the piano so he can add the proceeds of the sale to the...

Where the Red Fern Grows by Wilson Rawls

1033 words - 4 pages Where the Red Fern grows       A novel by Wilson Rawls named Where the Red Fern Grows is the story of a boy, his two hounds (which he named Old Dan and Little Ann), and all of the adventures they shared together. A loving threesome, they ranged the dark hills and river bottoms of the Cherokee country. Old Dan had the brawn, Little Ann had the brains, and Billy had the will to train them to be the...

It's not uncommon to read poems about the First World War written from the perspective of fathers, mothers, sisters, or sweethearts of men who had left to fight, but I can think of only two poems written by sons of soldiers.  Ironically, both poets' fathers served with the Lancashire Fusiliers.  One of those poems -- "Six Young Men" – was written by Ted Hughes nearly forty years after the war had ended.  Hughes himself had no memory of the war, as he was born in 1930, twelve years after the Armistice. 

Another lesser known poem – "The Son" – was written by Clifford Dyment when he was just 21 years old.  Dyment was born in January of 1914 to Bessie and William Dyment.  His autobiography, The Railway Game, includes an early memory of his young father in their home in the village of Caerleon-on-Usk in Wales, probably shortly before his father enlisted: 

It was my father's job to light the lamp in the evening. To me this was a ritual and a spectacle that invested him with priestly power and glory. He held a match to the wick and the wild wick snatched the flame from his hand and threw it up in the air and bounced it on the floor and hurled it up to the ceiling and flung it from wall to wall: it was a rough and playful exhibition of the eternal conflict between the forces of light and darkness. Majestically my father turned the lamp's brass wheel and the romping flame was hauled instantly back into the lamp like a tiger into its cage: the ceremony, short, brilliant, and daunting, was over. Now a cone of sunshiny radiance hung placidly from the lamp to the floor, and until it was time for me to be put to bed I scrambled about in a bell-tent made of light.

Dyment was just four when his father died; his poem "The Son" was published seventeen years later in 1935. 

The Son

by Clifford Dyment

I found the letter in a cardboard box,
Unfamous history. I read the words.
The ink was frail and brown, the paper dry
After so many years of being kept.
The letter was a soldier's, from the front—
Conveyed his love and disappointed hope
Of getting leave. It's cancelled now, he wrote.
My luck is at the bottom of the sea.

Outside the sun was hot; the world looked bright;
I heard a radio, and someone laughed.
I did not sing, or laugh, or love the sun,
Within the quiet room I thought of him,
My father killed, and all the other men,
Whose luck was at the bottom of the sea.

The first stanza's images of age and decay separate the living son from his dead father and from the past.  In an ordinary cardboard box, the son has found a letter that is "history," a pedestrian, common sort of history that was never widely known and that will be forgotten within a generation.  It seems that the box has been hidden away, and although the letter is precious for having been "kept," this is likely the first time the son has seen his father's handwriting.  Without emotion, the young man tells us flatly that he "read the words."  The poem creates a further emotional distance describing the letter as that of "a soldier's, from the front," as if it could be from any man.  The letter's message is simple and universal, writing of love and longing for home.  The news is of a cancelled leave, and the soldier's resigned despair can be heard in his words:  "My luck is at the bottom of the sea." 

The second stanza abruptly shifts to the present: the sun, a radio, laughter.  But the young man detaches himself from the present moment, sitting alone and apart in "the quiet room," remembering his father and "all the other men" whose "luck was at the bottom of the sea."  The luckless include not only the men who died in the war, but the men who grew up fatherless.  As well, the repetition of the phrase "luck is at the bottom of the sea" underscores the hopelessness and powerless of ordinary people during war time. 

William Dyment, Clifford Dyment's father, will never be famous, but he need not be forgotten.  He was born September 15, 1888 in Llancarfen, Wales and baptized there as well.  He married Bessie Riding on October 20, 1912 in the Registry Office in Newport.  They moved to Caerleon-on-Usk and lived at 1 Ashwell Terrace in a two-room cottage that has since been destroyed.  William was a carpenter who set himself up in business as a cabinet maker until on May 17, 1917 he joined the Royal Engineers  (later the Lancashire Fusiliers).   In just over a year, on May 22, 1918, he would die outside Amiens, France and be buried in the Varennes Military Cemetery, Section II, Row M, Grave 6.  

In 1919-1920, when British military cemeteries were erecting permanent headstones to commemorate the Commonwealth war dead, relatives were contacted and asked if they wished to purchase a brief epitaph inscription (limited to 66 characters).  Records indicate that a letter was sent to William Dyment's next of kin, B. Dyment, in Nottingham.  Next to his name is noted, "No Reply."   

0 Replies to “The Swans Clifford Dyment Analysis Essay”

Lascia un Commento

L'indirizzo email non verrà pubblicato. I campi obbligatori sono contrassegnati *