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The Hunchback in the park [Dylan Thomas]
Structure and Form
"A solitary mister" highlights the isolation of the hunchback
Stanza's 5+6 has no rhyme scheme; synchronises the "truant" boys going "wild"
Irregular rhyme reflects a lack of stability in the life of the Hunchback.
Lack of Punctuation
Represents the power of imagination is running free
Keeps the poem moving through the day
Symbolises the on-going cycle of his misery
Reflects instability within his life
4 lines in each stanza
The ordered, perfect structure allows the reader to compare it to the Hunchback's imperfect body.
"Straight" expresses his longing and yearning
"Park" + "dark" in the first and last stanza enforces the cyclic nature of day and night.
"Like the park birds/water" highlights the strength of the man's connection with the park and
Onomatopoeia and Plosive "R"
"Roar on the rockery stones"; refers to the noise a tiger makes = threatening
Sustained "f" sound in "figure without fault" makes the Hunchback's ideal woman sound perfect in
form and beauty.
"Bell" links to the idea of Quasimado
"Propped between trees and water", suggests he blends in with nature. This strengthens the idea
that the park is the only thing that keeps him up.
"Straight" contrasts with the Hunchback, thus symbolising the power of the imagination to create
an alternative, better reality.
The park is a place for imagination to run free- this is in direct contrast with images of "locks" and
The park offers them all the same opportunity to use their imagination to create a more exciting
world. The boys crave escape whilst the hunchback craves escape for the "chains" of his disability.
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The birds have freedom of air and the water has freedom to travel-this contrasts with the
hunchback who is "chained" to his disability.
Bread and water were typically given to prisoners- it is no coincidence that the "locked" away
Hunchback is also treated as a prisoner by society.
The image of children pouring gravel in his cup is a simple act of childish behaviour yet it is powerful
and so our sympathy for the Hunchback grows.…read more