Dylan Thomas' Under Milk Wood deals with the simplicity of life, stressing the importance of "each cobble, donkey, [and] goose"; we must rejoice in the simple aspects of life which ultimately make it so wonderful. There are many characters in the play who would attempt to hide from reality behind their "germ-free blinds" and "sealed window[s]", consuming themselves with insipid activities which do not bring the joy of the "spring sun" into their lives. Thomas' treats these characters with humour, subtly suggesting where his sympathies lie; with those characters who rejoice in the "love" and the little aspects of life which make it so much more worth living.
In the early stages of the play, the audience is invited into the "big seas" of Captain Cat's "dreams" where "the long drowned nuzzle up to him". The humorous banter between the "dead" which follows is used by Thomas to highlight how important it is to appreciate the simple, everyday things in life which may otherwise be taken for granted. As their banter becomes more and more frenzied, it turns to topics which, for a living person, may seem unimportant; the "coconuts and shawls and parrots", the "rum and lava bread" and music of "concertinas". The continued presence of these subjects within the conversation of the "drowned" however brings a sense of pathos to the scene, reminding the audience that the time which such simple and ultimately important aspects of life is very restricted.
The character of Captain Cat is treated sympathetically by Thomas, his conversations with the dead a reminder of both death's immanence and of the importance of having no fear of this. Captain Cat relishes in life, surrounding himself with the things he loves, shown in his "seashelled, ship-in bottled, shipshape best cabin of schooner house". Captain Cat, despite being both "retired and blind", has no fear of time nor death, being able to identify with both the young and the "long drowned". The captain's dreams of the...
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