A Christmas Memory

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It is curious that as children, humans have the ability to observe and remember details of specific situations and instances yet lack the ability to describe them. Truman Capote, as a grown man, took advantage of his vivid memories and composed the short work, "A Christmas Memory." The story begins in late November, a month symbolic of all the years gone by that Capote could remember beginning preparations for Christmas fruitcakes. The year he has chosen, though, is that of the last Christmas three friends spend together. A boy of seven, Capote has but two friends: his "sixty-something" year old distant cousin and a loyal, happy pooch named Buddy. Although the age difference between the cousins is great, it is clear that the two are almost on the same level of intelligence. His old cousin is not ignorant or innocent by choice, rather, because of her frail condition she has been brushed off by adults and has never outgrown her childish ways. As the narrator, Capote recounts memories of good times; the times before his family members decided that home was not where he belonged. Overall, the story is bittersweet because there is joy to be found in the simplicity of the three friends' happiness. However, after this specific Christmas, Capote is forced to move out of his house and to leave his innocence behind. The story is not purely self-serving because Capote uses this piece not only to revisit his memories of happier times, but to also evoke the memories of the readers. The theme of a loss of childhood innocence is one that many people can relate to, as well. However, Capote composed this piece using the observant eye of a youth juxtaposed against wisdom only gained with age. An uncommon usage of colons is employed throughout his work to present different areas of text. Although mostly used for introducing lists or great excerpts of quotes, Capote uses colons for lists as well as for dividing lines of text to break the monotony. Even more so,...
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