Under Milk Wood – the Voices

Topics: Dylan Thomas, Under Milk Wood, Poetry Pages: 3 (876 words) Published: June 11, 2005
Under milk wood is a radio play written by Dylan Thomas, it tells the story of a day in the life of a small town called Llareggub. The play is set in the 1950's, and it has two narrators, called Voice 1 and Voice 2, which act as dramatic devices and move the play along in space and time. The Voices give poetry to the play by giving the listener Thomas's view of the town. The two voices are Thomas's opportunity to act as a guide to Llareggub. He uses the Voices throughout the play, the first Voice starts and ends the play, the characters seem to interact with the voices, and for example the characters often finish off lines that the voices started. One example of this is in the introduction of Mr Pugh, the retired school teacher. First voice: "Mr Pugh"

Mr Pugh: "remembers ground glass as he juggles his omelette" It does the same thing further down the page when it says,
First Voice: "Mrs Pugh"
Mrs Pugh: "nags the salt cellar"

The Voices also build a relationship with the listener, they seem to be trustworthy and to have a sense of humour, and this helps the listener to learn about the characters and to understand the town. An example of this could be found in the prologue when the First Voice addresses the listener personally by saying "Only your eyes are unclosed" and again when it says "And you alone can hear the invisible starfall". The effect of this makes the listener feel like the Voices are talking to them alone. The Voice also seems to invite the listener into the town, when it tells us" Hush, the babies are sleeping" it then goes into a string of images about the people of the town: "the farmers, the fishers, the tradesmen and pensioners, cobbler, schoolteacher, postman and publican". Strings of images convey very strong feelings and can get across the atmosphere of a place very well. This particular string of images is telling the listener all the people in the town who is asleep. The effect of it is the Voice becoming friendlier with the listener...
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