Dylan Thomas

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Can you explain in a paragraph how the hunchback is characterized in Dylan Thomas' poetm, "The Hunchback In The Park?"

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In “The Hunchback In The Park,” the main characteristic associated with the hunchback is freedom—specifically the kind of freedom associated with nature. It’s a gritty, but real freedom. Thus, while the hunchback is described as a “solidary mister,” isolated from other humans. He is also “propped between trees and water,” and amongst playing children.  He’s eating outside on a park bench, but as the speaker of the poem notes in the second stanza, the park is also a place of leisure, where the speaker “sailed his ship.” The mention of the ship, traditionally, a symbol of freedom, along with the metaphor, “like the park birds” further indicates the bounded freedom. The ship is sailing, but only in a fountain. Park birds can fly, but we find them mostly at our feet plucking up crumbs. Ultimately, however, the poem seems to see the freedom as winning out over grittiness. As is noted in stanza two, the hunchback “slept at night in a dog kennel/But nobody chained him up.”  

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