Last Updated on June 28, 2019, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 432
In Under Milk Wood, the First Voice serves as a narrator loosely holding together the other voices, which are of the dead former residents of the village called Llareggub. Voices come from the cemetery’s graves; befitting the village’s seaside location, many of the dead were drowned.
The play opens with a lengthy monologue by the First Voice, which establishes the overall somber but slightly humorous mood, as well as the full, rich tone of the prose. The First Voice describes the village at night and some its living, sleeping people and animals.
And all the people of the lulled and dumbfound town are sleeping now…. The boys are dreaming wicked or of the bucking ranches of the night and the jollyrodgered sea And the anthracite statues of the horses sleep in the fields, and the cows in the byres, and the dogs in the wetnosed yards….
Listen. It is night moving in the streets, the processional salt slow musical wind in Coronation Street and Cockle Row, it is the grass growing on Llareggub Hill, dewfall, starfall, the sleep of birds in Milk Wood.
One by one, more voices join in, as the audience hears from the numberless dead. The drowned speak to the sleeping Captain Cat, a blind, retired sea captain. They ask how things are going in the land of the living.
FIRST DROWNED: How’s it above?
SECOND DROWNED: Is there rum and laverbread?
THIRD DROWNED: Bosoms and robins?
FOURTH DROWNED: Concertinas?
Captain Cat later describes the actions among the living, describing townspeople going about their normal activities. The First Voice tells us that he...
(The entire section contains 432 words.)
Unlock This Study Guide Now
Start your 48-hour free trial to unlock this Under Milk Wood study guide. You'll get access to all of the Under Milk Wood content, as well as access to more than 30,000 additional guides and more than 350,000 Homework Help questions answered by our experts.
- Critical Essays