Short Story Analysis
"A Christmas Memory" by Truman Capote
Analysis of Theme
From the beginning of the story, the narrarator, Buddy, who is now an adult, flashes back to the memory of things he and his elderly cousin did, such as baking fruitcakes. Since most of the story is the scenes of preparation and the gathering of ingredients to make the fruitcakes, the narrarator makes many references from the past of the ingredients in the cakes and stories behind them.
One example is the whiskey that is used in the fruitcakes. The narrarator talks about the first time he and his cousin went to "Mr. Haha Jones's" cafe. The narrarator describes him as a giant, gloomy, never happy man.
"Memory also acts as a retreat from reality..." ("A Christmas Memory", 24) I think this statement is very true. It is portrayed in "A Christmas Memory" as the theme of the story.
"Capote, Truman (1924-1984)." Benet's Reader's Encyclopedia of American Literature. George B. Perkins, Barbara Perkins, and Phillip Leininger. Vol. 1. New York: HarperCollins, 1991. 160. Literature Resource Center. Web. 12 May 2016.
Capote, Truman. "A Christmas Memory." Weber State University. Web. 26 April 2016. PDF File.
"Inventing a Self and a World." Truman Capote: A Study of the Short Fiction. Helen S. Garson. New York: Twayne Publishers, 1992. 83-99. Twayne's Studies in Short Fiction 36. Twayne's Authors on GVRL. Web. 17 May 2016.
Lovett-Graff, Bennett. "Capote, Truman (1924–1984)." St. James Encyclopedia of Popular Culture. Ed. Thomas Riggs. 2nd ed. Vol. 1. Detroit: St. James Press, 2013. 503-505. Gale Virtual Reference Library. Web. 16 May 2016.