Summary of Dylan Thomas' The Hunchback in the park

This is the essay of the Hunchback in the park written by Dylan Thomas. This is concise summary which help in writing all kinds of questions related to Literature (M.A.) for Andhra, Nagarjuna and Kuppam universities. This also helps you write assignments and annotations.


This is the poem written by Dylan Thomas. This is a part of syllabus for first year post graduation students.

Dylan Thomas regularly visits a park in his childhood. This poem is his childhood experience. When he goes to park he recollects the childhood memories once again. He used to play in the park. He likes fountain in the park where he sets sail the paper boats. While he is remembering, he thinks of a poor hunch back in the park who resides in the park.

Life of Hunch back in the park

The Hunch back is deserted by the people. No one cares of him and Nature takes the responsibility of him. Nature plays with him. He resides between trees and roams around water bodies in the park. Nature keeps company with him. He stays with animals and birds around him. The thrown outs feed him. The buns thrown out in newspaper folding, he gathers and satiates his hunger. He drinks water from the fountain of the park. There used to be a chained cup to drink water not to be stolen by anyone. Mischievous children filled the cup which is used by hunch back with stones. He sleeps in the shelter of dog. He is assimilated by the nature. He always stays in slumber; He is referred as sleeping log by Dylan Thomas. Thus the life of Hunch back goes on. The visitors of park do not bother about him. He is not bound and escapes his presence to the park keeper. If he sees he may drive him out. The park keeper holds a stick with which he picks the leaves. The sound will alert him his arrival and stays among trees. In the night time, he retires to his kennel and sleeps. Nature is accompanying him wherever he goes. Thus the element of nature is conspicuous. The nature follows him in the evening. The most irritating factor to the poet is that the truant children who visit to the park. They mock at the physically handicapped person. They jeered at him and call often mister, which refers to the people without little nobility. They also want to scare him by facial expressions and by eyes. On Sundays, he is left alone without any people presence in the park. Then Nature provides solace. Till here we assume that this is a kind of pity poem to be sympathetic. This is where Dylan poems differ.

Entry of the lady

The twist comes as one day a lady visits the park. In the view of poet she is without any deformity. She stays and observes the hunch back all the time. She is tall and stayed till evening. The doors of park are locked. But this lady has not left the park. Only two people are there in the park. There are questions why lady has been there in nights. This is not answered. According to few persons, there must have been sexual activity going on after the hours of park. These raise so many doubts and left to the imagination of the reader.

Doubts about the mysterious lady

This could be the doubt Thomas might have had in his mind and posing before the readers without giving what he thinks. There are doubts when there is a keeper in the park whether it is possible to stay for a woman. Whether Dylan wants to speak of nefarious nights of society at the time of him. In the first sentences, we can realize the pity shown by poet towards the hunch back. His revelation that nobody is caring except nature and children. As nature is object of solace, children are annoying the hunchback. Rest of the world has left him to his fate. Even though children are annoying, it is not intentional. They do it as per their innocence and later they follow hunchback to his kennel out of sheer curiosity.

Positive opinion about lady

According to few, hunch back wants to escape his predicament and solitary life. Thus he imagines that there is a lady with him in the park. He may have been bent due to lump on his back and crooked ribs. But the woman is even taken out of his crooked ribs she is referred as straight elm tree in the poem. Eve is taken out of Adam from ribs of him. Then Adam refers her bones of my bones, flesh of my flesh. Thus here, he is assuming that woman is taken out of ribs. He is feeling that he has crooked ribs. But the crooked ribs have even given perfect woman for him. Like this, he forgets his pain of heart which is caused by staying lonely. This gives solace to him.


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