It’s December 25, and that means Christmas is here! I hope all of you are in the cheers today!
Well, for today, we will first start off with the discussion questions for “The Christmas Memory” from yesterday’s post. You can download the story from there.
1) Obviously, the fruitcake symbolizes friendship. Notice that Buddy and his cousin don’t give off fruitcakes to that much people, only to certain people now and then who really impress them. For them, true friendship is something not easily found, but rather something that is rare and needs to be treasured. Another evidence includes the cousin always sending Buddy “the best of the patch.” This signifies that the relationship between Buddy and his cousin are the strongest friendships they ever had.
2) The narrator probably is called Buddy by his cousin because maybe the cousin is trying to relive her friendship from long ago. Again, to them friendships are rare, but they are also in a sense fragile, so the cousin is trying to hold on to this friendship that she had long ago. Perhaps another better reason is that even though friendships are fragile, they can never be broken. Once you make someone your friend, that friend will always be inside your heart. In this case, the real Buddy died long ago, but in the cousin’s mind, this friendship with the real Buddy is still living and will always last forever.
3) Buddy and his cousin are scrambling for money so they can make their fruitcakes. Remember that fruitcakes symbolize friendship. What the author is trying to say here is that making a relationship is not an easy thing to do. Rather, it requires tons of hard work and commitment in order to start building a friendship.
4) Mr. Haha was thought to be mean, but he turns out to be nice. My interpretation of this is that no matter how bad a person is, he is in a fact a good person inside his heart. Or more accurately, everybody has the potential to be good. Also notice Mr. Haha is a foreigner from India, thus the reason Buddy keeps on thinking he’s scary. Perhaps another lesson here is that even though differences set us apart, we can all learn to get along together.
5) Buddy being separated from his cousin emphasizes the fragility of friendships. They are fragile due to many outside situations, and in this case, Buddy is being sent off to military school. Notice where he is being sent off: military school. When we think of the military, we usually think of harshness, cruelness, and war. Perhaps all of this symbolizes that these military-like elements are what break relationships apart. Maybe the military symbolizes the world itself, in which this world is harsh and cruel. And it is because of all those worldly situations that separate people.
The age differences perhaps show that no matter how different people are, they can still be friends. Yet, in the story, it is this age difference that causes the cousin’s death and physically breaks the friendship. However, I think the author wrote this event to show us that friendships will last even after death, as evident by Buddy still thinking about his cousin. (Hmm. sorry. This recent pargrph probably doesn’t make sense.)
6) Questions 6 and 7 tie into each other. Truman Capote writes this story maybe because he had a similar experience. But all in all, it is to show the reader that the holiday of Christmas is a time to recognize these friendships that we have, these friendships that are so hard to find, so hard to build up, yet easily so fragile.