Cider With Rosie by Laurie Lee by Brian Tarbitt (auth.)

By Brian Tarbitt (auth.)

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Sooner or later, of course, they were bound to be discovered - in this case by a couple of farm-hands, who treated the situation as high comedy. It is at this point that Lee turns aside for a couple of pages from the principal material of his section to make a sweeping comment on 'crime and punishment'. The gist of his view is that the young people of his village were able to grow up in a natural way, without the intervention and interference of outside authority. If punishment was 31 required for a particular transgression, then the villagers or parents provided it; it could be over and done with in a few minutes, or in some cases could last for years.

It pervaded all aspects of life. Of course in Cider with Rosie one hears little of the church and so is led to believe that Lee was not in a narrow sense religious. But he did, as a boy, go to church every Sunday- more than once, as he was in the choir - and the beginning of this section shows very clearly how the revolving cycle of the church's year, seen in the great festivals of Easter, Whitsuntide, the Harvest and Christmas, corresponded to, and was interlinked with, the changing seasons of the natural year.

As a final point - to be developed more fully later - it is worth mentioning the great humour in this section. It is perhaps very typical of the writer as we see him in this book that he is more prepared to make fun of himself than of anyone else, and to find comedy in times of greatest personal adversity. SECTION 10 THE UNCLES Summary Laurie Lee describes in turn his mother's five brothers. What they seem to have had in common, with the possible exception of Fred, the last, was a larger-than-life character, a habit of hard drinking, an attraction for women, and a zest for living.

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