Henry Lawson

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Henry Lawson uses a variety of language techniques, colourful characters and strong personal voices in his stories ‘the drovers wife’ and ‘in a dry season’ to give off a negative image of the bush life and the gender inequities of the time. Similarly, Banjo Patterson writes about the bush in his poem ‘Clancy of the Overflow’. However, unlike Lawson, Patterson focuses on portraying a positive view of the bush whilst at the same time suggesting a negative view of the city life. Frederick McCubbin also focuses on the positive aspects of the bush through his painting ‘down on his luck’. His painting portrays the beauty of the bush but at the same time displays the negative views of the loneliness it brings. The drover’s wife is written in third person, from the point of view of an omniscient narrator. Lawson’s negativity towards the bush begins immediately in this story, when he uses diction to describe the bushland surrounding the house as “stunted, rotten native apple trees. No undergrowth. Nothing to relieve the eye save the darker green of a few sheoaks which are sighing above the narrow waterless creek’. Throughout these sentences Lawson stress many negative words such as stunted, rotten, no, and nothing. When describing the green sheoaks he uses the word ‘sighing’. This gives off the interpretation that even the trees do not wish to be there in the dull boring bush landscape. He later describes the children as ‘four ragged dried up looking children’. This use of descriptive adverbs gives us a negative visual representation of the children. To make this negative description complete, he also describes them as ‘urchins’. Although this word is archaic today, to his 19th Century audience it conveyed strong negative connotations. ‘She put on a pair of her husband’s trousers and beat out the flames with a green bough, til drops of sooty perspiration stood out on her forehead and ran in streaks down her blackened arms’. A negative image is also portrayed through...
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