Henry Lawson

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Throughout history the Australian identity and its associated values have been represented through distinctively visual language. Henry Lawson uses many evocative and powerful language techniques to convey his thoughts and feelings. This is clearly shown in “the drovers wife” and “in a dry season”. Other narratives also utilise the many language techniques to convey the distinctively visual image and is shown in “the man from Snowy River” by Banjo Patterson. All three texts reveal both positive and negative values which are indicative of the Australian image. Through the forms and language of these texts, and the values of larrikinism, heroism, humour, environment and realism, they alter the responder’s perceptions and understand the perceptions of Australia and its identity. Larrikinism is a significant element in the culture and image of Australia and has emerged repeatedly in texts over the ages. This Australian value is clearly displayed in “in a dry season” as the protagonist personally introduces the responder to an archetypical bushman “about Byrock we met the bush liar in all his glory; he was dressed like-like bush larrikin”. Through the use of cliché, a hyperbole and colloquialism, Lawson portrays a distinctively visual image of the typical Australian Bush larrikin. The value of humour is shown and displays a more authentic contemporary Australian image. This idea is clearly echoed through the comical attitudes of the Bushmen in “the loaded dog”, “Bushmen say that the kitchen jumped off its piles and on again”. The hyperbolic humour and personification show how the Bushmen stay calm and joke after a potentially disastrous situation. Likewise humour is also revealed in “in a dry season” as the travelling passenger witnesses the different characters on his journey, “god bless the publican, and the coach-driver!”. The humorous tone, hyperbole and blasphemy reveal how the passenger makes his own mockery at others whilst travelling through the countryside....
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