The Ballad of the Drover and Huckleberry Finn

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Text 1 ‘The Ballad of the Drover’ is a poem written by Henry Lawson in the 1930s. It was sourced from on 21/7/12. This poem is in the tradition of the Australian ‘Bush Ballad’ and narrates the story of Harry Dale, a young drover who is on his way home when confronted by a flood. Like many poems from this period it glorifies the lifestyle of popular Australian characters like the drover. This poem discusses the concept of the physical obstacles that affect journeys. It also reveals the idea that a physical journey causes people to reflect on their relationships with others.

In ‘The Ballad of the Drover’ and ‘Huckleberry Finn,’ the central characters encounter physical hardships and obstacles in the course of their journey. For example; the drover in his eagerness to reach home arrogantly believes he can defy the power of nature and cross the flooded river. In Huckleberry Finn, Huck and Jim are often in danger on their journey down the river from other river craft, for example when the steamboat destroys their raft. In both texts, the physical journey causes characters to reflect on their relations with others. The drover is so eager to get home because he is thinking of “someone / He hopes to marry soon.” This is his impetus for trying to complete the journey despite the apparent dangers. In Huckleberry Finn, it is the time spent on the raft with Jim that allows Huck to come to an understanding that Jim’s humanity is equal to his own.

The concept of physical journeys is represented by the composer through his choice of the ballad form. This form is commonly used in poetry to narrate a story and so allows the poet to structure the narrative to tell the reader about the different stages of Harry’s...