The Distinctvely Visual

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  • Topic: Dave Regan, Henry Lawson, Andy Page
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  • Published : May 15, 2012
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Essay 4 – In what ways are people and their experiences brought to life through the distinctevly visual

The elements of characterisation, dialogue, dramatic imagery, symbolism are all deliberate constructions that shape the distinctly visual and affect an audience's response. Throughout an individual’s life distinct experiences are always carried out which affect the choices and decisions individuals make. Composers like Henry Lawson born in 1867 created distinctly visual images that have clearly sketched in the readers mind through the use of vernacular language, black humour, descriptive language and metaphors. Texts like The Loaded Dog (1901), In a Dry Season (1892) and Joe Wilson’s Courtship are examples of how distinct experiences can carry out distinctively visual stories. Similarly, Douglas Stewart who favoured 19th century romance and beauty in nature used a variety of literary devices to create the distinctively visual poems Lady Feeding the Cats and Snow Gum. Though the variation of literary devices and Romanticism, composers have created distinct experiences and images to convey the background and environment of the Australian outback.

Henry Lawson, an Australian bushman and author of the late 19th century, demonstrates the light hearted reality and enjoyable bush life through his paradoxical story The Loaded Dog. Lawson demonstrates this through the extensive use of black humour par excellence which builds a comical sequence of events that involves the nature of innocent youth. The Loaded Dog is one of Lawson’s entertaining tales that offers an alternative representation of the 19th century Australian outback. It is in the vast and under populated landscape that the characters Dave Regan, Jim Bently and Andy Page decide to blow up fish in the “big water hole” to seek revenge upon a catfish sting. The distinct experience of the flashback reinforces the drive for danger Andy has when he plunged into the “hole with his trousers tucked up.” Lawson carefully structures his text to create a sense of hilarious and distinct experiences. “To give the fish time to get over their scare when we put it in…. so we’ll want it well water tight.” The black humour that is being used in a hyperbolic situation heightens the reader’s amusement as well as entertains them. Multiple levels of irony is being displayed through the “big black young retriever dog or rather an overgrown pup, a big foolish, four footed mate.” It is ironic that the retriever retrieves the explosive and runs after the three youngsters. The alliteration in “four footed mate emphasizes the mate ship and irony as the dog alludes to man’s best friend. “Being a young dog, he tried to make friends with everybody.” The repetition of addressing Tommy as the retriever serves as the greatest irony and humour in the text. As the story unfolds Andy’s imperative tone of dialogue suggests danger. “Run, Andy! Run!” they shouted back at him. “Look behind you, you fool.” The use of exclamation marks connotes urgency and fast paced action which in turn builds entertainment. Lawson does not give any description when the bomb explodes in the mongrels face. He expects the audience to infer that the dog has been blown up. “The remains of the nasty yellow dog were lying against the paling fence of the yard… from a distance.” The extensive use of black humour is applied to amuse the audience by mocking a very serious situation. Lawson writes about the paradoxical emotional attachment to the Australian landscape that Dave, Andy and Regan have when they’re crafting an explosive which hyperbolically blows up the dog. This results in a humorous bush legend that paints an exciting portrait of the Australian outback.

Lawson has an ambivalent relationship with the Australian bush. The monotony of the bush is severe and heavy. This is clearly depicted In A dry Season . The short story focuses on the vast landscape and the setting in which the characters are associated with....
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