The Drovers Wife

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English SACE STAGE 1
Bridget O’Brien
Women play a central role in “The drovers Wife” by henry Lawson and the film, ‘Australia’ by Baz Luhrman. With references to the narrative elements and cinematic conventions, discuss how women were portrayed in both Genres. Both the text ‘The Drovers Wife’ and the movie ‘Australia’ focus on the independency of Australian women and the aboriginal society. In the short story "The Drover's Wife," Henry Lawson acknowledges the hardships of Australian women whose bravery and perseverance is unfairly overlooked. It is often the men who receive all the glory while the women suffer silently in the background. In the movie ‘Australia’ Baz Luhrman sheds light on the life of one of these heroic women as she struggles to keep her child safe in the Australian bush. The drover’s wife is an interesting character, much like Lady Ashley in regards to the complexity of her character. She is a sturdy, strong and very self-reliant woman who has to make the best of her situation. After the drover leaves for his seasonal droving the wife is left all alone. She has to care for the house, the kids as well as everything that may come up. The snake arriving is just one incident. The woman acts with calmness and ease when the bot first notices the snake. She doesn’t get her or her kids stressed out but maintains control of the situation. This control and ease the woman has really draws upon her quality for reacting appropriately in an emergency and potentially fatal situation. This really shows how the woman has to be in total control as there is no man around who could help her. She puts into place quick effective measures to protect herself and the children.  

Lady Ashley is portrayed as a strong and independent woman, yet there is another side to the woman, she is lonely and misses having someone take care of her. She shows much vulnerability when the drover is yet to go on another drove and she gives him an ultimatum to either stay or never...
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