“the two-roomed house is built of round timber, slabs, and stringy-bark, and floored with split slabs. A big bark kitchen standing at one end is larger than the house itself, veranda included”
The vivid description of the bare outback setting makes the reader feel as if though this woman is cut off from the rest of the world and only her own company to keep the only other adult she speaks to is her husband’s brother “who comes over once a month with provisions. The brother-in-law kills one of the sheep occasionally, gives her what she needs of it, and takes the rest in return for other provisions”. We are given a highly visual glimpse of an unrelenting monotonous and isolating setting. This harsh, physical backdrop becomes an important narrative element in the characterisation of the mother. The technique of repetition adds emphasis and enhances the visual image. The expression ‘bush’ helps to create a visual which is distinctively an Australian outback setting. Lawson repeats this term to give the reader a sense of how harsh the setting is. The land is seen and dried out and decrepit “consisting of stunted, rotten native apple trees” Lawson goes onto describe the monotony of the landscape and a few “She oaks being the only thing to relieve the eye”.
Lawson’s description of the setting is important as it makes the reader feel a sense of admiration for those who can live in such