Drover’s wife and the loaded dog
Stories use narrative to involve the responder in a range of experiences. Storytellers use narrative techniques to establish a setting and shape the characters personality. This is shown in Henry Lawson’s short stories the drover’s wife and the loaded dog.
Henry Lawson’s the drovers wife, explores the perspicacity of the bush heroine with the use of a narrator. The narrators’ avoidance of using a name for the drover’s wife prevents the responder being influenced by their names and instead allows the responder to judge for themselves through the actions and events that occur in the story. This also shows the responder that the hardships and struggles faced by this woman are in fact related back to all drovers’ wives.
The purpose of the narrator in this story is to evoke sympathy for the drover’s wife through the events that happen the story. The emotional strength of the woman is emphasized throughout the story with the use of flashbacks. The drover’s wife recalls such things where she had to defend herself and her family, fighting against bushfires, floods, disease and mad animals. All of these experiences contain a degree of difficulty. The importance of showing these memories to the responder is that the reader can sympathize with her but it also shows the responder that nothing that she has experienced has ‘broken’ her. ‘One of her children died while she was here alone. She rode nineteen miles for assistance, carrying the dead child.’
In the story, the narrator identifies four different time frames which are used to build suspense, ‘it is near sunset’, ‘it must be near one or two o’clock’, ‘it must be near morning now’ and ‘it must be near daylight’. These time frames are small, yet in each time frame another part of the woman’s history of hardship is explored. ‘The rain will make the grass grow, and this reminds her how she fought a bush fire once her husband was away.’ Henry Lawson...
The Loaded Dog
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