The themes of the Drover’s Wife
The short story, the drover’s wife portrays a strong and independent female in the bush. Her husband is out with sheep, leaving her alone with her four young children. She has to face many changes and difficulties in life all by herself. The story is told from the perspective of the woman and is mainly about the process of beating a snake and her recall of the hard past. Though the story is very short, it covers several themes. They are respectively equality, responsibility, love, life, and bravery.
Equality: women can be as brave and perseverant as men
The theme of equality is evident in the short story. More often than not, it is the men who receive all the glory while the women stay silent in the background. Actually, women can be heroic as well. Bravery and perseverance of the drover’s wife is shown throughout the story. Living in the isolation, danger, and sameness of the bush, she has fought many battles without her husband and the more struggles, the stronger she becomes. While she keeps watch for the snake that has hidden under the house, she recalls many difficulties which she has survived in her life. Once one of her children died and she had to ride nineteen miles for help, but only found it was too late. When there was a bush fire threatening to burn down her house, she took the role of her husband, putting on an old pair of her husband’s trousers and beating out the flames with a bough till great drops of sooty perspiration stood out on her forehead and ran in streaks down her blackened arms. She has given up her femininity because the fierce and cruel surroundings do not allow the development of the womanly side of nature. Living in such a bad condition, the only thing to do is to give up her day-dreams that she had as a girl and to face the various difficulties and dangers with bravery and perseverance.
Responsibility: ‘people’ takes their responsibility for each other The theme of being responsible can be...
References: Elizabeth Webby. Bush Studies. Australia: HarperCollins Publishers, 1993.
Henry Lawson. The Drover’s Wife. Australia: Text Publishing Company, 1998
Zhang Dong-rui “An Analysis of the Narrative line of the Drover 's wife.” Journal of Shangqiu Teachers College 2010-08
Ma Xiaojing and Guo Jian (2011). “On Writing Techniques of an Artistically Ingenious Work——Henry Lawson 's The Drover 's Wife.” Science and Technology, 18
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