Welcome back! Throughout this blog post, we will focus on the work of Henry Lawson and his use of the distinctively visual to provide readers with an understanding of his perception on the harsh, inhospitable nature of the Australian outback and the effects this has on individual dwellers. Remember, when writing about the distinctively visual, we always want to acknowledge that the author is trying to ‘position’ the responder to view their relative insight on a certain place or idea.
Lawson’s short stories demonstrate a colonial perspective, highlighting the difficulties of living in the harsh and barren Australian outback in his distinctively visual writing of “The Drover’s Wife.”
Lawson uses distinctively visual images in The Drover’s Wife to communicate a colonial perspective and the difficulties associated with living in the Australian outback, enabling audiences to empathise with this experience. ‘The Drover’s wife’ utilises a personal story in depicting an archetypal portrait of all drover’s wives of the 19th century.
Quotes and Examples:
Lawson portrays a demoralising image of isolation through his harsh description of setting, “for here is nothing other than bush with no horizon to meet the eye.” An unequivocal tone and hyperbolic image of ‘no horizon’ effectively delineates the harsh landscape, allowing readers to empathise with the woman’s isolation.
Here’s another example…
Lawson enhances the woman’s resilience through his visual description of her metaphorical, “worn out breasts” and “gaunt, sun browned skin” to articulate her perspective as a woman who has battled and overcome the hardships of the land. In this way, Lawson effectively uses the distinctively visual to convey his perspective of the Drover’s wife, in order to generate empathy for the extreme tenacity and fortitude needed to survive the experiences of living in the Australian outback during colonial times.
‘In a Dry Season’ is a great comparative text of Lawson’s which works nicely with ‘The Drover’s wife’.
*Please note that while this information is a great starting point for these texts, relying solely on the information in this post will not be enough to get a result in the top bands.