Distinctively Visual - Henry Lawson Essay

1252 WordsOct 16, 20116 Pages
Theme and language can be the basis of poetry that is capable of holding the attention of a nation over decades, and Henry Lawson was an Australian literary Icon who did exactly that. The term ‘Distinctly visual’ refers to the way composers use language to create particular pictures in the mind of the audience. These ‘snapshot’ images compel Australians to see themselves as stoic and strong people who respond to the harsh landscape with humour and mateship. ‘Distinctly visual’ is expressed through many of the Henry Lawson’s short stories including ‘The Drovers Wife’ and ‘the loaded dog’. It is also shown in the poem ‘The Mitchells’ by Les Murray. These texts all convey the connection to land, the concepts of mateship and Australian spirit that contribute to a distinctly Australian identity. Henry Lawson is capable of entwining his readers into his stories so that they understand the true feelings and emotions of the characters. He presents the Australian outback as a difficult and harsh area to live in, but something all Australians share, that arid roughness of the outback. Lawson’s careful choices of words, avoiding the use of description or having complicated plots, enable him to capture the particular image of his characters’ lives. The composers of these texts generate powerful images through the use of strong verbs, anthropomorphism, personification and metaphors. These texts are distinctly Australian as they portray larrikinism and stoicism and identifiably Australian imagery, using techniques such as vernacular language, characterisation and symbolism. In the short story ‘The Drovers Wife’ by Henry Lawson, the central character, the wife, doesn’t have a description or name, and as a result makes her and her story symbolic to all women in her position throughout Australia. Lawson’s opening paragraph presents us with a bleak environment with “stunted,

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