Distinctively Visual Lawson Essay

By way of a varied use of descriptive language the short stories of Lawson and poetry of Mackellar show that it is true that distinctively visual texts allow the reader to vividly imagine and gain insights into the characters, relationships and settings. Lonely drover’s wives, Bushmen and fettlers, as well as the setting of a sunburnt Australian landscape are brought to life and into unique relationship, in the

visual imagery of Henry Lawson and Dorothea Mackellar’s compositions. Henry Lawson created a strong image of the uniquely Australian bush and the hardships of the people who have lived and worked there. The two important stories which reveal Lawson’s vision are, ‘In a Dry Season’ and ‘The Drover’s Wife’.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">He draws on the tradition of oral storytelling to make the bush come alive through colloquial language and idiom. Lawson uses a dry, sardonic humor to entertain and provoke empathy for his characters. His descriptions of the various settings are blunt but precise with illustrative adjectives and nouns of a “horrible” land. Contrastingly, the related text, Dorothea Mackellar’s poem, ‘My Country’, expresses a vivid and memorable panorama of place, drawing on a kaleidoscope palette of nouns, rhyme and first person perspective to ingrain in the reader’s imagination her passionate vision of the land and “love for her country, Australia.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">For &#8216;The Drover&#8217;s Wife&#8217; Lawson uses the third-person present perspective and opens by setting the scene in &#8220;the two-roomed house&#8221; with &#8220;bush all around &#8211; bush with no horizon&#8221;, taking the responder immediately into the setting and vividly bringing it to life in the mind&#8217;s eye. Lawson&#8217;s statements, &#8220;Nothing to relieve the eye&#8221; and &#8220;nothing to see&#8221; appeal directly to the responder&#8217;s own imaginative sight and powerfully enhances the imagery of emptiness. The repetition of &#8220;bush&#8221; and its description with emotive adjectives such as &#8220;stunted&#8221;, &#8220;rotten&#8221;, &#8220;sighing&#8221;, &#8220;waterless&#8221; give the landscape a distinctive life and a negative character.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">The vivid imagery of the environment in ‘The Drover’s Wife’ creates feelings of isolation and monotony that the main character experiences in her day to day life. Lawson&#8217;s description of the &#8220;evil-eyed&#8221; snake’s &#8216;bead-like-eyes&#8221;, and its &#8220;mov[ing] its head up and down&#8221; brings it vividly slithering into the reader&#8217;s imagination. It personifies the character of the land, and is a metaphor for the danger and fear present in this landscape as it holds the family hostage in their home. By biblical allusion Lawson links the snake and its relationship with the woman with &#8220;the original curse&#8221; of &#8220;mankind&#8221; and presents the idea that this harsh setting of Australia is also cursed and the bringer of &#8220;death&#8221;.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">&#8216;In a Dry Season&#8217; by Henry Lawson is an especially distinctively visual text because Lawson presents it in the third person present perspective as an artist&#8217;s guide to painting the landscape from Bathurst to Bourke&#8230;&#8221;the artist might&#8221;&#8230;&#8221;draw a wire fence&#8221;. Lawson explicitly directs the reader to paint a picture in their mind&#8217;s eye that follows the railway line and sketches in the characters, setting and relationship with that setting along the way of the train journey and the story. The range of characters Lawson figuratively &#8216;sees&#8217; from the train window, shows the reader with just a few well-chosen adjectives of their beard or attire&#8230;the &#8220;bushman&#8221;, &#8220;swagman&#8221;, &#8220;shearers&#8221;, &#8220;fettlers&#8221;, &#8220;unemployed&#8221;, &#8220;bush-liar&#8221;, &#8220;sun downer&#8221;. Various men on the train are described as ‘slop-sac’ and ‘old fashioned’ to remind us of their low income.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Lawson then specifically details the mourning dress and ‘crape’ hatbands before suggesting that ‘Death is about the only cheerful thing in the bush’ which sarcastically highlights the harsh lifestyle. Other workers are described, such as the shearers who dress ‘like the unemployed’ and this simile emphasizes their image of hardworking and practical laborers. Repetition of Australian idiom “Yer wanter …” adds realism to the dialogue of these bushmen. Each new persona is known by type rather than name, and it is the drought-swept land itself that emerges as the key to understanding each of their personalities in the struggle to survive.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">The whole poem’s intention appears to evoke the sense of praising for the country and express Mackellar’s close relationship and passion with her land. Mackellar attains this response from the audience by using countless language techniques such as; Juxtaposition, personification, sound patterns including alliteration and assonance and imagery. The use of first person throughout the whole poem suggests that the theme of this poem has been evoked by personal experience. End-Rhyme throughout this poem makes the imagery more memorable and emphatic.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Mackellar introduces the idea of Australia’s distinctiveness firstly in the opening two stanzas, by juxtaposing Australia’s wild landscape compared to England’s tame landscape. England’s landscape is described as with ‘grey-blue distance, brown streams and soft, dim skies, whereas Australia’s landscape is depicted as ‘a land of sweeping plains, of ragged mountain ranges, of droughts and flooding rains’. This characterization of the two countries implies the insight that the wildness of Australia makes it incomparably more beautiful than England’s landscape, which tame in comparison.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">From ‘I love a sunburnt country’, which introduces the following stanza on Australia, Mackellar begins evoking the idea of Australia not just being a lifeless piece of land but equivalent and sharing similar characteristics of a person. This idea is presented through personification by referring to the land as she or her: ‘I love her far horizons, I love her jewel-sea, and’ -‘for flood and fire and famine she pays us back threefold’. By applying this technique Mackellar is able to express how deep her relationship and passion for her land actually is.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">From both Lawson and Mackellar&#8217;s distinctively visual compositions there emerges a figurative woman of monumental proportions &#8211; the stoic outback Australian woman and battler, and the land Australia herself. Both visions of Australia, along with its people and relationships are inextricably connected to a portrayal of the land. Despite its harshness, isolation, droughts, fires and floods, which both composers differently detail in their writing, the responder is left with a sense of admiration for the land, its unique characters, and an insight that a unique beauty lies therein.</p>

Distinctively visual Henry Lawson speech Essay

864 WordsJul 20th, 20144 Pages

Through the peculiarities of characterisation and the distinctively visual we experience the impact of place on people. Distinctively visual language shows the similarities and differences between characters and environment with the use of vivid imagery. The distinctively visual is able to create detailed setting, characters and place. Through the distinctively visual Henry Lawson and Tim Burton convey interesting views on environment and human interactions, and their affect on people and society in Lawsons “The Loaded Dog” and “The Drovers Wife” and Burtons “Alice in Wonderland. Good morning markers and peers.

These texts develop our understanding of persistence, mental and physical strength and mateship through survival in an…show more content…

“She thinks of when she fought a flood…There are some things a bushwoman just cannot do… she cried then.” The woman crying shapes our understanding of her mental strength, after everything living in the bush has thrown at her, being reduced to tears and physically beaten she stays strong. Willing to endure even more the environment can throw at her. Burton also uses flashbacks to add depth to Alice’s character; the flashbacks are symbolic of the decline in her imagination, her willingness to try the ‘impossible’ and a symbol of her conformity. These flashbacks are also a sad reminder of the passing of her father; he was one to encourage the use of her imagination and believing in impossible things. Her current adventure in Underland is very different to the first because she has forgotten to believe in the impossible; once she crosses this barrier Absolum confesses she is again the ‘real Alice’.

My visual depiction of the drover’s wife is one of a protective mother and a resilient, seasoned battler of the Australian bush along with the disasters it brings. “No undergrowth, nothing to relieve the eye… nineteen miles to the nearest…civilisation” the use of alliteration highlights the isolation and monotony of the mothers life. Our understanding of her isolation is shaped through her actions, “she rode nineteen miles for assistance, carrying the dead child”. Being so far from any civilisation she has no choice

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