Short-Story "the Drover's Wife" Written by Henry Lawson

Published: 2021-09-12 10:35:07
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Category: English

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The short-story "The Drover's Wife" is written by Henry Lawson, Australia's most famous short-story writer and poet. "The Drover's Wife" is probably Lawson's best-known work, and was first published in the collection entitled "While the Billy Boils" in 1892. Lawson was deeply interested in the effects of the harsh Australian outback on people's lives, having himself spent 18 months in the bush. This was expressed in a number of so-called "bush ballads" and stories, "The Drover's Wife" being one of them.

This short-story has the Australian bush or outback as its setting. This is revealed in the two first paragraphs, where the author makes a short and precise description of the little house and the surrounding landscape. To tell the time of the story is, however, more difficult. The text gives us only a few clues to when it might have happened. The most obvious one is, "The drought of 18 - ruined him". First I thought that 18 meant 1918, but considering that the short-story was written in 1892, this must be wrong. The year referred to is most probably 1818.

The main conflict in "The Drover's Wife" is perhaps not so evident as we may think. At first it is quite easy to imagine that there is a conflict between the bush woman and the snake. The reason for that is that the snake is a threat to the woman. If she does not kill it, the snake can bite one of the children, which will be a disaster since it is nineteen miles to the nearest neighbor. The child would be dead before they could get help.

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