Henry Lawson’s short stories ‘The Drovers Wife’ where a bush woman and her four children face the dangers of a snake and the tough, lonely bush life and ‘Joe Wilsons Courtship’ where a young boy tries to fulfill his emptiness with young love, display ideas such . JOE WILSON'S COURTSHIP - HENRY LAWSON STRUCTURE This story uses first person narrative to explore an important humanist approach to courtship. It is best described as a story sketch as it provides good developed characters and a story that develops through a non-linear first person narrative. We are made aware of the protagonists thoughts as. While the Joe Wilson stories are generally considered to represent Henry Lawson's prose style at its best, little attention has been paid to the narrative technique on which that style depends. Henry Lawson has this uncanny talent to portray his characters with so much depth and emotion that the reader can understand every hardship they go through all through visual elements of text. In his short story ‘Joe Wilsons Courtship’, Lawson uses emotive, . Joe Wilson's Courtship by Henry Lawson. THERE are many times in this world when a healthy boy is happy. When he is put into knickerbockers, for instance, and ‘comes a .
The canonical classics — the ones that are mostly read — were written in the same period but in the UK, Europe and America where societies had been settled for generations, and they were written by people who belonged. Our classics were written when Australia was still a country of pioneers, with tentative settlements along the coast and gold-mining areas — bordered by a vast, unknown and menacing interior.
Life in the countryside in particular was not the predictable affair that it was in England, where Jane Austen, George Eliot, Thomas Hardy et al could write about people who were secure at least in their understanding of their geography, climate, soil, social structures and traditions. None of these fundamentals were secure in Australia at the time when our classic authors were writing, and this uncertainty shapes their work in ways that are unique.
Was it this insecurity that made Henry Lawson such a melancholy fellow? The introduction to Joe Wilson and His Mates tells me that this collection was written to please a publisher seeking more more cheerful stories for the British public.
He remained perennially poor, and he became an alcoholic. Yet it was the outback trek that he undertook in which shaped his fiction — he saw at first hand the impact of drought in New South Wales and he saw for himself — as his intrigued British readers never could — that the vagaries of the Australian climate and the paucity of its ancient soils meant that dreams of wealth and success in verdant farmland were a chimera for most people.
Joe is a father now, and his little boy Jim is subject to convulsions. For all of us who are parents it is awful to read about children suffering ailments so easily treatable today; but to read of it happening to a parent alone on a bush track and miles from medical help is harrowing.
The sense of a vast and hostile unknown gave rise to an insistent sub-genre in early Australian literature — the story of the lost child.
In The Babies in the Bush the children are long dead, and Lawson writes movingly about the impact on the parents: Short stories are sometimes lacking in complex characterisation, but in this story Lawson achieves much with little. He was one of those men who seldom smile…but when the Boss did smile his expression was very, very gentle and very sad.
I have seen him smile down on a little child who persisted in sitting on his knee and prattling to him, in spite of his silence and gloom. He was tall and gaunt, with haggard grey eyes — haunted grey eyes sometimes — hair and beard thick and strong, but grey. He was not above forty five.
There seem to be many in this collection who are old before their time. The Loaded Dog is well-known to Australian readers of a certain age because it was anthologised in The Victorian Readers , but I have never found it funny.
There are others that are similarly not to my taste. Again, I think this one is meant to amuse. Lawson writes movingly about the awful loneliness of the bush and its effect on selectors living in very remote places, men and women old before their time, ground down by poverty and hardship, and bringing up their children only to see them leave. Such generosity is often born of vanity, or moral cowardice, or both mixed. I once heard the chaps singing that I was a jolly good fellow, when I was leaving a place and they were giving me a send-off.
Henry Lawson, Distinctively Visual Essay Sample
The tension between this sense of alienation and the Australian concept of mateship is never far away in this collection. Theirs is a sense of solidarity born of sharing hardship, suppressed fears and hopelessness. It excludes women, perpetuating the myth of weak women needing to be protected as much from the truth as from the harsh Australian sun.