Clancy The Overflow Analysis

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Although Australian literature was established from its British origins, it was the early works of Australian bush writers and poets that transformed Australian literature into a distinctive style of its own. Over time, iconic Australian writers and poets used this unique style of literature to form the early foundations of national Australian identity. Despite the fact that Australia was originally seen as an urbanised country, Australian literary nationalism upheld an image of Australia being a rural bush environment with your average hard working bushman who embodied the values of egalitarianism and the spirit of mateship.
Section One
For early Australian writers and poets, the predominant way to have their work publically
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One of the most prevalent values seen in early Australian literary works was the spirit of mateship. Mateship was a behaviour displayed by Australian males and it was this male culture that underpinned the legend of the bush. Author, A. B Paterson, displayed this classic image of mateship through his poem Clancy of the Overflow (1889). The poem is narrated around a man stuck in a city office, longing to be in the bush on horseback with the legendary horseman, Clancy. This story painted a clear picture of mateship through the aching desire of a man wishing to be free from his office job to be out on horseback with another male. Author, Henry Lawson, was another early writer that often wrote about the spirit of mateship. However, Lawson often focused on the negative aspects of the bush so mateship was often seen as Australian’s coming together to help each other endure the tough conditions surrounding frontier…show more content…
Although some people believe it emerged to generate national pride, others speculate that nationalistic literature was formed in order to separate from the countries British origins. Through these early writings and poems, predominant themes developed to describe the typical Australian as a bush worker who lived in the heart of the Australian bush. Furthermore, distinctive Australian values surfaced within the writings to show that Australian’s embodied characteristics of mateship and egalitarianism. Although many theories surround the 1890’s myth of the typical Australian, historian Russel Ward (1958) defined the myth as the ‘Australian
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