Environment, And Resilietion In 'The Drover's Wife'

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In the short story ‘The Drover’s Wife”, the environment, or rather, the bush, is represented as harsh, unforgiving, and alienating. It is explained in the story that the drover’s wife had to fight floods, bushfires, other people and animals, and even lost a child due to living in the bush. These incidents are all related; they are all dilemmas that test one’s willpower, resilience and all-around strength, mentally and physically. Lawson utilises these incidents to elucidate how he wishes his readers to perceive the woman; as a strong, independent, force to be reckoned with, as well as a myriad of other features usually associated with a male, rather than the desperate, useless woman stereotype, that readers of the time were comfortable with. This bold use of a woman in the place of a hero in the story, a role previously stated as being mainly restricted to male characters, is seemingly a subtle hint to readers that those stereotypes, and the authors that adhere to them in their novels, are cultivating erroneous ideas of women in readers. The quotes, “Nineteen miles to the nearest sign of civilisation- a shanty on the main road” and “One of the children died while she was here alone. She rode nineteen miles for assistance, carrying the dead child” go hand in hand displaying the alienation and harshness of living in the bush. The first quote, “Nineteen miles to the nearest sign of civilisation- a shanty on the main road”, shows how isolating the area can be, with no houses

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