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Squeker's Mate Character Analysis

Good Essays
Question 1
Barbara Baynton’s characters demonstrate a contrast with gender stereotypes as she is described as bringing her “subjective obsession” to her writing where she portrays men as being violent and unsympathetic to women, cowards, weak and carless (Iseman 20). This contradicts the traditional bush legend identity of a masculine hardworking, caring man, as seen in Peter Hennessy’s character in “The Chosen Vessel” and in the “Squekers Mate” where the men are seen to be weak, violent and carless towards women. (Baynton) These negative views of men come across in the harsh Australian landscapes demonstrating a brutal and lonely place with a lack of compassion for women (Hourigan 15).
Women are portrayed as victims of men and are left vulnerable
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Joe, Mary and the Spicers share a mateship as seen in “Water then Geranium” that is also demonstrated between the old man and Brummy in “The Bush Undertaker” (Lawson) however the drunkenness, loneliness and the old man going mad, as well as Mrs Spicer is in contrast with the traditional stereotype of the traditional bush man and traditional stay at home wife and the effects of long term bush life. Lawsons character’s although demonstrating traditional bushman traits, see his working-class background rub off onto his characters therefore hoping to have an influence on the “social and political will of his audience” (Lee 88), demonstrating contrast towards gender stereotypes of the…show more content…
They are hardworking, honest with a masculine strong appearance, just like the traditional Australian bush legend, when the bushmen went droving and returned home for periods of time. Roo, a “Ganger” (Salusinszky 172) is a model of the bush legend, can be relied upon as he is dependable, honest and an old school bush legend (Hourigan), while Barney, the bush larrikin is “a most unlikely bush lothario” being careless, drinking and womanising (McCallum par. 6).
Whilst the Australian bush legend is demonstrated throughout, the play portrays the changes that occur to the persona of the bush legend through modernisation and a young generation of cane cutters as seen in young Jonnie Dowd. Roo realise that they have “been defeated” by a new generation of the Australia bushman (McCallum
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