Distinctively visual Henry Lawson speech
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Through the peculiarities of characterisation and the distinctively visual we experience the impact of place on people. Distinctively visual language shows the similarities and differences between characters and environment with the use of vivid imagery. The distinctively visual is able to create detailed setting, characters and place. Through the distinctively visual Henry Lawson and Tim Burton convey interesting views on environment and human interactions, and their affect on people and society in Lawsons “The Loaded Dog” and “The Drovers Wife” and Burtons “Alice in Wonderland. Good morning markers and peers.
These texts develop our understanding of persistence, mental and physical strength and mateship through survival in an unforgiving environment. Lawsons “The Loaded Dog” conveys distinctively visual elements of the Australian outback through the concept of mateship and slapstick comedy. The use of personification when describing Tommy “foolish, four-footed mate… with an idiotic slobbering grin…appreciation of his own silliness” This depiction of the dog allows the responder to understand Tommy isn’t just a dog he is another bushman, a larrikin and a member of their circle of mateship. The use of personification “Big black yellow eyed dog of all breeds” when describing Alligator conveys only strong, masculine characters can survive in the bush. Although the drover’s wife is not a big strong bushman she displays these qualities in numerous situations defending her family and her home.
The extended imagery of the wife and her children being portrayed as “ragged dried up looking children… gaunt sun brown woman” explores the stoic vision of the environment and its inhabitants as being worn and exhausted. This image of daily survival can also be seen in the environment of Underland, not only has the world and its population grown darker under the rule of the Red Queen, Underland is a place where nothing truly belongs. Similarly in Lawson’s short stories, some people can survive in the bush, but no-one truly there.
Lawsons use of flash backs emphasises how each devastating event has taken a toll on the drovers wife. “She thinks of when she fought a flood…There are some things a bushwoman just cannot do… she cried then.” The woman crying shapes our understanding of her mental strength, after everything living in the bush has thrown at her, being reduced to tears and physically beaten she stays strong. Willing to endure even more the environment can throw at her. Burton also uses flashbacks to add depth to Alice’s character; the flashbacks are symbolic of the decline in her imagination, her willingness to try the ‘impossible’ and a symbol of her conformity. These flashbacks are also a sad reminder of the passing of her father; he was one to encourage the use of her imagination and believing in impossible things. Her current adventure in Underland is very different to the first because she has forgotten to believe in the impossible; once she crosses this barrier Absolum confesses she is again the ‘real Alice’.
My visual depiction of the drover’s wife is one of a protective mother and a resilient, seasoned battler of the Australian bush along with the disasters it brings. “No undergrowth, nothing to relieve the eye… nineteen miles to the nearest…civilisation” the use of alliteration highlights the isolation and monotony of the mothers life. Our understanding of her isolation is shaped through her actions, “she rode nineteen miles for assistance, carrying the dead child”. Being so far from any civilisation she has no choice but to carry her dead child for hours. The ‘nineteen miles’ and her alienation from civilisation are forever linked to the death of her child and the fear of the situation ever reoccurring. The responder’s appreciation of the mother is strengthened by this event as not only did she carry her child’s lifeless corpse for hours, she still returned waiting to endure the next danger the bush could present her.
The members of the Red Queens court are all fake and insecure; lying about their true appearance in the hope they can be important and can belong. The hatter, a colourful, joyful character seems out of place amongst a group of ‘liars’ and “cheats” whom lie to themselves in the fight to find belonging. As each disguise is revealed they immediately turn to give in the next. The hatter, so accepting of himself, finds humour in their situation, he is known to be mad yet is true to himself and the people around him; he doesn’t have to hide behind a façade. Similarly in the “Loaded dog” when Tommy has lit the cartridge the circle of mateship is torn, human instinct of survival is highlighted by Dave and Jim running shouting “Don’t foller us, you coloured fool!” Their first reaction was to run and hide instead of trying to save their mate, their companion, fun, loving Tommy.
In conclusion Burton and Lawsons use of the distinctively visual does not appeal to a specific audience; rather it shapes a distinctive and individual vision of the struggles living in such harsh conditions and the qualities one needs to survive in an environment they don’t belong in.