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The Penguin Henry Lawson Short Stories

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1 The Penguin Henry Lawson Short Stories
“The Drover’s Wife”: Characterisation

2 “The Drover’s Wife” - Characterisation
Characterisation is an important part of any narrative text, as it provides depth and realism for the responder. It is important because it provides the responder with not only a sense of the character’s personality traits, but also a sense of the character visually.

3 Characters The characters we will examine this period are the drover’s wife and her dog, Alligator. We will consider first how they are described, and secondly what other techniques and circumstances make them distinctively visual.

4 Character: The Drover’s Wife
The Drover’s wife is the central character of the story – the protagonist. The responder is intended to feel some kind of connection, understanding or appreciation for this character. How would you describe the drover’s wife? What are two distinct images of her in this story? Why are these images distinct?

5 Character: The Drover’s Wife
Technique Example Effect Changing tense: Present tense and past tense. Flashbacks. The incident with the snake in the present. Other reflections and memories in the past. Indicates that these memories are distinct for the character, and are made vivid for the responder. Descriptive language. Adjectives. “till great drops of sooty perspiration stood out on her forehead and ran down her blackened arms.” Creating a vivid image of the drover’s wife during the fire. Use of colour to contrast with her white skin. Uncharacteristic. Juxtaposition “She put on an old pair of her husband’s trousers...” Change of gender roles. A woman dressed like as man stands out in this conservative/old fashioned context. Humour “[the baby] screamed and struggled thinking it was a ‘black man’.” Humour created through a complicated scene. Visually it is a very confused humorous scene. (Can also examine the dog attacking...) Complete the following table. Only include examples that are distinctively visual.

6 Character: Alligator Alligator is the drover’s wife’s snake-dog. His role is that of protection for the family, as is demonstrated through the incident with the snake. How is Alligator described? Why is he called Alligator?

7 Character: Alligator Complete the following table. Only include examples that are distinctively visual. Technique Example Effect

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