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The Drover's Wife Essay

1182 words - 5 pages

Through analysing the wife’s actions, mannerisms and memories during this story several implicit characteristics are revealed. Many of the roles she takes on indicate that she is the leader of the family. The reader learns that the wife is extraordinarily courageous from the way she tackles every challenge thrown at her without hesitation. Throughout the story, her heroism is depicted in flashbacks, building up her character before the confrontation with the snake. She recalls having the need to fight bushfires while her husband was away. She did not run or attempt to protect herself from the flames, instead she leapt into action, beating down the fire to protect her property. This situation ...view middle of the document...

When the children see crows and eagles, she gets a broomstick and makes noises like a gun to frighten them away from her chickens. Although she cannot hurt them, she is able to make them fear her, Lawson writes, “they are cunning, but a woman’s cunning is greater.”

This woman also has many traits specific to her job taking care of their property. Although it is not directly stated, it can also be discovered that the wife is a woman who understands the place she lives in and is able to make the most of her rural Australian surroundings. She appears as a particularly resourceful person who uses what she has to build the best life for her family. When a mad bullock attacked her home she used what means she had to actually create bullets which she fired at it to stop the onslaught. Once the bullock was dead and her family was safe, the wife still thought about every detail. She sold the hide so that she was able to make a profit out of the frightening encounter. To make the best out of this hostile environment, she has to understand it. The reader can assume that because she is able to handle it so well, she has been in that area for some time and has come to know how it works. The entire story sums up her familiarity with the rural world, as soon as she hears about the snake she knows precisely what to do to keep everyone safe. She puts them all on the table off the ground and attempts to entice the snake towards her with milk. She has no moment of panic but is able to handle the situation with her knowledge. This account illustrates that it is not just her property that she is suited to protect, it is her children. It can be worked out that the wife is very protective of her children. She does her best to keep them safe and to raise them to be good people. When Tommy tries to get up and help her kill the snake, she recognises that it is too dangerous and holds him back, “with a grip of iron”. She would not risk her child’s life and refuses to let him be threatened. At the end of this short story the wife is able to kill the snake herself, showing her to be a formidable woman. Her mixture of determination and strong traits make her intimidating to other people. When a stranger demands to...

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