This essay elaborates on various reasons why Henry Lawson is so fascinated with the Australian bush. The reason why Lawson is so fascinated is because of the conditions in which he grew up and his life as a writer. This essay also discusses the fascination of Lawson, In his fascination of the bush Lawson demonstrates malevolence. There are many stories that prove this, but there is one story, which show his dislike as clear as crystal, In A Dry Season. As with any writer, Lawson s work reflects his attitude and experiences. To say the least Lawson s experiences with bush haven t been exactly ideal.
Henry Lawson s fascination with bush can easily be understood given his life and experiences in the bush. Henry Lawson was born in a tent in Grenfell, NSW. Henry Lawson was a child, whose parents continuously fought. As a result of the distance of marriage they had no energy or the time to teach Lawson about self-confidence, as a consequence Lawson grew up to be a self-conscious and anxious writer. Lawson s childhood was spent in Mudgee and on the goldfields at Gul gong. Henry went to school at Mudgee but during the few years he was there, other children often picked on him.
At the age of nine, he developed an ear infection and became partially deaf. By the time he was fourteen, he was totally deaf. He had a very difficult childhood as the family were very poor. It was also here that Lawson gained his appreciation of bush characters and the hardships of making a living.
Even as Lawson grew up he had a hard life. In 1896, Lawson married Bertha, and only two years later his problem of alcohol peaked. In 1900, Lawson and his family moved to England where he wrote some of his best work. But in 1902 Lawson was forced to return to Australia due to illness and financial problems. In 1903, Lawson and his wife formally separated. Between 1905 and 1910, Lawson was regularly in prison for non-payment of maintenance and inebriation.
He was also in mental and rehabilitation sanatoriums and gradually progressed into a pathetic, dissolute, alcoholic, and wandering the Sydney streets, begging for money for alcohol. He even tried to commit suicide by jumping off a cliff but survived. Lawson died in 1923, as a man who was destitute and debt-ridden. Many readers see Joe Wilson s stories as autobiographical, as they deal with many issues, which Lawson faced. Incidentally both happen to be poets, happiness for both of them was brief and both had drinking problem. As is evident Lawson had very hard and harsh life, al-most all his work reflect this, the best example would be In A Dry Season.
In A Dry Season is a story in which the author is acting as painter, recording impressions of the outback. In this sketch story Lawson illustrates his deep dislike for bush. Throughout the story Lawson describes bush in very general terms. An example would be, Draw a wire fence and a few ragged gums and add some scattered sheep running away from the train. Then you ll have the bush all along the New South Wales Western line from Bathurst on. (p.
37) By using this paragraph Lawson immediately suggests the monotony and the predictability of the bush. In this story Lawson formulates characters, who act incongruous as means of survival. The sundowner is an example, the first sundowner I thought that he was mad and was about to attack the train but he wasn t; he was only killing a snake. (p. 38) This quote explains that Lawson by creating and describing sundowner creates the impression and assumption in the mind of responder, that the sundowner is mad reflecting the composer s belief that living in the bush is mad. Another character Lawson creates is the bush liar, who tells an unlikely tale, About By rock we met the bush liar in all his glory He had been to a ball where some blank had touched his blank overcoat.
The overcoat had a cheque for ten quid in the pocket. He didn t seem to feel the loss much. wot s ten quid (p. 39) This quote shows that Lawson has developed a character who tells fancy tales.
In doing so, he implies that it is necessary, so as to deny the harsh reality of the bush. In addition of implying, and indirectly suggesting, Lawson also directly demonstrates his hatred for the bush. Following are good examples, Death is about the only cheerful thing in the bush. (p. 38), The least horrible spot in the bush, in a dry season, is where the bush isn t. (p.
38) And when someone recommends to the narrator that he go out back he says, I don t water; I ve been there. (p. 39) It is obvious Lawson painted the bush in wrong terms, in doing so depicted inaccurate view of bush. In conclusion Lawson s fascination with bush can be attributed to two major factors they are: his childhood, Lawson had horrible childhood becoming deaf and his life as a writer, his later life was plagued with alcoholism and debts. To some extent Joe Wilson s stories can be seen as autobiographical as they both had many similar qualities, for example they both drank Like all authors Lawson did not write in a vacuum, as a result most of his works portray his experiences. In A Dry Season is a good example that reflects his fascination with the bush, when Lawson says things like death is about the cheerful thing in the bush, responder understands Lawson is going overboard..