In Henry Lawson's Short Stories, what are some examples of quotes that are distinctly visual, and what effects do they have on the reader?For instance, in The Loaded Dog, Lawson describes the dog...

In Henry Lawson's Short Stories, what are some examples of quotes that are distinctly visual, and what effects do they have on the reader?

For instance, in The Loaded Dog, Lawson describes the dog visually so that the reader is able to picture him as "an overgrown pup, a big, foolish, four footed mate...Most of his head was...a red, idiotic slobbering grin of appreciation of his own silliness."

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linda-allen | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Senior Educator

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The only Lawson story I have read is "The Drover's Wife," so all of my examples will come from that story. The first thing you notice is the verb tense: all present. It is as if you're reading a set description from a play script:

The two-roomed house is built of round timber, slabs, and stringy-bark, and floored with split slabs. A big bark kitchen standing at one end is larger than the house itself, veranda included.

Bush all round--bush with no horizon, for the country is flat. No ranges in the distance. The bush consists of stunted, rotten native apple-trees. No undergrowth. Nothing to relieve the eye save the darker green of a few she-oaks which are sighing above the narrow, almost waterless creek. Nineteen miles to the nearest sign of civilization--a shanty on the main road.

In another vivid description, Lawson tells us how hard life is for the woman by showing us her handkerchief:

She is hurt now, and tears spring to her eyes as she sits down again by the table. She takes up a handkerchief to wipe the tears away, but pokes her eyes with her bare fingers instead. The handkerchief is full of holes, and she finds that she has put her thumb through one, and her forefinger through another.

The effect of this type of narration is that the reader is better able to visualize the story, as if it were occurring right before the reader's eyes. He doesn't say, "This poor lady works too hard." He shows us how hard her life is, and we almost want to cry with her.

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