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The Drover's Wife - Tasks and Activities

  1. Describe the setting and the living conditions for the drover’s family.
  2. The drover is away, but how can we still say that he is very much present in the story?
  3. Life is hard for the bush people, but the drover’s wife seems content and even finds ways to amuse herself. Find examples. How does this work for the reader? (See the introduction.)
  4. What is her pastime reading, and why is that mentioned?
  5. Comment on the line: “She loves her children, but has no time to show it.”
  6. Can you think of a symbolic interpretation of the snake and how it was killed?
  7. How is the dog described? What do you think it represents in the story?
  8. Lawson is said to have had an ear for Australian idioms and the language of the common people. Can you see examples of this here?
  9. Most of the narrative is told in present tense; how does that add to the way we understand the story? (Which parts are told in the past tense?)
  10. Look at the structure of the story. Can you identify its four main parts? How are these parts introduced?
  11. Comment on the ending. (Why does the boy promise his mother never to go droving?)
  12. Why do you think that the drover’s wife has become a national symbol of Australian womanhood? Does that say anything about Australia and Australians in general?