Characterization of the drover's wife

Outer characterization

The drover’s  wife is the main character in the short story “The Drover’s Wife” by Henry Lawson. She is briefly described as a “gaunt, sun-browned bushwoman”, and a “determined-looking woman”. This suggests that her physical appearance was shaped by the environment she lives in: the sun has tanned her, and the dangers she had to face made her determined. 

She and her husband are Australian, and they live in the outback. Her husband is a drover, an ex-squatter, who is often away from home with the sheep. She has four children, two boys and two girls, the eldest of whom is 11. She also had another child, who died. Her name is not mentioned.

The vague physical description and lack of a name suggest that the drover’s wife is a symbolic representation of bushwomen and the hardships they have to endure. 

Inner characte


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