Many of the short stories by Henry Lawson deal with isolation or mateship, however not many of them deal with a combination of the two. The characters in Lawson's stories have a strong sense of community, but they must still stand alone in order to survive. Some are alone because they must be, some because they want to be, some are a definite part of a group and still remain alone. Some are not as alone as they may think. All these ideas are shown in Lawson's stories in one form or another, and some are easier to define than others.
The type of isolation presented in "The Drover's Wife" is one that is easily defined. She is left at home by her husband because "the drought of 18-- ruined him. He had to sacrifice the remnant of his flock and go droving again" earning money for a family he barely sees.
This forces his wife to fend for herself, battling both the elements and her loneliness on her own. This isolation is one that she does not welcome, but one that she accepts because she must. She shows a resilience that is admirable and a strong character. Because she must look after her "four ragged, dried-up-looking children..." she is not lacking of company, but lacking rather in support. She must rely upon her own courage and wits to keep both herself and her children alive. This stops her from being alone in a physical sense but not in an emotional one. She deals with this situation well, and while she does not enjoy her isolation, she manages to retain her sanity.
"The Bush Undertaker" contrasts this in that there is a definite tone of mental instability. The main character is alone out in the bush when he...