Australian Identity Through Poetry.

Essay by emmaeHigh School, 11th gradeA, July 2003

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The Australian identity is as diverse as the country itself. Each and every Australian has a unique perception of Australia, yet there is also a common awareness of Australia as a whole. The Australian identity also concerns the way Australians are viewed by other people. There are many different aspects to this identity, which include historical icons, such as bushrangers and convicts, and more recent developments in Australia, such as the surfing culture, and even our language, which has been adapted over two hundred years to become what it is today. There are many stereotypes of Australia, yet most of these are based on real traditions or quirks.

This essay will analyse the poems Clancy of the Overflow written by A.B. Paterson, and compare and contrast it with Andy's Gone With Cattle by Henry Lawson. Both of these poems are about life without the men that have 'gone a-droving' in Queensland.

Droving is one of the original stereotypes of Australia, and is an important part of our identity.

Clancy of the Overflow is one of 'Banjo' Paterson's most famous works. It is a wistful poem comparing the freedom of droving to the monotonous toil of city life. This is expressed with phrases such as "For the drover's life has pleasures that the townsfolk never know". Paterson uses many techniques to portray the conflicting lives of city slickers and farmers. He uses visual imagery to perfection, painting a vivid picture of 'Clancy', leading a jolly life droving cattle and living under the stars, and then compares it with "the foetid air and gritty of the dusty, dirty city through the open window floating". 'Banjo' also uses metaphor, again to emphasise the differences between city and country life, especially in verse six, with "And in place of lowing cattle, I can...