Lawson-The Loaded Dog-Michelle Merritt

Henry Lawson: The
Loaded Dog
Distinctively Visual
Distinctively Visual
As part of this study you will be asked
to explore the ways the images we see
and/or visualise in texts are created.
You will consider how literary form
and structure and the language used in
different texts create these images, affect
interpretation and shape meaning.
Distinctively Visual
The scenes created by Lawson allow the
reader to appreciate a place they have
never seen. He draws on personal
experience to depict a bush lifestyle that is
fast disappearing.
Distinctively Visual:
elements conveyed
through …
Plot Summary
Three men are mining at a nearby
claim and camping in the bush.
After deciding that they’d like to
go fishing, they invent a way to fish
using their mining skills, and decide
to blow up the fish in the
waterhole. They set about
creating a cartridge, but before
they can test their fishing prowess,
the retriever dog steals the lit
cartridge, chasing the men with it,
before finally blowing up the
mongrel dog in town.
The Loaded Dog
The harsh nature
of making a
living in the
Australian Bush.
The Australian
Gold Rush
Living in the Bush
The bush setting is simple
and harsh. The men live in a
campsite not far from the
“claim”. The weather is hot
and unrelenting, “They had
a cat that died in hot
weather” … their only relief
from the weather comes
from a nearby creek nothing
more that “a chain of
muddy water-holes”
Life in the Goldfields
The Loaded Dog opens with a
detailed and realistic
description of people and
place in the goldfields "There is
always a rich reef supposed to
exist in the vicinity” … "They'd
make a … cartridge of
blasting-powder” … "The result
was usually an ugly pot-hole in
the bottom of the shaft and
half a barrow-load of broken
Australian Larrikinism
A larrikin is considered to be
"a mischievous young
person, or "a person who
acts with apparent
disregard for social or
political conventions” It has
been said that Australia’s
larrikinism may have arisen in
reaction to corrupt, arbitrary
authority during Australia's
days as a penal colony.
Literary Form
•Third person, omniscient
narration. Linear
structure. Uses a mix of
short sentences and long
descriptive paragraphs
Dave Regan
• motivated by 'fun' and when left to his own devices seems
to be able to create a whole lot of mayhem
Andy Page
• Dave’s partner in crime.
Jim Bently
• Different to the other men, he wasn’t interested in their
'damned silliness'
• The retriever dog, described as being a black, overgrown
pup "who was always slobbering
Literary Techniques
• Of an ‘overgrown pup’ with a ‘vicious
mongrel’ helps us relate to the shift in tone
• in the ‘foolish, four-footed mate’ reminds us
of his close bond
• of ‘tail like a stock whip’ - "Jim swung to a
sapling and went up it like a native bear"
Literary Techniques
Contrasting adjectives
• separate the characterisation of these dogs: big,
black and young with vicious, thieving canine
Emotive language
• makes us feel dislike for the ‘yellow’ dog;
‘sneaking’ and ‘fighting’
Em Dash
• separates listing of specific features of the pack of
hounds: spidery, mongrel sheep-and cattle-dogs
Literary Techniques
• "There was plenty of fish in the creek, fresh-water bream,
cod, cat-fish, and tailers"
• ‘elaborate’ instructions to explain the process of mining
and cartridge construction through verbs including ‘bound’
‘pasted’ and ‘sewed’"
Sentence Structure
• shifting between long descriptive paragraphs and short
sentences like “Dave got an idea.” creates grabs the
attention of the responder. You immediately feel as though
you have to focus, to lean in closer, links to the oral
traditions of the bush stories are emphasised.
Literary Techniques
• Run, Andy! Run!” increases panic and heightens
tension for the responder.
Australian Idiom
• Language that would have been used at the
time, “Don’t foller us!”, adds realism.
Direct Speech
• The responder feels as though they are witness to
the story. 'Why not blow the fish up in the big
water-hole with a cartridge?' he said. 'I'll try it.'

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