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Written by Maria Nicola, Marquise Jenkins
Andy is the name that appears in the title of the poem and he is also the main character in the poem. The poem centers around this character, a man forced to leave his family in order to help them survive. From the first stanza, the reader finds that Andy has left with the cattle to a place far away from home. The reason why he had to leave is given in the second stanza when the harsh weather is described. Because the lands where no longer fertile, Andy finds himself forced to leave with the cattle in order to help his family. The poem puts a great emphasis on the fact that Andy is missed by his family, thus hinting that Andy was a kind and good person, a pillar for his family. His departure left a whole in his family that can’t be easily filled. The character Andy is used here as a symbol, to make reference to the population that during the 19th century had as their occupation droving. Through Andy, the challenges faced by those family and the aspects of droving that were sometimes overlooked are presented in a realistic manner.
Aunty and Uncle
In the sixth stanza, the generic names uncle and aunty appears. The poet tells about them that they are worried about Andy and that they miss him and wants him to return to them. While the Aunt and Uncle present here may seem at first as having no meaning, they represent the families left behind when the men went droving away from home. This families left behind worried about the fate of those who were away, fully aware of the dangers that existed for those who went droving. Those families could do nothing for those who were away, except from worry and pray for their safe return. The Aunty and Uncle mentioned in the poem have the purpose of presenting the feelings experienced by the families who waited for the safe return of their loved ones.
The poem also mentions a canine in one of its stanzas as Andy's departure from Macquerie is mentioned. Although the animal doesn't have a very large part in the poem, he may very be a symbol of unrest as the poem mentions he howled all night since Andy left. Blucher might be used to describe how "out of balance" things were without Andy there.
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