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Written by Maria Nicola
The main theme discussed in the poem is the hardship endured by those who lived off droving and farming. The poem analyzes the challenges the people who lived outside the urban areas had to face and how they dealt with them. The poem focuses primarily on Andy but the family left behind is also brought into discussion. The poem doesn’t romanticize the lifestyle like other bush ballads did, but rather presents the situation the people had to face in a realistic manner. The purpose of the poem is to present the hardships the drovers had to face and to highlight the constant fight for survival they carried against nature itself.
The poem also had nature as its theme and focuses on the way nature can influence a man’s life. Draught is seen as unfavorable weather against which man carries a constant battle for survival. Draught is the reason why many men are forced to leave their homes while rain and vegetation stands for prosperity, happiness and hope in a better future. For a drover, whether the weather was good or bad was very important as it influenced his chances of producing enough to sustain his family. The ballad Andy’s gone with the cattle captures the vital role weather played in a man’s life and his family and presents the way it influences a person’s life.
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