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the drover's wife
The drover’s wife is the central character to the story. She inhabits the Australian bush together with her four “ragged, dried-up looking children”, and has to encounter various hardships during her husband’s absence. She is lonely and poor, but remains strong. As she waits up for the snake, she recalls various dangerous situation she had to face in her life. It is apparent she is accustomed to the hardships that live brings her, and that she is capable of taking care of herself and the children. The snake that represents another threat is also eventually defeated. She has no other option than to continue being strong and brave, however, her tears at the end of the story suggest that even she has her limits and that these limits may be reached some day.
Tommy is the drovers’s wife’s eldest boy. He wants to protect his mother so he wants to be the one who kills the snake. Later, when Tommy sees his mother cry, he promises he will never become a drover.
Jacky is Tommy’s younger brother. When the mother puts the children to sleep so she can watch out for the snake, he complains of being “skeezed” and that his brother is skinning him alive with his club. When more room is made for him he goes to sleep.
Alligator is the big, black, yellow-eyed dog of all breeds. He readily comes to save the day at any sign of trouble. When he rushes after the snake, his nose gets skinned by Tommy's club, but he takes no notice of it. The dog is precious to the family, and they cannot afford to lose him. He is not a very beautiful dog. he has numerous old wounds where his fur will not grow. He is fearless, and will readily tackle anything that threatens the safety of his owners. He hates all other dogs except for kangaroo dogs and he has a marked dislike to friends or relations of the family. He sometimes makes friends with strangers. He hates snakes and has killed many, but he will be bitten someday and die, as most snake dogs die that way. one day, when the drover's wife was covered in soot from fighting a fire, frightening the baby, she was attacked by Alligator, who trusted more to the child's sense than his own insticnt. he had to be pulled back by Tommy with the help of a saddle strap. His sorrow for the blunder was made known by his ragged tail and twelve inch grin.He has also been used by the drover's wife to scare off insistent swagmen in the past. He keeps a keen lookout for the snake, and in the end manages to kill it by smashing its head.
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The Drover's wife does everything a drover would do. She fights fires, she batles snakes, she fights floods and she even battles disease, pleuropneumonia, that spread among the cattle. The spirit of the Drover is very much alive in the wife.
I think that the woman's "girlish" dreams are dead. Her husband is gone for as long as 18 months and she has children to take care of. She is poor and often in desperate circumstances. The ladies magazine is fantasy for her: it provides a window...
The boy wants his mother to know that he will never leave her.... that he will not let her be alone. The little boy understands the hardships and dangers his mother and family face without a man to protect them.... he wants her to know that he...