The Union Buries Its Dead

Lawson's avoidance of stock conventions

Lawson also takes time, nearing the end of the sketch, to draw attention to his own avoidance of the usual stock conventions.

"I have left out the wattle- because it wasn't there. I have also neglected to mention the heart-broken old mate, with his grizzled head bowed and great pearly drops streaming down his rugged cheeks. He was absent- he was probably 'Out Back.' For similar reasons I have omitted reference to the suspicious moisture in the eyes of a bearded bush ruffian named Bill. Bill failed to turn up, and the only moisture was that which was induced by the heat. I have left out the 'sad Australian sunset' because the sun was not going down at the time. The burial took place exactly at mid-day." [1]

In many of his weaker stories, Lawson himself falls back upon the stock emotive devices he quite obviously disdained when he wrote this particular sketch.

It is this attitude towards the romanticisation of Bushlife that ultimately lead to the Bulletin Debate, during which the two popular poets, Lawson and Andrew Barton "Banjo" Paterson engaged in verse controversy by publishing numerous poems in the weekly Bulletin in 1892-93.

This content is from Wikipedia. GradeSaver is providing this content as a courtesy until we can offer a professionally written study guide by one of our staff editors. We do not consider this content professional or citable. Please use your discretion when relying on it.