Distinctly Visual Essay

In his short stories, “The Drover’s Wife” and “The Loaded Dog”, Henry Lawson uses distinctively visual images to convey to his readers the characters and the experience of living in the Australian outback.   Similarly, in the short film, “My Constellation”, Toby Morris clearly depicts his ideas about the experience of an individual that has a new found ambition.

In “The Drover’s Wife”, Lawson helps the reader to distinctly depict the harsh experience of life in the bush for a woman living on her own.   He creates a vivid image of the desolate, isolating environment that she faces every day.   This is shown in the line, “Bush all round - bush with no horizon, for the country is flat.   No ranges in the distance...Nothing to relieve the eye save the darker green of a few she-oaks which are sighing...”   The desolate nature of the picture that the reader creates in their mind is enhanced by the repetition of the word “bush”, which helps us to imagine the monotony of the landscape, and the isolation of the drover’s wife.   Likewise, the personified trees help to convey a sense of weariness, adding to the overall image of desolation, and allowing us to clearly imagine the harsh environment that the drover’s wife experiences on a daily basis.

Just as Lawson creates a vivid image of the lonely, desolated life the drover’s wife experiences, so in the short film, “My Constellation”, Morris clearly depicts the image of the protagonist’s lonely life, experiencing a longing for someone.   He opens his film with a wide open shot of a star-filled night sky with the protagonist staring thoughtfully upwards.   The darkness and the lack of lighting in this scene emphasizes to the viewer that the protagonist is experiencing a sense of loss and isolation.   This effect is also emphasized by the close up shot of the protagonists blank, thoughtful expression and the lazy, slothful body language.   The medium shot, slowly panning to the left as the protagonist enters back into his bedroom...