TASK 2: WRITTEN ASSIGNMENT (20%)
Discuss the application of relevant theories of literary criticism in the selected text. Your answer should not be more than 1000 words.
THE HOUSE THAT WAS NEVER BUILT BY HENRY LAWSON
After reading and analyzing this story I discover two major criticisms that are present in this short story, they are Psychoanalytic Criticism and Symbolism. Psychoanalytic critics here means when we apply methods of treating emotional and psychological disorders in literature. And whereas in writing, symbolism is the use of a word, a phrase, or a description, which represents a deeper meaning than the words themselves. This kind of extension of meaning can transform the written word into a very powerful instrument.
I sensed madness in the story based on the character of the bushman which in the end of the story turned out to be young Brassington, the son of one the richest people in the bush. The narrator noticed after a few moments talking with him, he was mixing up his past and the present. Besides that, he also noticed a slight tone of madness when further asked about his marriage. He sounded like a man who was begging for his life. This character became mad because due to his wife leaving him, he became insane. I believe that Henry Lawson puts himself as the character the bushman. Henry Lawson wasn’t having a successful marriage and he was also handling with depression at that time, so he is using the ego in Tripartite Model based on Sigmund Freud to unleash his mental illness and depression.
He believed that he was going crazy with his wife leaving him as she filed for divorce. Besides than drowning his sorrows with alchohol, he wrote this story in reference to his own life. He was the bushman in this story. He was going mad due to his wife leaving. That is why; the character of the bushman, also the late young Brassington was described as a madman but then is still able to regain sanity as he talked to another person. I noticed that when the narrator first spoke to the bushman, he sounded mad but then as he spend time with the bushman, suddenly the bushman spoke like a true gentleman. Even though, the bushman was speaking about the house that was never built like it was built and he has a family living there. The bushman is able to be sane when there is company. This shows even more that Henry Lawson uses the Tripartite Model in the Psychoanalytic Criticism to express his deep desires and feelings.
In addition, the wife of young Brassington was also described as mad. It’s not just her, her entire bloodline was also considered as crazy until it was said that her madness was hereditary. I think here he was associating it to his real wife in reality. His wife was a feminist and a socialist at that time. Back then, feminism was a movement that caused a lot of controversy as it contradicts the practice of the century. Feminism is a movement that aims in establishing and defending equal political, economic and social rights of women. This to him was crazy as she was against the whole society and it’s not easy to change the mindset of the people. Besides that, I presume that she was written that way because she was mad enough to leave him.
Besides that, I noticed there are a few points of the Symbolism Criticism. The biggest example of symbolism is the house that was never built. The house represents a number of things such as marriage, respect and hope. Basically, the house represents marriage as it is something that when built or established couldn’t be ruined unless there is another party like the weather or natural disaster to ruin it. The house in this story represents the marriage of young Brassington and his wife. They were married for two weeks and then they got separated during their honeymoon because the wife found her former lover and left her husband for him. The other party here is the former lover of young Brassington’s wife. That is why the house was never even built. it is because the marriage of the couple haven’t got the chance to flourish. Just like the house. They workers only finish marking the site and putting the foundations but the walls never get the chance to be built. The same goes to their marriage as they already have the basics of the relationship which is the taking of the vow then they needed to strengthen the marriage but they didn’t get the chance because the wife ran with her former flame thus resulting in the failure of the marriage. This is also the reason of the house never been built.
Have you ever walked or driven in a neighbourhood where you saw a big house and said ‘Wow, when I grow up, I want to have a big house like that’. This is the same with the house. In the bush, a house that is big shows the wealth of the people living in it. The common mindset of the people is when they are rich they are even more respected. This can be shown when the shameful act caused by the wife is being kept secret within the community. No one dares to bring it up, only on special occasions and only to the locals. This shows that a family that is rich earns more respect compared to the commoners. Besides symbolizing respect, the house brings hope to the people in the bush. Even the narrator felt that it would be nice if there is a house with stairs. It shows that a house that size brings hope to the people around the bush. People want to work even harder to achieve wealth so that they themselves can have a house that big.
In conclusion, the criticism in this particular short story mostly revolves around Henry Lawson’s life. Firstly is about his marriage that wasn’t successful and secondly is about his hope when he was a kid. Henry Lawson was not brought up in a wealthy environment. He was brought up in a fairly poor family as his father was only a coal miner. Henry Lawson based this short story on his life. He changed the characters using his own interpretation of them. According to him, he was going mad because his wife left him and his wife was because of supporting the feminism group and the house was his long lived dream to have but could not achieve.
when i was writing this analysis, i didnt get much info on this.
so it was kinda hard for me to write it properly.
therefore, as a favor back to the netizens who had helped me in the past.
this is for you. hehehe
i hearts u u all!