Some Day by Henry Lawson
In Some Day by Henry Lawson we have the theme of love, insecurity, pride, loneliness, hope, regret and hardship. Taken from his While the Billy Boils collection the story is narrated in the third person by an unnamed narrator and after reading the story the reader realises that Lawson may be exploring the theme of love. Mitchell has never forgotten about Edie despite the passing of the years. He still remembers her fondly and the reader senses that if things were different in Mitchell’s life. He would ask Edie to be his wife. What is also noticeable is that Mitchell feels somewhat embarrassed when he is around Edie. It is as though he does not feel as if he is worthy to be in her company. This may be important as it suggests that Mitchell is insecure within himself when it comes to Edie. It is for this reason that the reader suspects that Mitchell is hiding his emotions from Edie. Fearful of being rebuked by her. Something that would clearly hurt Mitchell emotionally. The fact that Mitchell is proud to call Edie a countrywoman of his is also important as it suggests that Mitchell is proud of Edie. That he holds her in high regard despite his hesitancy to engage romantically with Edie.
What is also interesting about the story is that the reader senses that Mitchell genuinely feels a sense of loss over his relationship or lack of it with Edie. Mitchell may very well imagine that his life would be much different if Edie was in a relationship with him. However the hardships of being a swagman and the life a swagman leads means that there is no room for sentiment. Something which Mitchell may have difficulty with. As he is unable to let go of Edie. In many ways the reader pities Mitchell because he does not have the opportunity that others have. To fall in love and marry a woman they love. The life of a swagman is a lonely life with very few opportunities or chances for happiness. However despite all the difficulties that Mitchell has to face. He never gives up hope nor does his companion. Both men need something to hold onto in order to survive the life that they are living.
Though Mitchell’s companion plays a minor role in the story he is still nonetheless an important character. It is through him that Mitchell opens up and talks about Edie. Affording the reader the opportunity to see just how deeply in love Mitchell is. It is as though Edie is part of Mitchell’s life without her actually being involved in it. As to what happens Edie the reader never knows as Mitchell himself does not know. It is possible that Edie has gotten on with her life and married someone else. Though some critics might argue that Edie is in fact waiting for Mitchell to return. However this is unlikely. Life may very well have passed Mitchell by and he may be aware of this. Something that is noticeable (at least symbolically) when Mitchell covers his face with a piece of calico. It is possible that by placing the calico over his face. Mitchell is taking a moment for himself and to not allow his companion see him crying. Such may be the loss that Mitchell feels with regard to Edie. It is also significant that Mitchell’s companion allows Mitchell to have his moment. Without disturbing him. For he too may very well have a story that is similar to Mitchell’s. As too could every swagman.
Which may be the point that Lawson is attempting to make. He may be suggesting that not only is the life of a swagman lonely but it is cruel too. With very few people fully understanding the hardships that a swagman may have to go through. They are isolated from loved ones for long periods of time and in some cases forever. Which may be the case with Mitchell. Though he knows how hard life is he is also aware of the fact that there is nothing he can do about it. It is the life he has chosen. Though the reader suspects should circumstances have been different. Mitchell would have returned after his first two years away and married Edie. At least she may have been waiting for him at that point in time. Instead Mitchell and his companion are to live their life sharing stories of each other’s life and the sadness that these stories bring to both men’s lives. Mitchell is of a generation of swagmen who have lived a hard life. Had hopes and lost out in love because of the decisions they made. If anything the reader senses that Mitchell may regret not having been more forthcoming with Edie when he had the opportunity. His only obstruction being his masculinity and his fear of his pride being wounded. Should Edie of rejected him.