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Price Warung criticizes the inclusion of many stories that he argues were written for money. But despite this quality Warung praises the realistic picture of Australia that emerges from Lawson's descriptions.
Phillips rejects the view that Lawson's prose lacks technical virtuosity. Phillips argues that Lawson's aim was not to tell a story, but to evoke the quality of Australian living. Lawson's spare narratives, effective understatement and ironic twists within a symmetrical structure produce stories of substantial artistic value.