Matthews compares "The Drover's Wife" with the later story, "Water Them Geraniums", to demonstrate Lawson's artistic development. Matthews argues that "Water Them Geraniums" has a "depth and quality" not found in the "The Drover's Wife". This indicates that the development of Lawson's prose had reached a stage where his text "embodies . . . intricacies, doubts and confusions, rather than being a description of them".