THE MEN OF THE OPEN SPACES
Identity is a very important part of being Australian; it is a feeling of being associated with a national group, defined by a common heritage, which may be based on many attributes, including race, territory, language and history. "The Men of the Open Spaces", written be Will H. Ogilvie addresses these issues of Australian identity, constructing a powerful representation of the Australian 'bush' culture. The text uses past views of popular culture that are still ubiquitous today, to construct a sense of national ideology. The text focuses on a very traditional concept of nationhood and constructs a stereotypical representation of Australian culture. This essay will explore this in relation to the discourses of gender, class and environment.
The text focuses on a predominantly masculine discourse by stereotyping the traditional bush ethos of Australia, while excluding females and other ethnic groups. The text uses the term "men with the sun-tanned faces" to reinforce the white masculine culture of Australian ideology.
The poem defines Australians as strong, rugged and very hardworking. "The men who have learnt to master the forces of fire and drought...and share the fight with fate" creates an image of the Aussie battler. This representation of males is still extensively accepted in today's society. The term 'mate', which is widely used throughout the text, has a strong masculine emphasis to the Australian culture, excluding women from the image of the typical Australian. The bush ethos constructed in the text and the term 'mate' is an intertextual reference to the ANZAC's and reinforces the strong bonds (of mateship to protect each other) that are associated with Australians. The text highlights a predominantly masculine discourse that is present in Australian culture while excluding females and other ethnic groups.
The discourse of class focuses on...