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The virtue of toughness in the face of the Bush's harshness is an important aspect of the Australian Legend, and central to Henry Lawson's short story, "Water Them Geraniums." This toughness is made possible by mate ship that is often associated, for example in Lawson's Mitchell stories, with masculinity. In this essay, I will argue that Lawson has broadened mate ship to incorporate women who appear to be the frontier of the Bush. Firstly, identification of Lawson's personal history that connects with the characters and themes in "Water Them Geraniums" will be discussed. Further discussion on how Lawson's narrative and style are used in the short story to incorporate the elements of the Australian Legend. Followed on by how the Bush's harshness is tough on women who are the frontier in the Bush trying to evade the madness. Concluding with how mate ship combined with humor has been given importance in the short story.
"Water Them Geraniums" is written in first person narration as an older version of Joe and told as part of characterization of the narrator. Lawson's creativity can vary the attitude of the characters whilst obtaining a different range of tones and styles (Beardwood 12). This was given importance by Mrs Spicer being rendered less sophisticated than the narrator, clearly showed where the language is less correct such as, "You, An-nay! Didn't I tell yer to water them geraniums! Don't tell lies or I'll break yer young back!" (Lawson 149). Whilst Joe is looking back on the past events, the Spicers and their living could be a future vision for the Wilson's. Joe and Mrs Spicer are emotionally detached that connects with the harshness of the land, noted when Mary asks Mrs Spicer if she gets lonely and she replies,