Individuals can be transformed by discoveries about themselves and their world
How have individuals been transformed in Away?
An individual’s understanding and perception of the world is influenced by their own awareness of self and place in the world. Discovery acts as a catalyst for change, human connections are the foremost contributing constituent to discoveries of self and others character’s discovery often occurs within themselves, or away from the audience, which positions us as an audience, to manufacture their development and create a further understanding of them. Michael Gow’s highly realistic and self-theatrical playwright Away, proffers dynamic understandings of discovery and the way in which self-transformations impact individual views of the world. The audience is positioned to relate the acquired concepts of discovery and act as the recipient of societal and cultural contexts, which dictate understandings of the world, at the time of publication and in the current. A comparison is made between the world of 1967-68, which was clouded by the aftermath of the Vietnam War and was an age of migration within Australia, and the modern age that was always depicted as the ‘future’. Gow’s Away challenges the typical ideas of the individual, and summons not only discoveries within the characters but also the audience.
Discovery as a concept has the ability to encompass the experience of discovering something for the first time, which can include renewed perception of self or others. Developing a renewed awareness of oneself or the world acts as a catalyst for varied new perceptions to develop and discoveries to be made. Vital human connections and relationships act as the most prominent force contributing to discovery of self and the world. Gow’s insightful 1986 play Away has emphasised the importance of dual development and the need of external support for the individual. Relationships with others accelerate the process of self-discovery and to an extent, the grief process. Upon being introduced to Tom in Act 1, Scene 1, he is evidently the driving force for change and altered perceptions in others, as well as himself. The Shakespearean inspired epithet “honest Puck” (Act 1, Scene 1), portrays Tom with a mischievous nature as replicating the actions of Puck. However, Tom’s empathetic nature leads to the uncovering of Coral in her grieving state of mind and her self- awareness grows. Corals imminent silence is due to her being overcome with grief. Language has a valued power, and Coral’s past enables her to use that power. Coral’s inescapable pain is symbolic of the many families suffering loss during the contextual period; the 1960’s and the Vietnam War. Tom acts as the presence who escorts her back to the real world by providing her with an understanding attendance, and invites her to continue “walking”, to keep progressing and discovering new parts of herself. Coral and Tom act as a representation for the demand of the human...