Practice Essay For Area Of Sydy, Physical Journeys.

1701 words - 7 pages

The challenges faced on journeys cause travellers to learn more about themselves and the
world around them.
The challenges faced on journeys cause travellers to learn more about themselves and the
world around them. The truth of this concept is shown through the effective use of language,
structure and theme in Gow's play Away, Frost's poem "The Road Not Taken", Robert's film Shackleton, and Winter's feature article "Survival of the Fittest."
The structure of Away is critical to the meaning conveyed to the responder in two ways. The
first way is the central storm that brings all the three families together and is a catalyst for
change. The challenge Gwen faces is that all of her possessions have been literally and
symbolically washed away by the storm. This is a challenge for her as she has had the view
that possessions are everything, and that without them you have nothing. From the driving
force of the storm Gwen has learnt that possessions are not everything. She loses all her
possessions, but she still has her family. She realises that that is more important after
speaking with Vic. So from the challenge of the storm, Gwen has learnt more about herself.
The second aspect of the structure of Away is the cyclic nature paradox. All three families
start off at the school. They then travel to different locations for their holiday. These different
locations, the hotel, Caravan Park and tent, represent their social class. They are then brought
together by the storm, and the play ends with them all back at the school, the same school that
they started off at. Upon first investigation you could say that they have started and ended
their journey at the same place, and so nothing has changed. However upon closer
investigation, you can see that although they are back to where they started, they have moved
forward, much like a wheel that has turned one revolution. Although the wheel appears not to
have changed, it has in fact moved forward.
Gow's context when composing Away is critical and has affected what and how he writes, in particular reference to the character Coral. Gow set Away in Australia in the late 60's. At this time the Vietnam War was ending, and many families back home were aware that their loved
ones were not returning. This is the challenge that Coral faces. She, and her husband Roy,
find out that their son has died in the war. Coral in particular cannot accept this. She becomes
detached from society and from Roy. From meeting and talking with new people on her
holiday such as Leonie and Rick, and then later by the storm catalyst, Coral learns to
symbolically walk again. She accepts that there is life in death and recovers. This is shown to
the other characters through the play-within-a-play technique used by Gow of "Stranger on the Shore." So the challenges that Coral faces such as her son's death and the process of the journey of healing has allowed her to learn much more about herself and the world around
Furthermore, Gow uses...

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