As Away is a drama, it will be important for you to discuss the UNIQUE FEATURES OF THIS FORM. YOU MAY WISH TO CONSIDER THE FOLLOWING: INTERTEXTUALITY: SHAKESPEAREAN TEXTS ?Away begins with the ? nal scene from A Midsummer Night’s DREAM (A COMEDY) AND ENDS WITH A PRODUC? ON OF KING LEAR (A TRAGEDY). THESE TWO TEXTS FRAME THE PLAY AND DEVELOP ITS MAJOR THEME OF RECONCILIA?
ON. STRUCTURALLY, THE ORIENTA? ON SUGGESTS THAT TOM/PUCK WILL ‘RESTORE AMENDS’ (MIDSUMMER) AND THE RESOLU? ON CON? RMS A NEW SENSE OF THE CHARACTERS BEING ‘UNBURDENED’ (KING LEAR). Genre: Form (Drama) PLAY WITHIN A PLAY – THE STRANGER ON THE SHORE?
Gow uses the Shakespearean theatrical device of the play within a play. In Shakespeare’s Hamlet (men? oned in Act 5 scene 2), this device is used to discover the truth. The belief is that the play will trigger in the audience a reac? on if they iden? fy with it. Here we have two audiences: the audience in the play and us. Discovery works at both levels as we discover more about the characters and they discover more about themselves. ?In this play, Tom teaches Coral to walk.
Outside this frame, Tom has taught Coral to acknowledge and accept the death of her son, and her need to face the world again. Tom’s own circumstances (his serious illness) gives him a unique perspec? ve and empathy towards others. Coral is thus able to accept his ‘truth’ and, with this psychological and emo? onal discovery, she can ? nally embark upon her road to recovery.
Genre: Form (Drama) Music: ?A performance brings a play script to life through sights, sounds and movement. In Away, Michael Gow makes use of Mendelssohn’s music from A Midsummer Night’s Dream. ?This music is used throughout the play, including the beginning and the end: (Act 1 sc 1; Act 3 sc 4;Act 3 sc 5; Act 4 sc 3; Act 5 sc 2)
Symbols and Motifs ?The Holiday: Conveys di9erent things for each family but, ul? mately, represents going ‘Away’ ?Baggage: Physical and Emo? onal ?Gi? s: Physical and Spiritual – the act of giving is represented in di9erent ways, depending upon the developmental stage of each of the characters ?The Storm: Spiritual – includes elements of fantasy. Is one of the main catalysts for change. Themes: A quick recap ?Nature as a healing force: The beach, the storm ?Reconcilia? on: Once truth is revealed, rela? onships can be RENEWED ?The importance of family: Revealed to each set of families
ACROSS THE PLAY ?Life and Death: Characters must learn to face the reality of LIFE, HARDSHIP AND MORTALITY, AND TO EMBRACE LIVING WITHIN THE PRESENT ?Regenera? on: Requires an unburdening through the DISCOVERY OF TRUTH, THE RESTORA? VE NATURE OF THE BEACH (BEING ‘AWAY’, THE PURIFYING NATURE OF WATER), EXPERIENCING THE TEMPEST AND THE LOSS OF MATERIAL POSSESSIONS Characters: A quick recap ?
Tom: An English emigrant, who has moved to AUSTRALIA WITH HIS FAMILY. HE KNOWS HE IS ILL BUT HIS FAMILY DOES NOT DISCUSS THIS WITH HIM. TOM IS THE STAR OF THE SCHOOL’S PRODUCTIONS, AND HAS A CRUSH ON MEG.
HE IS A ‘HEALER’, WHO IS ABLE TO UNDERSTAND AND EMPATHISE WITH OTHERS. TOM HAS A DEVELOPING SENSE OF SELF- AWARENESS. HE IS QUICK TO DEFEND HIS FAMILY FROM ANY CRITICISM. TOM IS THE ONLY ONE WHO RECOGNISES CORAL AFTER THE STORM. ?Notable Quotes by Tom: “I hope you have a rotten HOLIDAY” (TO GWEN) ?
Notable Quotes about Tom: “You’ll be our next Chips RAFFERTY…” Characters: A quick recap ?Vic: Tom’s mother – a ‘no frills’ realist, who doesn’t MIND CAMPING ROUGH. THERE ARE LIMITS TO THIS PRAGMATISM, AS VIC CONCEALS KNOWLEDGE ABOUT HER SON’S ILLNESS DURING THE OPENING ACTS. IN SOME WAYS,
THIS CREATES AN OPPORTUNITY FOR OTHERS TO BE CRITICAL. VIC IS SUPPORTIVE OF OTHERS, POSITIVE IN OUTLOOK, SINCERE AND LOVING. NOTABLE QUOTES: “WE’VE GOT ENOUGH FOOD. ” ?Harry: Tom’s father – supportive of his son and GENEROUS WITH PRAISE FOR OTHERS (SEE ACT I – THE SCHOOL PLAY). BOTH HARRY AND VIC ARE ABLE TO RECOGNISE THE INTRINSIC VALUE IN EXPERIENCING THIS FAMILY HOLIDAY WITH THEIR SON, NOTWITHSTANDING THEIR LIMITED FINANCIAL MEANS.
Characters: A quick recap ?Gwen: Pretentious and materialistic, Gwen is judgmental about Tom’s family’s circumstances. The audience learns that her early life was marked by poverty, and that this is the reason for her behaviour. Gwen is emotionally and psychologically transformed by the knowledge of Tom’s illness. Notable quotes: “What do you think of me? You must hate me. Why do you still bother? ” (To Jim, after learning about Tom) ?
Jim: The ‘peacemaker’ of his family, Jim understands the reason for Gwen’s prejudices. He appears to be patient, somewhat submissive and forgiving. He does not expect Gwen to change. Notable quotes: “My wife is not really an angry woman. She has high hopes. ” (To Harry) “What do you want her to do now, after all this time? ” (To Meg).
Characters: A quick recap ?Coral: Psychologically damaged by the death of her son in the Vietnam War. Coral is emotionally disconnected from her husband, and cannot understand his ability to ‘move on’ with his life. Coral’s soliloquy in Act I, Sc 2 is a deeply moving representation of grief and loss, made all the more poignant due to it being the first time the audience hears her speak. Unlike the other adult characters, Coral connects with the message of the school play. ?Notable quotes: “To wake up and find something you wanted that badly. Even an animal. ” (re: A Midsummer Night’s Dream).
“He looked so sick and yet so wonderful, so white, so cold and burning. ” (re: Tom’s characterisation of Puck) ?Roy: The school principal, Roy initially appears to be reconciled to his son’s death. He is concerned with keeping up appearances, ostensibly due to his position of authority within the school and his relative wealth. Roy is patronising towards the Greek family, reflecting cultural insensitivities of the era. Notable quotes: “…
Mrs Papa…Papalapa…Papalax…oh well, I’m sure she knows who I mean, ha ha ha. ” Characters: A quick recap ?Meg: Strong-willed and somewhat opinionated, Meg challenges the behaviour of both her parents. She is Tom’s love-interest, but shows strength in refusing to be coerced into a sexual relationship, although he has revealed to her the fact of his terminal illness. Notable quotes: (Reprimanding her father for accepting Gwen’s behaviour) “…for the sake of peace and quiet. ” Characters: A quick recap Other characters: ?Rick: Newly married to Leonie, Rick’s relationship with Coral is brief and ultimately unfulfilling for both. ?Leonie: Her conversations with Coral are similarly damaging, revealing the innately
destructive nature of Coral’s ongoing and self- absorbed grief. ?The Fairies ?Other Campers From the Syllabus: ?Discovery can encompass the experience of discovering something for the first time or rediscovering something that has been lost, forgotten or concealed. Discoveries can be sudden and unexpected, [email protected] can emerge from a process of deliberate and careful planning evoked by curiosity, necessity [email protected] @ From the Syllabus: ?Discoveries can be fresh and intensely meaningful in ways that may be emotional, creative, intellectual, physical and spiritual.
[email protected] also be confronting and provocative. They can lead us to new worlds and values, stimulate new ideas, and enable us to speculate about future possibilities. Discoveries and discovering can offer new understandings and renewed perceptions of ourselves and others. From the Syllabus: ?An individual’s discoveries and their process of discovering can vary according to personal, cultural, historical and social contexts and values. The impact of these discoveries can be far? reaching and transformative for the individual and for broader society.
Discoveries may [email protected] or challenged when viewed from different perspectives and their worth may [email protected] over time. The ramifications of particular discoveries may differ for individuals and their worlds. Types of Discovery ?Physical ?Emotional ?Intellectual ?Spiritual ?Creative ?Self-Discovery Which of these aspects of Discovery can you link to your text, Away? Self-Discovery ?The concept of self-discovery is explored within Michael Gow’s text, Away. Questions: ?Which characters discover new knowledge or ideas within Away? How does this occur? ?Which characters rediscover old knowledge or ideas within Away? How does this occur?