“People do change – individuals, families, nations – and the pace of transformation need not be geological.“
“It’s the pointless things that give your life meaning. Friendship, compassion, art, love. All of them pointless. But they’re what keeps life from being meaningless. “
Discoveries reveal once hidden aspects of ourselves and others – Discoveries that are acquired through struggle and adversity can provide a “unique” and lasting impact if the individual is receptive to these experiences Discovery of self can lead to fresh and meaningful understandings of our relationships and our place within the wider world
‘Discoveries can be fresh and intensely meaningful in ways that may be emotional, creative, intellectual, physical and spiritual.
’ Discovery is a complex and ubiquitous concept, the nature of being will often expose the individual to new experiences that are intensely meaningful. Discoveries that are new and refreshing can reveal once hidden aspects of the individual and others; while discoveries that are acquired through struggle and adversity can provide a unique and lasting impact if the individual is receptive to these experiences.
Through his play, Away (1986) Michael Gow examines the human condition and how experiences of discovery shape our physical and intellectual well-being. Similarly, Tim Winton, in his intriguing short story Big World also reveals how discovery of self can lead to fresh and meaningful understandings of our relationships and our place within the wider world.
Both composers, through structural devices, characterisation and deliberate language choices represent the way discovery contributes to the human condition in ways that are fresh and truly meaningful.
Discoveries reveal once hidden aspects of ourselves and others. These hidden aspects can often reveal to an individual parts of themselves that will shape who they will become. Through the short story Big World; Winton shows the audience that when the protagonist met his ‘best mate Biggie’ and made the spontaneous decision to leave his small town, Angelus, he later discovered that he would return for another chance at his exams, and from that builds his life.
Truncated sentences which create cumulative detail show the rapid passing of time as the events unfold in quick succession, and without much thought. “Exams. Graduation. Huge beach parties.” The use of colloquial language throughout the story, “…not hosing off of blood that shits me off – it’s Angelus itself… some days I can see me and Biggie out there as old codgers, anchored to the friggin place, stuck forever…” creates a voice enforcing the image of the old men Biggie fears they will become if they stay.
But it is later revealed in the story that the protagonist will return back south for his second chance at life, while Biggie stays with Meg and later in life will pass away. “In a week Biggie and Meg will blow me off in Broome and I’ll be on the bus south for a second chance at the exams. In a year Biggie will be dead in a mining accident…I’ll grow up and have a family of my own…” Through his use of techniques Winton shows the audience how the protagonist rediscovered the aspect of himself that he lost when he met Biggie and decided to pack up and move away. Discoveries that are acquired through struggle and adversity can provide a unique and lasting impact if the individual is receptive to these experiences. Set in the summer of 1967/58 Away follows the fraught relationships of three families as they seek to reconnect with themselves and each other. Gow shows the lasting impact of struggles in the character of Tom and his family.
Tom’s illness is revealed at the beginning of the play, “… he looked so sick yet so wonderful…” in Coral’s soliloquy in Act One, which also reflects her pain, isolation and failure to come to terms with her son’s death. After the school performance of Shakespeare’s A Midsummer’s Night Dream, she evokes emotional, rhetoric questions “is it better for them to die looking like that? Looking like gods?” Through the device of a play-within-a-play, The Stranger on the Shore, Tom provides the catalyst for Coral’s rediscovery of life as he metaphorically shows her how to live again, “I’ll show you how”, unburdening her by accepting her son’s death. “I’m walking, I’m walking, I’m walking.” While also preparing himself to die, “I can see my life flashing past my eyes…” Through the characters in Away Gow, shows the audience that through the struggles that Tom and his family face with his illness and Coral losing her son they learn aspects of themselves through the adversity that they face.
Discovery of self can lead to fresh and meaningful understandings of our relationships and our place within the wider world. Discovery of self can lead to fresh and meaningful understandings of our relationships and our place within the wider world through the boundaries that were thought to be holding us back. In the short story Big World Winton shows through his use of a metaphor “…the horizon around our ears…” evokes the image of the horizon being a boundary rather than opening up new experiences and relationships, he later reveals that the protagonist will see the world in a different view, accepting that he will have to go back to his small town and try again, he opens up new windows of opportunity, Winton shows this through his use of a reoccurring motif of nature to give a glimpse of visionary splendour, “I don’t care what happens beyond this moment. In the hot northern dusk the world suddenly gets big around us, so big we just give in and watch.” Through the protagonist Winton illustrates to the audience that the boundaries of the small town that he believed to be holding him back.