Michael Gow's Away

Topics: Great Depression, Fred Frith Pages: 11 (3220 words) Published: May 25, 2008
Surrounds 3 families
Roy and Coral – lost their son in the Vietnam War (resort = wealthy) Vick, Harry and Tom – dealing with Tom’s Illness (camping ground in tent = average) Gwen, Jim and Meg – Gwen is head of the household (Caravan Park)

Away is about reconciliation and the power of healing through love and compassion

This play is about the experiences of a dying school boy, it is a celebration of life and the power to heal through gaining insight.

At the end, the characters accept their motives, ambitions, hopes and fears which determine their actions

Characters Imprisoned in a World which their worth as human beings is measured in the costs of their holidays

The quest of the characters in Away brings them home to the same old world, but with a renewed sense of reality.

The Great Depression (1929 – 1932)
-Left men with no work, therefore drank, stole and bet money, depressed as they can no loner provide for their families. -Young children left school at the ages of 13-14 yrs old
-Young women took up amateur prostitution
-Young children were always in trouble
-Wife’s cohabited boarders who helped support the family.

Use of intertextuality
- A Midsummer Nights Dream
The use of fairies demonstrate the havoc and mischevious acts that reflect on the play, and shows Gwen how little she had to control it and acts as a catalyst for her to change. Tom plays Puck in the opening scene; a naughty prankster up to trouble. We see the similarities in the first Act when he tells Gwen that he hopes she has a rotten holiday, and that she will become ill. Classic text adds dimension to the characters reality.

- King Lear
The Relevance of this play to Away is that both King Lear and Tom knew that they were dying, and there is nothing that can be done about it and they have accepted their fates, and have shown no fear about what lies ahead. Significance = teaches them not to grieve, to accept fate that lies ahead. In order to go on living, you must first let go of the past. (relevance to TOM GWEN CORAL)

-links the play with the Shakespearean world of distortion, tragedy and lost hopes. -Has difficulty coping with reality
-Was scared of the future, as it means living on without her son (which is in the past) -She learns that she must move on with her life and accept the past, as it would be what her son would have wanted. -She accepts that there is life in death

-Symbolically and emotionally “Returns from the Dead” as she has been away from herself since the death of her son. -“You’re still alive, your still alive talking and breathing.” ACT THREE SCENE THREE, shows how she is trying to replace her son with Rick -“I'm walking, I'm walking,” – ACT FOUR SCENE THREE, shows how she has come back to life, and she is moving on, rather than flying to the gold coast or hitching a car ride to the shore, she is actually walking on her own now. (The Stranger on the shore)

-darkness within, bruises of illness and image of death behind vitality -Plays Puck in a Midsummer Night’s Dream
-Part of a close knit family (his parents are trying to hide his illness from him, but tom already knows of it) throughout the beginning of the play, each member of the family is looking out to protect the other -Corals instrument for healing

-Learnt that death is a part of life
-Must value the lives of others, but when they are gone, it is important to live for them (king lear) -Teaches everyone to make the most of life, and his acceptance of his fate enables others to be healed -“… To shake all cares and business from our age, conferring them on younger strengths, while we unburdened crawl toward death.” ACT FIVE SCENE TWO – king lear speech, shows how life must go on.

-funny, stereotypical nagging mother and wife. Actions and humor act like amour, hiding pain and fear, can be as destructive as Tom’s illness. -As a teenager she appeared strong and independent, but due to the...
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