No Journey Is Complete Without a Change in Perspective

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No journey is complete without a change in perspective. Journeys are things that everyone will experience in their lifetime. Through journeys, whether physical, intellectual or emotional, people will inevitability experience a change in perception. Michael Gow’s play Away explores the physical holiday journey of three families and how it impacts them in emotionally and intellectually. As this play presents numerous changes for each different character, this paper will focus solely on the changes we see in the character of Gwen. J. R. R. Tolkien’s novel The Hobbit explicate how the unlikely hero’s change in perspective during his adventure. By deconstructing each of these texts and characters, one can assess that journeys brings growth and changes in perspective. Journeys can transform one’s conflicts and denials into reconciliation and acceptance. In the play Away by Michael Gow, Gwen’s physical journey to the beach brought her some emotional and intellectual changes. We first meet Gwen in act one scene two, where she literally barges and bashes her way through the play, totally insensitive of the effect her behaviour has on both her family and on others around her. Instead of congratulating her daughter for her performance, she instantly castigates Meg, “You were supposed to hurry, not stand around yapping”. She immediately establishes her character as that of a nagging wife and mother, the archetypal, unhappy middle-aged woman who has cause to complain about everything and everybody. Directly from her very first entrance on stage it is made clear to the audience that in Gwen we have the perfect stereotype of a dissatisfied mother who defines herself through her possessions and her summer holiday. She is perpetually critical; about Meg’s tardiness, about people blocking her view of the stage about why the school decided to put on Shakespeare instead of a musical with singing which would not be as boring or perhaps confronting in anyway. Gwen criticizes Tom and...
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