The vehicle for discovery is most commonly fueled by intensely meaningful, confronting and stimulating new ideas that lead to renewed perceptions. Michael Gow showcases this idea in his classic Australian play ‘Away’ through his use of themes, characterisation, dramatic techniques and context. Through Gow’s exploration of Tom and Coral, we, as the reader, can see how an individual is lead to renewed perceptions and intensely meaningful, confronting and stimulating new ideas. Similar to this, Stephen Chbosky’s film, ‘The Perks of Being a Wallflower”, showcases through the character Charlie, that through acceptance, one is able to gain renewed perceptions of the world through which we live.The three themes that are used as a presentation of discovery through renewed perceptions are acceptance, death, and the healing power of nature.
Coral at the start of the play is troubled, dysfunctional, and disconnected from reality as a result of her son's death in the vietnam war, his death being the catalyst for her ineptitude to communicate with people. By the end of the play Coral gains renewed perceptions once she is ‘lifted’ ,both metaphorically and literally, by Tom during the Stranger in a Shore. Her troubles are highlighted through her interaction with Rick at the Gold Coast Hotel, “Come into the dark, give me your hand… A boy like you” The dialogue conveys Coral’s dysfunctionality and how she is delusional by imagining Rick as her son and inviting him into the dark. This piece
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The nature of discovery is highly impactful when one is confronted with multiple worlds; enabling a physical and spiritual connection to places, ideals and society, transforming one’s perception over-time. Australian poet Robert Gray‘s ‘The Meatworks’, confronts an individual’s beliefs to influence their standpoint on a desensitized society. ‘Journey, North Coast’ introduces the idea that re-awakened realities emancipate one’s connection of the natural world. and Director Daniel Sousa’s ‘Feral’ explores into how being taken into an unfamiliar reality leads to discovering one’s natural world. It is within these poems that uncover the highly impactful nature of discovery.
Set in the Australian summer of 1967, Michael Gow’s Away is an elaborate play which explores the ideas of self- discovery and change. Through the war affected nation, three families, each from different social classes, depart on an iconic Australian holiday to the beach. In the play, Gow utilises the characters to demonstrate that going away physically is intrinsically linked to their mental developments. With the help of references to Shakespeare’s A Midsummer night’s Dream, Away uses Gwen and Coral to show the significant psychological changes made by the characters during holidays to the coast. Tom throughout the play acts as a catalyst for the change in other characters and is associated with Puck in A Midsummer Night’s Dream.
The term “literary canon” refers to “a body of books, narratives and other texts considered to be the most important and influential of a particular time period or place.” What books fall into the canon has, in the past, been determined by older, rich, religious, white men; this heavily restricted what books were deemed a socially acceptable influence. Books from authors like Shakespeare and Jane Austen were widely accepted, while more modern readings were not. Today, there is a lot of debate about what sorts of books are appropriate for the literary canon. Generally books in the Young Adult Category are not seen as adequate for the canon, but “The Perks of Being a Wallflower” by Stephen Chbosky belongs in the literary canon, despite its
Michael Gow’s “Away” is an Australian play, set in the summer of 1967-68, in a time of great social and political change. “Away” tells the story of three families, each from different social classes, living in suburban Australia, as they each embark on their own holiday, attempting to escape their underlying personal issues. Immigrants Harry and Vic love their adopted country but are constantly faced with their son, Tom’s, terminal illness, while Jim and Gwen fret over their daughter Meg’s blossoming independence and her friendship with the socially unsuitable Tom, and Roy is unable to console a grief–stricken Coral over the death of their only son during the Vietnam war. Although each family is completely dissimilar, the theme of love remains
The death of Coral’s son has caused an emotional breakdown as she cannot accept her son’s death. Moreover, Coral has lost her social identity and tends to struggle to find a connection with anyone, as she “can’t think of anything to say” (Act 2, Scene 2). Her husband, Roy, is annoyed by her bizarre attitude and this causes Coral to lower herself to the behavior of a naïve child “I’ll be good! I’ll improve!” When Coral does begin to speak, it is presented as very expressive and mournful. Her tone is filled with emotion as she is constantly “wiping away tears”.
Gow uses tragedy to express the effect the grief and loss The Vietnam War had on the families of soldiers. Throughout the start of the play, Gow portrayed the character of Coral as depressed. In Act 2 Scene 3 Gow alludes to The Vietnam War, and the effect it had on the families when Roy (Corals husband) says, “We are not the first people in the history of the world to lose a son in war.” To allow the modern audience to understand the effect that The Vietnam War had Gow portrayed Coral as depressed. Throughout Act 2 Scene 3 a juxtaposition is used with Coral continuously being referred to as “Kim Novak”. Today’s Australian audience would not know who Kim Novak is. Kim Novak was a gorgeous American Actress in the 1950’s. Harry alludes to an old Chinese phrase, “The Chinese don’t believe in being too upset when someone dies. That would mean you thought they’d died too soon and what they’d done up till then didn’t amount to much.” in Act 4 Scene 1, when referring to Tom’s illness; cancer of the blood. Gow uses this phrase as a way of explaining to the modern audience the beliefs that the people in the 1960’s stood by.
At the beginning of the scene, we view Coral engaging in conversation with Leonie, another resident at the Hotel. The dialogue reveals a conversation that is unstable and awkward. Coral starts to become overpowering and questioning by asking, “Isn’t hard making contact with other people in this kind of place? Everyone’s enjoying themselves but, I don’t know, I feel it’s a bit forced, do you feel that? Are you really enjoying yourself? Or are you only pretending. To please your husband, perhaps?” The stage directions allow the audience to see that Leonie is “almost in tears” and asks “Why are you staring like that?” Coral ignores her questions and remarks and continues to question the woman. Corals language is cliché and proves she is still not coping. Coral starts to scare Leonie where she says “Let me go, please, I want to go” reinforcing Corals inability to make contact and communicate with other people and her lack of social skills. Rather than talking to the woman she starts to override the conversation and become overwhelming revealing her isolation and alienation. Coral continues to ignore the woman’s pleads to leave and Leonie begins to “struggle” and starts “crying” sobbing, “I want to go in. I’m hungry. Let me go”. This shows Coral is unable to concentrate on her own issues and decides to force herself upon someone else’s problems in order to take away her own pain.
As a result of discovery, individuals are opened to the opportunity to transform and in doing so, renew perceptions of themselves and those around them. In having renewed perceptions, individuals are automatically exposed to new experiences and perspectives, and as a result undergo personal growth. Change is an aspect of discovery that is enabled by past experiences and in this, transformation is achieved. Through Jane Harrison’s Rainbow’s End, a 1950’s play about three generations of an Aboriginal family, and Gwen Harwood’s Father and Child, a poem exploring the transformation of a child we are able to explore the way change is inflicted through experiences of discovery and the responses we find as a result of this. Maturation and
“Away” is a historical play written in 1988 by Michael Gow. Away reflects to the central ideas, values and conflicts of Australia in 1967-68. The central ideas embrace outsiders, family conflicts and grief and loss which affected families in the play and in the time. Gow uses three main families to convey the message of the play. The use of language and stylistic devices influence the way Gow has been able to speak to the modern Australian audience. In the play, Gow is able to speak to the modern Australian audience with the clever, complex use of allusion. The modern audience would have to do research to understand the allusions in the play however on a superficial level the audience is still able to enjoy the central themes and ideas of the play.
The process of discovery refers to the perception created upon experiencing the unfamiliar and redefining what is familiar. Discovery can be achieved through unexpected means or deliberate expeditionary, whether it be tangible or a fragment of our thoughts/imagination/emotions. Poems ‘The Tiger’ and ‘Young Girl At A Window’ by Rosemary Dobson and poem ‘Invictus’ by William Ernest Henley thoroughly explore this concept via their ideology of human nature and its effect on discovery.
The term ‘discovery’ can be explored and interpreted in many different ways, the meaning is created by an individual’s perception, opinion and experiences of discovery. In the book Swallow the Air by Tara June Winch and the film, Titanic by James Cameron explores the concept of discovery as an idea that discoveries can be challenging as they allow for the transformation of an individual’s perspective, and they allow for an individual to discover their true identity and the identity of others around them.
The Perks of Being a Wallflower is a coming of age film about a 15 year old boy, Charlie, who has been through much trauma. As a freshman Charlie is left with no friends, because of the suicide of his best friend Michael, but he has the support of an english teacher who inspires his dreams of becoming a writer. Eventually, step-siblings Sam and Patrick discover that Charlie is lonely and in need of a friend, so they take him under their wing. Sam, Patrick, and their group of friends have much wisdom about life, because they are older, much of which they share with Charlie. Under the wing of Sam and Patrick, Charlie becomes more excited about life. Although, he still struggles with the side effects of past traumas, and dreads the day his new friends leave for their lives after high school.
‘The Perks of Being a Wallflower’ follows shy and kind-natured Charlie Kelmeckis (Logan Lerman- Percy Jackson, The Butterfly Effect) as he enters high school alone, after the recent loss of his middle school best friend to suicide. Charlie gets befriended by seniors Sam (Emma Watson- Harry Potter-Beauty and the Beast) and Patrick (Ezra Miller- Justice League, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them) and finally feels accepted.
Discovery inhibits the ability to embrace new beginnings and accept a sense of change whether it is found or forced upon an individual. The places you travel and the people you meet can emotionally revolutionize a self-discovery through unexpected but anticipated terms evoked from curiosity. ‘Swallow The Air’ written by Tara June Winch and ‘The Thing Around Your Neck’ written by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie break the inhibitions of vulnerability, as their ideas represented through cultural contexts and values, lead to an overall self-discovery.
Through aspects of discovery, an individual’s identity is shaped, by the way they perceive their connections with others and the worlds around them, as it can enable the individual to speculate future possibilities and can confront or provoke the individual’s judgement, beliefs or actions. Jane Harrison’s play, ‘Rainbows End’, focuses on three generations of Aboriginal women living in the flats of 1950’s Australia. On the other hand, Ben Stiller’s film, ‘The Secret life of Walter Mitty’ embarks on a global journey that turns into an adventure. Both text lead individuals to new worlds or values and offer new understandings and renewed perceptions of themselves and possibly others.