‘Personal Growth and Reconciliation Through Love Are the Predominant Concerns in Away’ Essay

‘Personal growth and reconciliation through love are the predominant concerns in Away’ In the play Away personal growth and reconciliation through love are the predominant concerns that have been represented throughout the play. Personal growth through love is evident in the characters of Coral and Roy and reconciliation through love is evident in the characters of Vic and Harry. Gow uses techniques such as symbols, music and lighting to show how personal growth and reconciliation is shown through love. Personal growth is a major theme in Away.

Coral at the beginning of the play is shown to be not coping with the death of her son. In Act 4 scene 3 Tom writes a play about letting go and growing. Throughout this play we see how Coral begins to accept her son’s death. In addition to the acceptance of her son’s death this play also helped Coral to grow and resolve personal issues with Roy. The theme of reconciliation also links with Tom’s play as Coral reconciles with her husband Roy. Roy had personally grown to accept their son’s death and he wanted Coral to as well.

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Personal growth through love is also evident in Tom’s play when tom shows the love he has for his parents. Throughout the play Tom confronts his parents that he knows he has cancer and his time is coming to an end. In Act 1 scene 2 we are introduced to the character of Gwen who is married to Jim and are both the parents of their teenage daughter Meg. Gwen is represented to the audience as a bitter, controlling judgmental, bossy woman. Throughout the play, Gow softens our attitudes towards Gwen various scenes of humour and anecdotes. However by the end of the play Gwen has shown personal growth through love.

Act 4 is a powerful scene because Vic and Harry tell Jim and Gwen about Tom’s illness, through this scene we can see how Gwen has grown personally as she shows some emotion towards Vic and Harry that she wouldn’t normally show at the beginning of the play. Gwen continually relied on ‘Bex’ when times got tough and she couldn’t handle the situation. Through her personal through Gwen can hardly swallow the drug and is beginning to sort out conflict with her loved ones. This scene is juxtaposed to pervious scenes where Gwen walks away from problems or makes up excuses for them.

Through her personal growth due to love Gwen has learnt to accept the life she is living and to be grateful that she isn’t going through what Harry and Vic are going through with their son Tom. Another major theme that is present in Away is reconciliation. In Act 4 scene Tom is being represented as a symbol of fire which is a suggestion of destruction of the past and cleansing. The fire also represents the bringing of people together through the love they have for each other. At the end of this scene, Vic and Harry are seen to leave ‘in another direction’ suggesting they have accepted their son’s illness and death and are slowly growing.

Following the fire scene is a mime scene where it is all about reconciling with one another. In this scene we see the reconciliation of Coral and Roy, along with Gwen, Jim and Meg. The mime scene containing no dialogue shows to the audience the power of symbols. Here, we see reconciliation of Coral and Roy through shells. This symbol is juxtaposed with pervious use of shells for reconciling/healing. The slippers given to Gwen by Jim are used as a motif to symbolise the theme of healing and walking away. Throughout Away, Gow have played segments of Mendelssohn’s music.

Act 3 scene 4 shows the happening of the storm. In the scene, Gow has deliberately put Mendelssohn’s wedding march. This is to foreshadow reconciliation through the love of a husband and wife (Jim and Gwen). In comparison, at the end of Act 4 and throughout Act 5, we hear Mendelssohn’s Nocturne. This sets the final mood for Away and how the characters are reconciling amongst each other. Mendelssohn’s Nocturne suggests that Act 4 has affected Act 5. Lighting in Away is an important aspect as it shows the audience how characters have grown personally.

Coral at the beginning of the play is associated with darkness due to her illness. As coral grows personally and starts to forgive her son’s death she begins to be associated with lightness. To conclude Gow has shown personal growth and reconciliation through love with the majority of his characters. To enhance that affect on the audience he uses many techniques such as lighting, symbols and Mendelssohn’s music. All these techniques have helped shown the personal growth and reconciliation achieved by the characters throughout the play of Away.


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