Symbolism In Away By Michael Gow

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After every death of a caterpillar, there is a birth of a butterfly. But have you ever considered how caterpillars are aware of their nearing death, yet they accept their fate and live within the butterfly with an alternative perspective and values, isn’t that what you call ‘discovery’? Discoveries can be confronting and thus lead an individual to form a new perception of themselves, hence is able to guide another individual to the right path. This aspect of the ‘discovery’ is explored trough the play ‘Away’ by Michael Gow as three families go away on holidays and experience their own individual discoveries. The 17 years old protagonist Tom; who confronts and acknowledges his approaching premature death due to leukaemia and enables healing …show more content…
I have used the focal point of the hourglass to represent Tom’s acceptance as it is the epiphany point of this hourglass and the caterpillar at this phase represents Tom accepting his fate. The sand symbolises the beach where Tom acted out his acknowledgement while performing the play ‘Stranger on The Shore’ as well as when he performs as King Lear at the end of the play ‘Away’. His dialogues from ‘Stranger on The Shore’: “I’m drowning, I’m drowning” and through Shakespearean allusion in King Lear: “while we unburden’d crawl toward death” illustrates how Tom has accepted his imminent death and stripped through the façade he kept all along. Gow connects King Lear and Tom as he feels he can now accept his fast-approaching premature death and move forward peacefully. Therefore, Tom’s acknowledgement of his nearing end forms a new perception of his life and contribute to his …show more content…
I have used the transition of a caterpillar to butterfly to depict Tom’s process of discovery and the white colour of the butterfly represents healing as perceived by the audience, us and Coral. The play ‘Stranger on The Shore’ acts as an analogy of the healing of the soul where Coral is afraid to walk; metaphorically she is unable to accept her son’s death and advance further, however, Tom helps her to return to the real world. This is apparent in the stage direction: “he lifts her and holds her as she takes a step forward, then another, then another”. He allows her to accept her son 's death by showing her that he has accepted his own impending death, he reminds her of her past life where she was ‘whole’ and ‘content’, he teaches her to emotionally ‘walk’ again. Hence, self-discovery of Tom enabled Coral to recover and navigate towards her

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