On the path of discovery the biggest limits are the ones put on ourselves. In reference to the statement ‘The greatest obstacle to discovery is the barriers we place on ourselves,’ the idea is appropriate when in relations to the text studied. Michael Gow’s Australian play, ‘Away’ explores the development of characters as they overcome the barriers placed by themselves.
The short story ‘Neighbours’ written by Tim Winton depicts a young couple moving into a neighbourhood and bonding with their neighbours as they overcome the barrier separating them.Discovery can be unexpected with the outcomes being rewarding however the process of discovery is challenging with the most challenging aspect being the limits placed on ourselves. Gow presents Gwen as a character obsessed with materialism and judgmental of others. The obstacle that impedes Gwen discovery is her obsession with materialism which is a result of her past experiences and sacrifices when she was younger.Her judgement of Tom is demonstrated in her criticism that he is ‘a bit no hopery’. Applying colloquial language devalues Tom and his family as Tom’s family are not doing as well as Gwen is, and due to Gwen being obsessed with materialism leads her to judge them.
Tom presents the catalyst to Gwen’s self-discovery through his allusion to Puck in Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Through the Shakespearean allusion it provides a format to the play as it begins with order, and chaos and closing in renewed order. The storm scene in the play acts as the chaos in the play and is symbolic of nature ability to heal as it leads Gwen and her family to the beach where Tom and his family are. The symbolism of nature possessing healing powers is presented through Vic and Gwen walking alongside the beach. The audience are inferred that Gwen was told about the illness affecting Tom which allows Gwen to come to terms with her obsession with materialism as there is a family going through harder time and do not have as much as material value as she does but still continue to live on. This change of perspective allows her to break free of the obstacle holding Gwen and giving her a rewarding outcome as her relationship with her family is mended and discovers that material value is not as important as her family. Similar in Tim Winton short story ‘Neighbours’ the young couple initially do not want to interact with their neighbours but after getting to know them more and understanding them they forge get bonds with them leading to the couple feeling proud and happier, which is similar to how Gwen is happier now that she has better relationships with her own family.Finding oneselves own identity can be challenging when faced with a new environment due to the surroundings however the most difficult challenge are the limits place by our own selves.
The hyperbole of “It took the six months for the newcomers to comprehend the fact that their neighbours were not murdering each other, merely talking,” demonstrates that the couple is unable to understand the actions of their neighbour due to the lack of knowledge that they possess about the Macedonian ethnicity and displays that one of the obstacles place on themselves is their lack of knowledge. Another example where the couples lack of knowledge is an obstacle imagery depicted in the quote “The Macedonian family next door shouted, ranted, screamed,” which demonstrates rowdy conduct through the use of shouted, ranted and screamed which influences the couple view of the Macedonian family making them being viewed as a negative influence. However once the couple understood that the Macedonian family simply acted this way was due to that fact it was normal in Europe and their culture, leading to the characterization of the couple where they created ties with their neighbour and are on good terms to the point where they are able to exchange items with each other and is demonstrated in ‘They(the young couple) offered heads of cabbage and took gifts of grappa and firewood’. The quote demonstrates the couple overcoming their obstacles and leading to the discovery where they have a mutual give and take relationship with their neighbours.
Similarly in the play ‘Away’ Gwen and Meg relationship start off shaky due to the differing views each other have similar to how the young couple and the neighbours view each other and do not interact with each other with both sides have negative views of the other. However when Gwen completes her self-discovery she mends her bonds with and they have a healthy relationship just like how the young couple and the neighbours are able to have a strong relationship where they are able to give and take.The experience of discovery can offer an individual a chance to transform their perspectiveof life how the individual must be ready to get over the emotional obstacles that lay in the way that they themselves placed. This can be displayed through the character of Carol in the play ‘Away’ as Carol must get over her son’s death, however her emotions get the better of her and leaves Carol unable to come to terms with her son’s death. Throughout the play Carol is undergoing a self-discovery to overcome this obstacle and move on and mend her relationship with her husband Roy.
Carol soliloquy at the beginning depicts how her emotions control her and her inability to come to terms with her son’s death delaying her chance to transform and get over