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The Ramifications of Individual Discovery

            Discovery always change the people involved as they experience something for the first time or rediscover that has been lost, forgotten or concealed. Often times there is a physical or emotional catalyst that invariably directs the individual to a spiritual, emotional or intellectual moment of self discovery, where the individual ultimately changes perspective of themselves and the world. This is prevalent in Michael Gow's Away 1986, Shaun Tan's The Red Tree 2001 and Cat Stevens, Two lives (Australian Women's Weekly May 2002). The composers of the aforementioned texts use literary and visual techniques such as parallel narratives, setting, naturalism, imagery, juxtaposition,symbolism, play within a play, colour, scale, direct language, quotations, layout and body language. In each text this reveals how discoveries have ramifications on the way the individual sees themselves and the world. Collectively the texts serve to prove that these types of discoveries are only possible when we open our eyes to the world to the world around us. "The real voyage of discovery consists not of seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes" Marcel Proust.
             Michael Gow's 'Away' shows three families going on holidays to free themselves from the restrictions of their usual environment to create an atmosphere rich with potential for self-discovery. Though parallel narratives, Gow examines and contrasts characters situations and explores how they individually reflect upon their lives. This is first presented through facades worn by all unhappy characters which must "try and look like you're having a ball". At the same time there is a social division created by Gwen saying that "He's (Tom) a bit no-hopery" because his parents work in factories, along with tensions of the 1960's after the Vietnam war, where Coral lost her son. Gow's setting is a real environment that requires self reflection.

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