Smokey Joes Cafe and Away
The concept of journey exceeds beyond physically traveling, as the traveller encompasses an emotional and intellectual journey along the way.These journeys are a process in which the traveller grows and changes in response to extending themselves out of their comfort zones and overcoming the struggle with themselves, each other and with nature.The play ‘Away’, composed by Michael Gow through the use of dramatic techniques and the novel ‘Smokey Joe’s Cafe through language techniques have both demonstrated how physical Journeys impacts on the travellers inner growth.
Away’, set in the late 1960’s reflects the Australian events and situations at that time. These shape the attitudes and behaviour of the characters Gow uses, it strengthens Australia’s historical context for the audience. There is a cyclical structure Nature is a symbolic theme that sharpens ‘Away’ physical setting. Gow significantly sets the play over the Christmas holidays, portraying three ordinary yet contrasting families that are eventually drawn together by the power of nature. This time of year symbolises the birth of Christ that contradicts the imminent death of Tom.
His approaching imminent death of Tom. Tom’s approaching death heals the characters, as they become linked to the natural cycle, we are born to die. “Give me your hands if we be friends, and Robin shall restore Amends. ‘ ( Act 1, Sc 1) This signifies the beginning journey of reconciliation and acceptance through use of intertextuality. Gow has made cross reference with Shakespeare. Tom’s role as Puck, infiltrated from a ‘Midsummer Night’s Dream’, encapsulates his significance in the overall play.
Puck’s power to restore and heal alludes and soaks into Tom’s character as his awareness of both life and death become the base of power for a catalyst change in others. Tom’s ability to transform Coral and inspire his parents is expressed through the play within a play. ‘Stranger on the shore” Tom’s deep sense of his own mortality is life giving to others, he expresses impending death and his capacity to care for other’s lifts coral from her darkness. “I’m walking, I’m walking, I’m walking. symbolis for Corals renewal in her emotional journey, while Repetition of walking reinforces she is back to reality The plant “Coral” symbolizes a lifeless skeleton that is fragile and easy to break, just like the character in “Away”. Coral undergoes a vast transformation through the physical journey, from being repressed because of her son’s death to finally accepting that he is gone. Coral – her emotional recovery is profound. She symbolically and emotionally ‘returns from the dead’. She has been away from herself since the death of her son and has been unable to deal in the real world effectively.
The physical journey she undertakes to the beach is a metaphor for her emotional journey to recovery of self and ability to ‘walk’ in the world of the living. Physical setting – Earth; place of respite and rest Beach allows for cleansing, harmony Water: through both sea and storm, emphasises idea of change as its dark and has unknown depths, yet can also be life giving. Air evokes destruction through Bonfire: Ancient symbol of life. Its warmth draws those characters, who have been renewed, it confirms the redemption they have achieved.
And the insight enveloped around each character portraying their inner growth.. Similarly in ‘Smokey Joe’s cafe, Bryce has used historical information on the Vietnam war to create his characters and setting to enable a more appealing and indulgent recite for the reader. Courtenay has used the power of nature throughout the Vietnam veteran’s journey, fathomed most in the Vietnam jungle. The jungles landscape became secondary growth with, bamboo everywhere, all of it tangled and dense and hard to see or move through. “The bloody jungle was the enemy as much as the Viet Cong (pg. ) Thommo says this highlighting the soldier’s physical journey that overcame the difficult obstacles and level of areas they were subjected to. Nature’s demolition lead to the motive of Agent Orange, a main issue manufactured for Vietnams “(pg. 7) . They sprayed it in our tents, in our weapon pits, in our kitchens and mess halls and in our latrines. It would be on our plates we ate off and the cups we drank off. ” Courtenay introduces Thommo fand the soldiers to recount,- flashbacks… The start of the physical journey “That’s what it was; a big hole with hills called Yama’s surrounding it, filled with water that might as well have been shit.
It felt like shit. Tasted like shit and smelled like shit, when you fell into it, it stuck to you like shit sticks to a blanket. ” (pg 70) Preparation for the jungle (Still in Australia) highlights the beginning of change, and growth the soldiers will experience… The use of repetition, simile, colloquialism, introducing… “Crackle-pop-crackle-pop-pop-pop” “Putta putta putta putta” (Page 3) Onomatopoeia has been used to echo the firing of an AK47, and the ‘dust off blades of an emerging helicopter picking up the wounded’.
The sounds give a sense of battle while Thommo describes it from a nightmare that is recounted from the past events of Long Tan; it establishes the hardship Thommo goes through, finding it difficult to settle back into society. All of these paragraphs Don’t link or refer back to question It didn’t help that Australia treated them like a bunch of mercenaries guilty of war crimes. “You killed children! ”(Pg43) Angela, a local says this to Spags showing her disapproval and resentment for him.
It establishes the hostility and non-acceptance society felt towards the soldiers, their lack of understanding, going by the distorted media, regarded them not as heroes, but pure murderers. Societies attitude towards the war created diversity between the vets and the community “It seems the real heroes were the nice little boys and girls who marched in the Anti- Vietnam rallies chanting slogans, waving the Viet Cong flag and passing a joint around while the cops looked on. ” (Pg. 10). This shows Thommo and the soldiers are filled with fury and irritation for the people and Government.