Practice essay for Area Of Sydy, Physical Journeys.

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The challenges faced on journeys cause travellers to learn more about themselves and the

world around them.

The challenges faced on journeys cause travellers to learn more about themselves and the

world around them. The truth of this concept is shown through the effective use of language,

structure and theme in Gow's play Away, Frost's poem "The Road Not Taken", Robert's film Shackleton, and Winter's feature article "Survival of the Fittest."

The structure of Away is critical to the meaning conveyed to the responder in two ways. The

first way is the central storm that brings all the three families together and is a catalyst for

change. The challenge Gwen faces is that all of her possessions have been literally and

symbolically washed away by the storm. This is a challenge for her as she has had the view

that possessions are everything, and that without them you have nothing. From the driving

force of the storm Gwen has learnt that possessions are not everything. She loses all her

possessions, but she still has her family. She realises that that is more important after

speaking with Vic. So from the challenge of the storm, Gwen has learnt more about herself.

The second aspect of the structure of Away is the cyclic nature paradox. All three families

start off at the school. They then travel to different locations for their holiday. These different

locations, the hotel, Caravan Park and tent, represent their social class. They are then brought

together by the storm, and the play ends with them all back at the school, the same school that

they started off at. Upon first investigation you could say that they have started and ended

their journey at the same place, and so nothing has changed. However upon closer

investigation, you can see that although they are back to where they started, they have moved

forward, much like a wheel that has turned one revolution. Although the wheel appears not to

have changed, it has in fact moved forward.

Gow's context when composing Away is critical and has affected what and how he writes, in particular reference to the character Coral. Gow set Away in Australia in the late 60's. At this time the Vietnam War was ending, and many families back home were aware that their loved

ones were not returning. This is the challenge that Coral faces. She, and her husband Roy,

find out that their son has died in the war. Coral in particular cannot accept this. She becomes

detached from society and from Roy. From meeting and talking with new people on her

holiday such as Leonie and Rick, and then later by the storm catalyst, Coral learns to

symbolically walk again. She accepts that there is life in death and recovers. This is shown to

the other characters through the play-within-a-play technique used by Gow of "Stranger on the Shore." So the challenges that Coral faces such as her son's death and the process of the journey of healing has allowed her to learn much more about herself and the world around

her.

Furthermore, Gow uses Shakespearian allusions to "A Midsummer Night's Dream." Tom is compared with the Shakespearean character of Puck. One particular quote from "A Midsummer Night's Dream" is "I'll be an auditor, an actor too perhaps if I see chance". This is exactly what Tom does, he is the audience, he stands back and watches the people around

him and how they are dealing with his death, but also when he gets the chance he will act to

help the peole around him. This is a great example of how this concept of a journey is

represented in Away. Tom faces the challenge of his imminent death and how he should deal

with it. He also faces the challenge of dealing with others around him before he dies.

Two further points of how Gow represents the concept of a journey and how he shapes

meaning is the register used and the form chosen. The language is quite simplistic which

suites the average audience and colloquial language is used to mimic the nature of the

characters. This coincides with the form of drama. Drama has several elements, all of which

are needed to effectively communicate meaning to the responder. You need a composer, a

script, actors, a theatre and an audience. If you change any of these elements, the meaning

conveyed changes.

Frost's "The Road Not Taken" also explores the concept that the challenges faced on journeys cause travellers to learn more about themselves and the world around them.

Naturally you would assume this as Frost is a philosopher poet. As such he presents a simple

but highly philosophical idea about journeys, an idea that has many links to the concept that

is being explored in this essay. This simple, yet adaptable idea leads to the responder thinking

very much about it. The form of poetry assists this as due to the short nature of poetry, every

word is critical and as such it conveys a large amount of meaning in such a short piece of

work. Because the responder has thought about this idea that Frost presents, they learn more

about themselves and the world around them.

The two main techniques that Frost uses to convey this meaning are sound and imagery. The

sound techniques of rhyme and rhythm are used extensively which help the poem to flow and

make it sound much better. As such, responders are able to interpret the meaning in the poem

easier and clearer. The rhyme and rhythm express the meaning in a highly effective way.

Examples of rhyme include, "wood/stood" and "both/growth". Also the consistent beat of the rhythm allows the poem to be read much easier. In addition onomatopoeia is used, for

example "sigh". Imagery is also used to stimulate images in the responders mind. Such words as "yellow wood", "grassy" and "undergrowth" are all associated with outdoors and forests. Their use helps to create images of the "two diverging roads", even though these two roads are an extended metaphor.

The challenge of the "two diverging roads" and not knowing which path to take, and facing this challenge and acting on it, and seeing the result ("and that has made all the difference") has allowed the traveller, that is, the persona to learn more about themself and the world

around them.

Furthermore, Robert's film Shackleton explores this concept of a journey particularly well. In Shackleton a crew of men face a physical journey of determination and survival as they face

harsh weather and no ship on their journey to the South Pole. They face many challenges,

such as the physical challenges of no food, hash weather and freezing cold conditions. They

also face emotional challenges of being away from their families for so long, not knowing if

they will return to see them ever again. This concept has been represented in the text through

narrative techniques and cinematography. Though their determination, they make it back to

safety. Having faced these challenges and having to make the life changing decisions along

the way, they have learnt more about themselves, their lives and have learnt to value it much

more. They have also learnt more about the world and people around them.

Winter's feature article "Survival of the Fittest" from Time Magazine again explores this concept of a journey, which has been represented in the text by recounting the events of a real

situation. The feature article detail of how the challenge of a huge rock falling on the arm of a

mountaineer prevented him from continuing, trapping him in that location. He had to

amputate his own arm to survive. This challenge has, as detailed in the feature article, though

the use of questioning the mountaineer about the ordeal, resulted in him valuing life much

more and appreciating the natural environment. The challenge of the amputation has led him

to learning more about himself and the world around him.

From the detailed analysis of these texts I have shown, thought the texts the truth of the

concept of a journey that the challenges faced on journeys cause travellers to learn more

about themselves and the world around them.

The challenges faced on journeys cause travellers to learn more about themselves and the

world around them.

(address question)

The challenges faced on journeys cause travellers to learn more about themselves and the

world around them. This concept is shown through the effective use of language, structure

and theme in Gow's play Away, Frost's poem "The Road Not Taken", Robert's film Shackleton, and Winter's feature article "Survival of the Fittest."

AWAY:

 Gwen  challenge of the storm destroying her possessions  learns possessions are not the be all and end all

 Context  Vietnam War  Coral  challenge of the loss of her son  learns to symbolically reconnect with Roy

 Allusions to "A Midsummer Night's Dream"  Tom/Puck

 Structure  cyclic nature paradox & central storm  Register is colloquial

 Form  Drama  many critical elements involved  fits audience of normal people

THE ROAD NOT TAKEN:

 Structure  Form  Poem  Sound  Rhyme  Rhythm  makes it better. Expresses the meaning in a more

effective way.

"Sigh"  Onomatopoeia "wood/stood", "both/growth"

 Imagery "Yellow wood"  give Frost's American context, related to time of year. Sets scene of forest. / "grassy", "undergrowth"

 Frost  Philosopher poet  presents a highly philosopher concept which lead the responder thinking and has learnt more about themselves and the word around them from

that challenge faced.

SHAKELETON:

 Challenges of experiencing frostbite, no food, away from loved ones, cannot get home. All these challenges lead these travellers to learn more about the people around then

and themselves and the world. They have learnt to value life and friends.

SURVIVAL OF THE FITTEST:

 Physical and mental challenge of rock falling on his arm during a mountaineering trip.

The challenges faced on journeys cause travellers to learn more about themselves and the

world around them.

AWAY

Structure

Storm Cyclic nature paradox

 Gwen  Possessions  school >> hotel/caravan/tent >> school

Context

 Set in Aust, late 60's. >> Vietnam war >> Coral  Leonie/Rick/Strom >> coral recovers >> shown by Play-within-a-play

Shakespearian Allusions

 Tom/Puck  "I'll be an auditor, an actor too perhaps if I see chance".

Register/Form

 Several elements to drama. You need them all to convey the meaning.

THE ROAD NOT TAKEN

Philosopher poet / poetry form

Sound | Imagery

 rhyme >> wood/stood & both/growth  onomatopoeia >> sigh

"yellow wood" "grassy"

"undergrowth" creates images of "two diverging roads", even though it's an extended metaphor.

SHAKLETON / SURVIVAL OF THE FITTEST

Physical challenges >> lead to self growth >> learn more about yourself >> become more

aware of the world.