Character Analysis – Coral from Away

The character that is seen to undergo the most profound change within the text ???Away??™ , by Michael Gow, is Coral. Gow has articulated that through acceptance and a positive outlook, change has a more advantageous effect on the individual witnessing it. Also, that change can occur through a gradual progression. He has successfully communicated this by using the change Coral experiences as a metaphor to illustrate his assumption.

We are introduced to Coral to be in an emotionally fragile condition, grieving the death of her son. She is seen to have alienated herself from society, and has a strained relationship with her husband Roy, unable to conform to his expectations. Coral??™s psychological state is clearly depicted in the soliloquy Gow has utilised in Act One ??“ Scene Three. Through her speech we understand that she is in an unstable state, as suggested at the beginning of the soliloquy, where she states, ???When that woman woke up and saw that donkey at her feet I thought my heart would break.??? This line generally depicts her detachment and alienation from society, through the inconceivable language used.

Through the progression of the holiday, Gow has communicated the sequencing of Coral??™s catharsis. In reference to the holiday, Coral states, ???We need a break. We need a change??? (Act Two ??“ Scene Four). Gow has applied short and direct sentences to correspond Coral??™s obstinacy and determination towards change. The repetition of ???we need a??¦??™ reflects how Coral has prioritised change, and her views of change being a necessity. These techniques effectively suggest Coral??™s acceptance towards change. Coral conjuncts the connotation of the holiday with positive implications, evident through her statement; ???We??™ll have a wonderful, wonderful time??™ (Act Two ??“ Scene Four). Repetition is prevalent once again in this excerpt, and has been used by Gow to portray her positive attitude in regards to the opportunity to change.

The change in Coral is apparent in Act Four ??“ Scene Three, through the metaphorical meaning derived in the play that Coral and Tom perform in, called ???The Stranger on the Shore??™. Coral turns into a mermaid, from the previous state of a human being in her attempt to follow and pursue her loved one. This is symbolic of Coral??™s change after the death of her son, and her continuing attachment to him. The mermaid generally represents the element of fantasy, interpreted to be the alienation of Coral and her distance from reality. However, due to Tom??™s request, Coral was turned into mortal form, he states, ???You must return to your own world and your own people.??? In response, Coral tells him, ???I cannot walk, I am afraid???, suggesting her fear and hesitation towards the change. Tom then assists Coral in walking, in the American accent used throughout the play, she says, ???I??™m walking, I??™m walking???, then in her own voice, ???I??™m walking, I??™m walking, I??™m walking???. The transition from Coral speaking with an American accent, to her own voice, subtly presents and accentuates the change in her character. Gow has used the repetition of ???I??™m walking??? to enforce the change perceived in Coral.

Reconciliation is prevalent in (Act Five ??“ Scene One) through the action of Coral offering Roy the seashells in a hat, symbolic of home and consolidation. By offering Roy the seashells, it can be understood that she is presenting him with her forgiveness and affection. It can be interpreted that by accepting Roy, she is accepting the change. Coral is distinguished to be no longer absorbed in her own grief, through the acceptance of her son??™s death, and has consequently become more observant towards her milieu.