RESEARCH ESSAY “We all have the desire to win”. To what extent is this attitude reflected in the text? All the characters in “Away” share the desire to win. This is shown through their feelings and actions and it is evident that they wish to make the right choices in order to have a life worth living. However, each character has a different interpretation of “winning” and “living a good life” and each make different choices in attempt to achieve this. This can be shown through the comparison of the two characters Tom and Coral.
Tom is the son of Harry and Vic. They come across as a tight knit, loving family. Tom is very ill, and has been told by his doctor that he may not have very long to live. So his attitude towards winning includes living a good life although it may be quite short, and making the most of the small amount of time he has left. He comes across as a down to earth, nice person. Whilst he wants the best for himself, he also wants the best for his family. He wishes to make everything right, happy and good for his friends and parents.
The family goes on a camping trip, and Tom wants his Mum and Dad to think/know that he is having fun, because he knows that they are very upset about his illness and they are trying their hardest to make sure he is having fun and is happy. Coral is the wife of Roy, who lost their son in the war and are grieving. They go on a holiday to the Gold Coast in a fancy hotel to try and get their mind off things. Coral appears to be having a much harder time trying to get over the loss of her son compared to Roy, and she is definitely not in the right state of mind.
She does not want to face reality (“I mightn’t like it there”), and is in a dark place where her pain is overwhelming her life. Her attitude towards winning is to come to terms with the loss of her son and move on with her life, whilst her husband has almost already done so. His attitude on the situation is that they were “picked out to pay” (Coral disagrees and sees this as a meaningless platitude). Whilst he is still upset, he manages to continue functioning in society.
The couple’s marriage is almost falling apart due to the death of their son and their contrasting views on the situation and difference in dealing with it. The concept of Kim Novak is a romantic motif, used to remind each other of their past relationship which was loving, close and romantic. From the reasons I have just stated, it is evident that the concept of winning is a desire shared by all the characters in “Away”, and wish to make the right choices in order to have a good life. Their attitude to the winning is the cause of the conflict in the play.