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Away Questions

Act 1
1-What does Gow choose to begin the play with the final scene from a Shakespeare play?
2- What attitude perhaps typical of Australia in the 60s does play reveal in his speech after the
school play?
Racism and sexism
3- What mood is created through the dialogue between Meg and Tom backstage? How does Gwen
kill the mood?
Sexual flirty mood, Gwen kills the mood by being an overbearing obnoxious women
4- Compare the responses of the four to the school play?, what do we learn at them?
Gwen was complaining about everything
Jim just goes along with everything
Coral and tom is supportive to their son
5- Compare the holidays planned by the three families. What do these plans tell us about each
Toms family is go with the flow out to have a good time here Megs family is very structured and
6- Tom curses Gwens holiday. Why does he do this? Does the fact that he has just been playing the
role of a fairy (Puck from A Midsummer Nights Dream) add significance to this curse?
It is a motif from the Shakespearean play. It helps to furhtur press the technique of death and
7- What do students learn about Coral through her soliloquy? Thinking about Gwens comment in
the previous scene (she looks awful, poor women. Her on, you know), can they see particular
significance to her speech?
We learn that coral is currently going through a rough time. She acts disconnected a views the world
through morbid eyes. We also find out Tom is going through an illness.
Act 2
1- What do we learn about Toms family scene 1?
Toms family is trying to make the most of the time they have left with their on
2- What do we learn about Megs family in scene 2? How is her family different to Toms?
Megs family is very structured. They are run by the egotistical mother. Both parents worked
their way out of lower income classes and are very unhappy and seem nervous about their
social status
3- What explanation does Jim provide for Gwens behaviour?
Jim explains Gwens behaviour by describing hr past. Jim describes her past full of sacrifice,
hard work and solitude

4- What event has occurred in the lives of Coral and Roy? How have they reacted differently?
Coral and Ray lived in a time of war. They lost their son in Vietnam which caused Roy to
delve deeply into his work and Coral becoming disconnected from the world around her
5- How does Gow use dramatic irony in Scene 4 to show the loving nature of Toms family?
Both the parents seem to be doing the holiday for each other. They both ask Tom to look
happy for each other but without knowing they said it already
Act 3
In this act there is a sense of otherworldliness and things not being seen as they seem. Students
should begin charting aspects of reality and unreality through the play. Students should consider
why Toms family is omitted from this act, aside from scene 5, which shows them protected from the
Storm. Students can suggest reasons for using departure from reality as a dramatic technique.
1-How do Corals two conversations reveal all is not as perfect as appearances would suggest at the
Gold Coast luxury hotel?
Coral conversations with the surroundings people reveal That everyone is going through their own
personal dilemmas
2- Explain why Coral is so able to see the reality beneath glitzy veneer
Coral can see through the illusion because she is going through a rough time and notices people are
going through it as well
3- How is Gwens, nastiness further revealed in scene 2
Their nastiness takes a more of a bossy tyrant role as she shoats orders at people trying to make
everything work but the author adds the feel of nervousness with short snappy sentences
4- Does Jims Gone with the Wind story shed any further light on Gwens behaviour?
Jim tries to relate with Gone with the Wind with how Gwens behaviour has become to be what it is
5-Why has the delegation of four campers visited Jims site? What attitudes are being satirised
through this part of scene 2?

6-How does scene 3 show the conflicts in coral and roys marriage?
The whole act of involving Coral and Roy shows that theyve becoming distant and with the
suggestion of Coral having an affair shows their marriage is in shambles

7-What threat does Roy make to bully Coral into behaving appropriately
Roy threatens barbaric treatment to Coral by threatening to send her to a mental ward and get
electric shock treatment showing the attitude and the environment of Australia
8-How does Gow stage the storm in scene 4
Gow uses the motif of the Shakespearean play of mid-summer nights and adds the fairies making the
storm feel magical and gives it an effect to change the future
9-What is the effect of the storm on Gwen, Jim and Meg?
Their storm effects Gwen, Jim and Meg brings them together to escape. They leave their problems
behind. Creating an crazy scene
10- How does scene 5 shows Toms family in contrast with Megs family in the previous scene?
Scene 5 shows the contrast by showing the mellow nature keeping Tom very relaxed and going with
the flow
Act 4
1- How does Gow contrive to bring together all the main characters in this act?
Gow contrives to bring the main characters together by making the setting a beach where
everyone goes there no matter how wealthy you are everyone goes to the beach to have fun
and relax
2- Consider Harrys long speech to Jim. What do we learn about his and Vics history? What do
we learn about Tom?
Harrys and vics history was told as they can recall themselves living in tiny houses, the
rationing and the rubble after war. We also learn that Tom has a cancer of the blood and is
very sick but they want their son to have no regrets before passing away.
3- What evidence is there that Gwen has changed in scene 1? How can you explain the change?
The evidence that Gwen has changed in scene 1 is the quote if you want to ask me what I
think or how I feel I couldnt say shows that gwen has changed from scene 1 as it shows
her remorse as she just does not want other people to go through what she had been
4- In scene 2 what discovery has Tom made
He discovers that the head masters wife had run away
5- Tom says Coral: I told her a thing or two that helped. Shes ready to get back into the swim,
she says. What did Tom tell her that made such a difference?
Tom told her that she wasnt any different to anyone and that she is no longer crazy
6- How does Gow add realism to the amateur night in Scene 3
Gow added realism to amateur night in scene 3 by coral making ship noises in a bottle
7- What is Toms play, A stranger on the Shore about? What is the significance of this play
within a play?
A stranger on the shore is about coral as she had run away from her husband because he
thought she was crazy. The significance of this play is that its a real life story that is taking
place within a play.
8- Explain Gwens surprising response to Toms play
Gwen applauses thunderously to toms play meaning the she had liked the play
9- What is the significance of the stage directions at the end of Act 4, when all characters leave
to look at the bonfire except Vic and Harry, who leave in the other direction?
Because Vic and Harry comes into a spiritual understanding and leaves Tom who can look
after himself

Act 5
1- Make a list of significant actions and gestures in the scene 1 mime. Can you explain the
significance of these actions and gestures
Gwen staggers- Gwen actually does need help
-Overcome- Gwen isnt used to getting gifts for nothing
-Kisses her hand sand the shells- showing that Roy still loves Coral through the thick hand
2- How is the end of the play like a return to the beginning? What point is Gow making by this
cyclical structure
It starts and ends with Shakespearean plays in the school. Tom is acting again like he is

3- Despite this connection between beginning and end, what has changed by the end of the
Tom is more confident towards the end with his acting and everyone is willing to pay more