The cost of ignorance is both a blessing and a curse: it is the one quality that can simultaneously provoke and suppress us to making discoveries because for there to be a transformative revelation there must be at least a momentary recognition of the unknown. Only then can discovery be liberating and exhilarating, empowering us with renewed perceptions.
This notion can be explored through Michael Gow’s play ‘Away’ and Sean Penn’s thought-provoking movie ‘Into The Wild’ (2007), where both composers explore discovery through the concept of retrospect and its link with time- where the characters are clinged to outmoded certainties that prevent them from fully experiencing the richness of their current circumstances. Through the characters’ discoveries in AWAY, Gow serves them as allegories for the bifurcation of the Australian population from a conservative to a progressive outlook- the national struggles with competing ideas of identity, change and innovation. However, through INTO THE WILD, paradoxically leaving familiar surroundings makes us realise that challenging our most fundamental perceptions can trigger growth and change, ultimately allowing us to embrace the new.