Cast Away

Changing perspectives enable the individual to see things from someone else’s point of view, ultimately providing an opportunity to visualise things differently. Changing perspectives allow a new approach towards something that previously remained unchanged [adapt to suit question here]. Our changing perspectives affect the way in which we interpret aspects of our lives. [Insert thesis statement here]. This is evident in Michael Gow’s Away, as well as Drops of Jupiter by Pat Monahan and the film Cast Away directed by Robert Zemeckis.

The main protagonists in each of the texts mentioned above, embark on a physical journey in which they change their perspectives of different aspects of life along the way. Through the prescribed text “Away”, composer Michael Gow has created many changing perspectives among his characters through the physical journey they undertake. ‘Drops of Jupiter’ is about a woman who leaves her man and goes on a physical journey out into the world, the carefree, diverse world to discover her inner self. I believe the man in the song is in love with her and in a sense is scared that the new world is going to change her.

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This is evident throughout the song with the repeated quote of “And did you miss me while you were looking for yourself out there”. The use of repetition reinforces the way the song writer feels about the girls changing perspective. He feels that he is being left behind. Drops of Jupiter can be compared to ‘Away’ as in drops of Jupiter it is the various aspects of the physical journey that changes the girl’s perspective of the man, whereas in ‘Away’ it is Tom that changes Gwen’s perspective towards life.

This is symbolic as Tom is an aspect of the physical journey that the characters take. The woman had gone out to find herself, discover who she really is and ultimately look for happiness, even love. One stanza that shows this is stanza three. The composer uses rhetorical questions to ask the woman, did she ‘fall for a shooting star, one without a permanent scar’. Not only does Monahan use rhyme, be he also uses symbolism. The man is asking the woman if she fell for a shooting star, which is symbolic of another man.

This then raises questions with the audience; do we desire a shooting star? Do we want to change aspects of our world to make it even better than it already is? “Cast Away” directed by Robert Zemeckis explores the physical and inner aspects of change as Chuck Noland (Tom Hanks), a FedEx executive encounters a physical journey to a small, unforgiving, uninhabited island. As on his way by plane to another FedEx destination leaving his fiance at home, the plane unexpectedly gets caught in a lighting storm resulting in the crashing of the plane leaving Chuck a sole survivor.

The scene in which this part of the movie is filmed includes various filmic techniques. The dramatic movements of the camera shaking up and down, the flashing lights interrupting the darkness and the close ups of various characters faces showing the effects this storm is having on them makes the audience feel as though we are there experiencing the plane crashing down. In particular the change of the filming from a steady, smooth view to an unsettled and jumpy state is in itself a change. This is symbolic of the change that is about to take place in Chuck’s life.

This plane crash relates well with the play “Away” as this is the starting point of a physical journey that will change Chuck’s life for ever. This is symbolic of the holiday that the characters take on the summer break in the play as the characters transform from one person to a new individual as they undertake a journey from ignorance to knowledge, from blindness to insight. Through taking the holiday in the play the characters have a new understanding of the world around them because they have accepted the motives, ambitions, hopes and fears which determine their actions.

This is can be compared to the start of Chuck’s 4 year Journey on the deserted island he feels he has no hope. A camera shot taken through Chuck’s eyes establishes this as the camera pans slowly around in a circle at eye level showing nothing but the open sea. Chuck must transform himself physically and emotionally to survive the challenges set on the deserted island. By putting his fears aside and with persistence, Chuck finds the courage to set out to sea after 1500 nights in an effort to escape the tropical wasteland.

Once Chuck returns home to civilisation, we can notice that his perspectives of life have changed dramatically as he now values his life a lot more. Changing perspectives can have powerful impacts on an individual. This is being demonstrated through the above texts. We have seen the effects of change on the song writer in drops of Jupiter; we have also seen chuck’s changing perspectives towards life in ‘Cast Away’. This is relevant to ‘Away’ as it is the physical journeys in all three texts that make each of the characters change their perspectives.