The Shoe Horn Sonata Analysis

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John Misto, the creator of the Australian play ‘The Shoe-Horn Sonata’ used distinctly visual techniques to highlight the past distinctive experiences during World War II, shared by two friends, Sheila and Bridie. Through the use of powerful dialogue, and engaging dramatic techniques, Misto explores, through their testimonies, the untold story of hundreds and thousands of women imprisoned by the Japanese in South East Asia. Misto features the play around the recounts and flashbacks of Bridie, an Australian army nurse, and Sheila, a young English girl both of whom were captured and sent to prisoner of war camps under the Japanese authority. The failure of the military and government authorities, as well as the will to survive, the…show more content…
The action cuts between two settings: a television studio and a Melbourne motel room. The opening scene shows Bridie re-enacting the kowtow, a tribute to the emperor of Japan. (Bridie stands in a spotlight. She bows stiffly from the waist, and remains in this position). Stage directions allow the readers to visualise exactly how the composer wants it to be performed. The reader is able to share their experiences, and feels engaged with Bridie at this point. Misto uses photographic images, projected on a screen behind Bridie to support the dialogue. [On the screen behind Bridie are projected several 1940 posters for the Women’s Army. These are followed by photographs of the Australian army nurses disembarking in Singapore]. This allows the reader to feel included into the play, and creates an emotional impact by reminding us that although the play is fiction, the stories themselves are real, and real people who suffered in this way. Wilfred Owen’s first line of ‘the Send-Off’ illustrates the soldiers singing happily, heading to defend their country. ‘Down the close, darkening lanes they sang their way to the siding-shed’. Owen opens the poem with this powerful visual line to display the juxtaposition present in the happy soldiers and the ‘close, darkening lanes’. This line reflects the soldiers being sent to their death, and we as the readers are able to understand that Owen points

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