Shoe Horn Sonata Distinctive Visual Essay example
856 WordsMay 31st, 20134 Pages
Distinctively visual texts use a variety of techniques to convey the experiences during the war. In John Misto’s 1996 play ‘The Shoe-Horn Sonata’ which is about women nurses enduring Japanese POW camps, such distinctive experiences as power and survival are shown through techniques like lighting, projecting image, sound, symbols, dialogue and body language. In Kenneth Slessor’s 1942 poem ‘Beach Burial’ he also comments about survival in war and the power in distinctively visual ways through particular words. He relies upon adjectives, personification and the use of imagery to describe the suffering. In Nick Ut’s photograph from 1973 ‘The Napalm Girl of Trangbang’ which is about the Vietnam war and these…show more content…
In scene 8, sound is used to show the power of the Japanese. Shiela says “and we could hear you scream -even by the fence- and it wasn’t a human sound by them” this imagery and sound is used to show a mental picture of bridie screaming which unsettles the audience. It reveals her deep suffering and the inhumanity of her captors in not helping her. This visually highlights the complete sense of power the Japanese had over both Sheila and Bridie. The distinctive experience of power and survival is shown in Kenneth Slessor’s poem, ‘Beach Burial’ The use of colour imagery and similes of the men’s inscription being ‘as blue as drowned men’s lips’ and “vast number of dead sailors” “the blue lips of the drowned bodies” is disturbing as it vividly paints a picture of their lifelessness in the audiences mind. Colour and death is used in the line “the breath of the wet season has washed their inscriptions”
In the second stanza the distinctive experience of power is present. The use of the technique of imagery and emotive words “to pluck them from the shallows and bury them in burrows’ tells us that the soldiers were strong, loyal and had enough power within a degree to assist fellow soldiers. The use of personification to create sound “sob and clubbing of the gunfire” This leads the audience to understand what the soldiers were up against without even directly saying it. The imagery visually shows the scene in their
The audience that the conflict has now reached its climax. The composer also successfully implements lighting into this scene to increase the tension with Sheila’s confession in the following quote, “Bridie still faces away from Sheila. Both of them are isolated in spotlights”. This dramatic technique illustrates the separation between the two women and also visually represents the tension that exists between them. Misto’s uses of his combination of dramatic devices are used effectively to portray the exposure of Sheila’s secret in this scene to the audience.
In Act Two, Scene Twelve Bridie gains confidence to confess to Sheila about her arrest in regards to the David Jones Food Hall incident, after seeing a group of Japanese tourists nearby. “… Oh I knew they were perfectly harmless-… my heart began to pound with terror. Just hearing the language was enough to do it… So I ran… I was treated like a common criminal. ” This statement by Bridie reflects her incapability to live a normal life after her ordeal in Japan.
Through her quote ‘hearing the language was enough to do it’ there is a clear indication to the audience as to how severely traumatised Bridie is to trigger such a reaction after hearing the Japanese dialect. The use of dialogue to project the full extent of Bridie’s traumatised state is captured by the audience through this scene. In the two final scenes of the play, the women’s redeemed friendship is made clear as both Bridie and Sheila gain confidence to confess to the interviewer during their final interview about their secrets. Though they were unable to retell the interviewer themselves, they were able to talk about each other’s.
In Act Two, Scene Twelve Sheila explains to Bridie why she needs to ublicly confess what she had done, to gain a sense of peace within herself, “But the war hasn’t ended. Not for me. For me it goes on. And now I want peace. ” This quote also signifies Sheila’s ongoing battle within herself as she has a constant reminder of mental images of her selfless sacrifice for Bridie. Further use of dialogue to further support the fact that there are no longer any unresolved issues existing between them is seen through Sheila’s following quote, “And I’d do it all over again… ’cause Bridie’s my friend”.
Music is used as an important component within the last scene as his is made evident through Johann Struass’ piece ‘Blue Danube’. This song gives an uplifting and pleased effect on the audience as they dance the waltz together as previously promised at the camp to highlight the newly resolved relationship. Misto’s use of the combined dramatized techniques to finalise the play are highly effective. In conclusion Misto’s successful use of dramatic devices implemented throughout ‘The Shoe-Horn Sonata’ to portray the visual Journey of Bridie and Sheila’s relationship to the audience along with his manipulative dialogue and emotional language.