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
“This is a fear that is inexpressible, incomprehensible to those who have never experienced it, a dread that strikes at the root of one’s survival – an existential fear. ” Experiences suffered by women and children in WWII Japanese POW camps are reflected in John Misto’s play, The Shoe-Horn Sonata. This is shown through a wide range of distinctively visual techniques such as stage directions, language, lighting, music and sound effects that are designed to put the audience in his characters positions.
The fear confronted by the women of the play can be shown with visual elements of ruthless treatment by the Japanese and betrayal by the British Government. The frightening experiences endured during the women’s imprisonment are visualised in Act 1, Sc. iii, where Sheila is mostly documented. This scene is Bridie and Sheila’s story about how the ship sunk by the Japanese bombing and reflecting the death of many women and children aboard.
At the start of the scene the technique music is used as a soundtrack, “Something to Remember You By” is playing in the background to create a nostalgic mood of the 1940’s which gives the audience a visual moving experience with the song lyrics indicating that someone will be introduced and give the characters a visual way to remember the experiences endured by both of the women. This technique is therefore enhanced by the dramatic device of an ‘On-Air’ sign which lights up to indicate the audience that Bridie and Sheila are on television and being recorded of what they act.
The technique gives the audience an indication of visualising the rest of the scene. Another technique which John Misto emphasises with recording of Sheila is ellipses. This language technique makes Sheila seem hesitant and cautious of the content she says because it’s public. By Misto creating this technique, Sheila may be ashamed of the experiences and consequences she has endured where she visually remembers. This technique is referenced by, “I … suppose they couldn’t believe it”.
This technique therefore enhanced the audiences understanding of the visually distinctive ways of creating emotive language. John Misto’s main intention in this play was to identify the mostly forgotten women who suffered in the POW camps in Japan during WWII. Misto is very effective in evoking emotion and irony in the audience by reliving the experiences endured by the women in a distinctively visual manner and also by focusing on Act 1, Sc iii where emotion is depicted in various distinctively visual techniques.
This scene evokes the use of the dramatic technique of projected images that are referenced by, “the women and children boarding ships, clutching toys and waving goodbye. It is hard to believe from their happy smiles [… ]”. This quote is further enhanced by the technique irony which Misto visually gives motive that the women and children are soon to die which gives credibility to Bridie and Sheila as this technique reinforces the words spoken by both of the women.
This technique is further reflected by the use of stage setting and lighting where there is a spotlight that isolates Sheila from the “world” and creates an emotional response in the audience. This technique gives the audience an impression that Sheila is hypnotised in her memory when fixed by a very bright spotlight in acting of the Japanese’s search light. This technique is referenced by, “SHEILA stands, fixed by a very, very bright spotlight”. Therefore the technique distinctively visually enhances the audience’s attention to see and visualise the experiences endured by the women.