The Shoe Horn-Sonata

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The Shoe-Horn Sonata by John Misto
‘Distinctively Visual’

After your reading, please answer the following questions to show your understanding. Please write in full sentences, in your own words, using evidence from the text where you can.

1 Describe what you see on the front cover of the play. What clues does this give you about the play? 2 After the Contents’ page there is a photograph. Who is this photograph of? 3 What do you learn from the information you are given about the people in the photograph? 4 What further clues does this give you about the play?

The Unacknowledged

5 The play ‘The Shoe-Horn Sonata’ was first seen in Australia in 1995. Explain why this year was significant. 6 The playwright John Misto was influenced to write the play by something he read as a child - what was it? 7 In 100 words summarise the plot of the play using the information in paragraphs 2 and 3. 8 Read paragraphs 4-7 carefully. Write down 5 things you learn about Australian nurses from the time of World War 2. 9 In the final paragraph, you are told that the playwright donated money for a memorial to be built in the memory of these nurses. Where is it and why do you think it is important?

Scores to be settled

10 Vocabulary work – look up these words and write a short definition for each one IN YOUR OWN WORDS, not the words of the dictionary! Indictmentannihilatedimpartial
Interneerepressedquinine
Accededcatalystpoignant
Rifeomencomradeship
Verminpathoscathartic

THE PLAY YOU ARE ABOUT TO READ IS ONE OF TRUE EVENTS EVEN THOUGH THE CHARACTERS ARE FICITIONAL

‘LEST WE FORGET’

Read the beginning of the play and then answer the following questions – please answer in full and complete sentences and give evidence to support what you say.

Scene 1

1 Who are the key characters of the play and where does the play take place? 2 What is the first image that the audience is presented with? 3 What impression does this give us of a) the Japanese and b) the female prisoners of war? 4 What image are the audience given of Bridie’s father and how is it created? 5 What impression do you get of Bridie in Scene 1? Give quotations to support your answer. ANSWER THIS QUESTION AS A CHARACTER LOG – AS A TABLE. See me for further information 6 How does Bridie use humour in this scene? Give quotations to support your answer. 7 What is Bridie’s attitude towards the British military in this scene? How does she justify her feelings? 8 Go back over the scene and read the stage directions carefully. How might the information here make the play’s opening scene dramatically effective?

Scene 2

1 Why do you think it is significant that Sheila wears gloves? What does it tell us about her?

2 Extended response: write about ½ page minimum
In this scene describe the atmosphere between the two characters on the stage – note that it changes and reflect upon why it changes in your response. USE QUOTATIONS IN YOUR RESPONSE.

3 Create a CHARACTER LOG for Sheila and begin to fill in what you have learnt about her from this scene. You should consider how she is seen by other characters as well as how she appears to you by what she says or doesn’t say and how she behaves etc

4 Add to Bridie’s CHARACTER LOG any new information you have learned in scene 2. You should consider how she is seen by other characters as well as how she appears to you by what she says or doesn’t say and how she behaves etc

Scene 3

1 Choose either Bridie or Sheila’s story and retell it in your own words. Limit this response to 10 lines
2 Why does Bridie interrupt Sheila? What does this show you about their relationship, even after all these years have gone by? 3 The playwright includes extensive notes through this scene to ensure the performance is directed in a particular way. Read his directions carefully, then choose 1 which you think would cause...
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