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Nowra’s play is set in a ‘burnt out theatre’. Discuss the importance of setting and imagery in conveying Nowra’s idea on 'Cosi'. The setting and imagery used in Louis Nowra’s play ‘Cosi’ explore the turbulent time that took part in Australia. The play is set in a mental institution in Melbourne, in the 1970’s. Using the ominous presence of the Vietnam War, Nowra explores the insanity of the war; and the need to condemn war and to protest against Australia’s involvement in Vietnam. The main presence of the institution and involving patients explored the inhumanity and ineffectiveness of the mental health system in the 1970’s in Australia. Nowra used the ‘play within a play’ to explore the Importance of theatre, as a way of enriching people’s lives with ‘art’, In the 1970’s, the Vietnam was had been going for nearly ten years. During the time of the Vietnam War, the media would shoe the startling reality of death and gruesome fighting. Families at the time were frightened to see their sons and daughters in a battle of such immoral nature. After which Australia’s willingness to be part of this war dropped. Nowra represents the two sides of war from characters such as Lucy and Nick, who oppose Australia’s participation in the war, and show their support for the Viet Cong. However in support for the Australian solders is Henry. Nowra uses this to also explore the concept of sanity and insanity. At the time of the domino effect, and the spread of communism, supporters of the Vietnam were considered “traitors” to democracy and their countries. Henry however validates his support for solders as a testament to his father, who sacrificed himself for his country whom he believed to be a “[great] man”. He believes in the cause of fighting the war out of respect to those who fight. Nowra positions us to condemn the values of a society which treats it’s mentally ill in barbaric condescending ways. ‘Cos’i is a black comedy which juxtaposes the morbid and sensitive issues of...
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