Distinctively Visual

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Distinctively visual texts are able to manipulate the emotions of the audience to influence the responses of a collective group.

John Misto, the person behind the play The Shoe-Horn Sonata, uses his distinctively visual text as a memorial for the Australian Army nurses who died in the war, as they were refused one by the government. “I do not have the power to build a memorial. So I wrote a play instead.” This drama illustrates the way the women were treated in the Japanese prisoner of war camps, during World War II through the two main characters Bridie – an Australian army nurse and Sheila – an English woman. The different dramatic techniques used in this play aid in the manipulation of the audience’s emotions and sway the preconceptions of the group. Misto utilises projected images and the emotive dialogue to create a vivid image in the viewer’s mind that is both distinctively visual and evokes emotions from the audience. Misto is not the only author to have used this technique in his work, John Schumann’s I Was Only 19 is a song that also features distinctively visual elements throughout the song. This text explores the conditions of the Vietnam war and the effect it has afterwards on someone as young as nineteen and has a similar purpose to Misto’s, to expose the terrible conditions of war and the effect it had and is still having on them today. Schumann uses intense emotive language to influence the listener’s opinion on war and draw attention to the conditions prisoners of war face.

The Shoe-Horn Sonata digs deep into the readers mind and challenges their thoughts on the way they perceive injustices been done to the memory of the nurses, and of the thousands of other women and children who suffered with them. Misto is able to do this by projecting images onto a screen in the background. “Projected onto the screen is a photograph of row upon row of captured British and Australian women bowing to the Japanese.” These images contribute to the creation...
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