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“People only see what they are prepared to see” is a famous quote by Ralph Waldo. This quote emphasises the fact that the purpose of a text can often be unnoticed and misinterpreted by the viewer. Many people only have a limited world experience, and it’s the Distinctly Visual feature of a text which allows the viewer to gain a better understanding. Distinctly Visual texts use a combination of techniques to create and shape an audience’s point of view or interpretation, and visualising a text requires the responder to interpret all of the images presented. The text Shoe-Horn Sonata by John Misto first appears as a play about two friends restoring their relationship after 50 years apart, however, realistically it also implies that war is a futile and horrendous experience. It is the combination of techniques in the Shoe-Horn Sonata that allows the viewer to see the different aspects of the text. John Misto uses traditional dramatic techniques such as dialogue, lighting and a minimalistic setting to create a complete image to the audience and shape meaning, and juxtaposes these with a multimedia screen and sound effects which is important for the responder to make a summation on the visual representation. The supplementary text ‘One’ by Metallica can also be interpreted in a number of ways. ‘One’ also highlights the futility and horror of war by using disturbing dialogue and shocking imagery to do with man’s humanity. Viewers can see the similarities in these texts through their themes and the way they are represented. Metallica integrate a live band format in their video as well as excerpts from ‘Johnny Got His Gun” to draw attention to the dehumanising aspects of war and to create a better interpretation of life throughout War. Both composers, John Misto and Metallica provide the opportunity for a number of opinions and multiple reading of a text. Although “people only see what they are prepared to see”, both John Misto and Metallica have made certain that one...
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