The play the “Shoe-Horn Sonata” written by John Misto and poem “Vergissmeinicht” composed by a British Tank Commander Keith Douglas use the distinctively visual to portray the idea of war and its consequences on people and their relationships.
The use of lighting in the play and the poem help give the audience an idea of the mood that the protagonists are in, for example in the play The Shoe-Horn Sonata the use of dim light whilst on stage is used to great effect whenever Sheila or Bridie are saying something that is meaningful the light is dimmed to create or set the mood. For example when Sheila is confessing about sleeping with a Japanese solider the light is dimmed to create a “sombre” mood. In “Vergissmeinicht” Douglas uses motif of darkness in the second stanza to paint a clear picture for the reader, Douglas uses the phrase “like an entry of a demon” which suggests darkness and grim times or a near death situation.
The language used by both authors helps the reader understand certain scenarios. For example Douglas uses similes to describe the way he found a deceased German soldier “burst stomach like a cave” and “the dust upon the paper eye” these graphic, shocking images help the reader understand the graphic nature of war and helps us realize what Douglas is seeing through his eyes. In The Shoe-Horn Sonata Misto uses slow dialogue and again dim light to get his meaning across to the audience as well as graphic photographs. For example when Shelia begins to describe a situation where the Japanese soldiers would beat the women up for fun, she says “women sobbing for their husbands and the Japs’d come round and beat us for fun…useless mouths they’d call us” this particular quote enables the audience to understand just how hard and horrible being a prisoner of war must have been.
Both authors use symbols or objects to represent certain achievements such as friendship as well as to trigger ephanies or realizations. For example John Misto uses the...
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