Shoe-Horn Sonata

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“Distinctive images are created for different purposes” How is this shown in your prescribed text? A composer uses techniques in order to influence and create a lasting impression on the responder. John Misto’s aim is to increase awareness of the women’s suffering during the war, allowing the responder to acknowledge the women, which will convince society to pay tribute to the women. He uses a variety of techniques which involve many senses of the responder in The Shoe-Horn Sonata to achieve this goal. The Shoe-Horn Sonata is based on two women who helped each other through hardships during World War II; they are reunited after fifty years to film a television documentary which unravels many secrets. The involvement of more than one sense allows the heroism of the women to have a lasting impression on the responder. The army nurses endured a tough time during World War II. Humour lifted the women’s spirits and provided them with happy memories. At the end of scene four, the women are happily recounting the time when Sheila stitched a pin into Lipstick Larry’s loin cloth. It is evident from their amusement that the humour gave them strength to carry on. On the soundtrack, the audience hears young Bridie being beaten up by Lipstick Larry and a frightened young Sheila. Instead of the women just recounting Bridie being beaten up, Misto involves the audience’s auditory senses which allow them to imagine it in their heads, leaving a lasting impression of the suffering of the women. The power of art is a strong theme in The Shoe-Horn Sonata but was also vital for their survival, singing helped them to persevere and maintain hope. Sheila says “We forgot the Japs – we forgot our hunger – our boils – barbed wire – everything...” which demonstrates that singing gave them a sense of being and let them forget the unfortunate circumstances they were experiencing. ‘Bolero’ is playing majestically on the soundtrack followed by a blackout. The blackout focuses the performance on...
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