Shoe Horn Sonata

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“Discuss how composers have created distinctively visual texts to explore a particular point of view”

There are a variety of different techniques used in the play “The Shoe Horn Sonata” that enable the text to be distinctively visual in conveying a point of view. Dramatic effects such as music, dialogue and flashbacks create the perspective of two women looking back on their memories and experiences of World War 2. Similarly, Kenneth Slessor uses distinctively visual elements to aid the description of mateship and death in the poem “Beach Burial”.

The Shoe Horn Sonata, written by John Misto, recounts the experiences of two women, Bridie and Sheila, as they come to terms with their past war experiences and how it relates to their present. While dealing with their past, they each discover fifty year old secrets about each other, while being confronted with the haunting memories of the injustices they dealt with while living in a prisoner of war camp. The destructive nature of war displays the harsh conditions the women dealt with. This is evident in the quote “Women sobbing for their husbands. Babies crying – always hungry. And the Japs would come round and beat us for the fun of it” This emotive language shows the harsh conditions the women would face on a daily basis. Projected images are used frequently throughout the Shoe Horn Sonata. For example, on page thirty – “Images of women and children boarding ships, clutching toys and waving goodbye. It’s hard to believe from their happy smiles that they are soon to be the victims of history’s worst – and least known massacre.” This use of projected images enables the audience to gain a greater insight to the initial impact of the war. These images show a significant contrast between the women’s attitudes to the war once they had arrived in their prisoner of war camps, under the power of the Japanese. These effects convey to the audience of John Misto’s point of view on the war, thus enabling it to be a...
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