Shoe Horn Sonata Speech

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Good morning, Year12 of Wyndham College. My name is Bazil and I am here to briefly discuss the play "The Shoe-Horn Sonata" by John Misto in relation to the use of dramatic techniques used.

The Shoe-horn Sonata is concerned with the incarceration of two women held captive in a Japanese prisoner of war (POW) camp. Misto uses the play to demonstrate the devastation of war and the human spirit and will to survive, both prevalent themes throughout the play. Such themes are exemplified to the audience through the use of dramatic techniques such as music, projected photographs, voice-over, sound effects, symbolism and humour.

Music has a strong presence within the play, providing variety and emotional subtext to many of the play's scenes. It places the scenes within historical contexts and on some occasions suggests the irony of the situations in which the two women face. Examples include the use of the songs ‘Rule Britannia' and ‘Jerusalem', both of which depict the greatness and supremacy of England. However they are ironically used in reference with the fall of the British Empire and the capturing of the citizens whom England was to be protecting, hence refuting their pompous and arrogant attitudes. The song ‘Happy Times' is also used ironically by being juxtaposed with the sound of machine gun fire and ‘the cries of women'. These sounds are confronting and express the theme of the atrocities and brutality of war to the audience. Contrastingly, the song ‘Bolero' in scene five symbolises the high spirits, determination and triumph of the women. This is emphasised by the quote "We forgot the Japs-we forgot our hunger-our boils-everything…Together we made this glorious sound that rose above the camp-above the jungle-above the war-rose and rose and took us with it. Fifty voices set us free." This use of music conveys the meaning of the themes of heroism, comradeship, the will to overcome oppression and survival.

The use of voice-over and sound effects are...
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