The Shoe-Horn Sonata: Play Analysis

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(INTRO) John Misto’s drama ‘The Shoe-Horn Sonata’ depicts the journey of two women captured by the Japanese during World War ll. The play reveals the unresolved problems of their relationship after fifty years. The reunion of Bridie and Sheila and their problems are dramatized and resolved through Misto’s use of dramatic techniques. He effectively creates images of tension, hardship, hope and survival, friendship and forgiveness to emphasize the relationship between the two women. (DOUBLE-HANDER) Misto effectively uses the double-hander technique to dramatize Bridie and Sheila’s relationship. This technique refers to having two characters on stage, this helps the audience focus on the stories of Bridie and Sheila only. This technique is reinforced in the title of the play. The double hander highlights the many contrasts between Bridie and Sheila. Bridie is projected as more confident and assertive, in contrast to Sheila who is portrayed as more shy and reserved. (TENSION) The opening of the drama begins introducing one of the two characters, Bridie. She stands under a spotlight re-enacting the ‘Kow Tow’ bow in center of the stage then “claps her hands sternly”, immediately revealing the strong assertive nature of her character. Dramatizing the atmosphere, Misto then uses a bright light juxtaposed with its dark surroundings reinforcing the image of strength. The second scene shifts to the motel room where the audience is introduced to the second character, Sheila. Their different approach to life clearly shows as Sheila is more cautious than Bridie, questioning about the interview she is about to give. Sheila’s values are formed by the English values of her ime and her religious background was Protestant. Her mother was clearly the more significant parent as Sheila was influenced by her mother to wear gloves in public, feeling superior to Orientals and Colonials and keeping up appearances. The reunion of Bridie and Sheila reveals unresolved problems as an image...
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