Today I am here at the HSC study day to talk to you about how through the use of visual imagery across a variety of texts and mediums it is possible to further our understanding of them. The three texts that I will be talking about include the play “The Shoe-Horn Sonata’ by John Misto, the film “Australia” produced by Baz Luhrmann and a poem called Home Coming by Bruce Dawe.
The shoehorn sonata, written by John Misto is based on real historical events of the 1942 bombing. It digs deep into the lives of two women Sheila and Bridie who were held captive in a Japanese prisoner of war camp. Misto uses a variety of language and visual techniques in the play to convey to a further degree the devastation and harsh realism of the war that many people are unaware off and through these techniques we gain a better understanding of the events.
John Misto uses techniques such as music, projected photographs, sound effects, voice over’s, symbolism and humour to help give the audience a distinctive visual image of what is being told.
Symbolism is an important dramatic technique used within the play to convey meaning. The most symbolic object in the play is the shoehorn that Bridie receives from her father as a gift at the beginning of the play. Between the two women it represents survival and the will to survive as it is attached to so many memories from the prisoner of war camp. The shoehorn is used as a metronome in the orchestra, here it represents endurance, determination and the spirit of the women in their efforts to survive. The shoehorn is also symbolic of Sheila’s fear and pain as she makes the decision to make a huge sacrifice for the survival of Bridie. Towards the end of the play the shoehorn represents the redemption and freedom of the two women.
The projected photographs that are displayed throughout the play are used to...