shoehorn sonata first essay

Topics: Empathy, Shoe, Prisoner-of-war camp Pages: 2 (858 words) Published: March 3, 2015
2011 HSC

In what ways are people and their experiences brought to life through the distinctively visual?

In your response, make detailed reference to your prescribed text and at least ONE other related text of your own choosing.

John Misto attempts to blatantly challenge society’s ingrained perceptions in his play through effective use of dramatic techniques such as stage directions, music, body language and lighting. The glaring confrontation provokes audience empathy for the two protagonists and thus aids them in visualising the unimaginable experiences of the two protagonists. John Misto’s award winning play, The Shoe Horn Sonata (1995), is an example of a text that effectively animates the experiences of the characters. An exploration of women involved in WWII and their life today back in Australia reveals how little has changed in regards to the recognition and appreciation of women’s army service. The play is centred on the mateship of the two protagonists. These are brought to life through significant aspects of their experiences: the healing power of truth, resourcefulness, the power of art and revealing injustice. The play engages the audience through these ideas, which force them to follow the characters emotional experiences.

Ensuing the experience of difficult circumstances often forces individuals to run away and not face the true events of what took place. In the Shoe Horn Sonata, Sheila’s inability to move and tell the truth to Bridie is highlighted in the stage directions, “This is a shattering remark for Sheila, but she does her best to conceal any reaction” following Bridie’s trade of women who slept with Japanese prison guards. Her ‘shattered’ reaction foreshadows her revealed secret to Bridie and Australia. Her ability to consistently keep quiet allows the audience to empathise with her moral dilemma. The visual technique of darkening the stage as they declare their friendship by dancing illustrates that they have faced,...
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