Discuss the various techniques John Misto's uses to present the central themes within his play 'The Shoe Horn Sonata'

Essay by mazza14High School, 11th gradeA-, February 2007

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John Misto's play 'The Shoe Horn Sonata' is attributed to those Australian women who were incinerated in Japanese prisoner of war camps during the war. In his play, Misto conveys a sense of survival during the hardships of the war, their tenacity of their willingness to survive through secrecy and truth and the bands of their friendship that have endured. It uses a number of dramatic techniques to convey these ideas to his audience.

Throughout the play, many themes and motifs are conveyed through various dramatic techniques. A recurring theme that is demonstrated within the play is the women's desire to survive the war. This theme intertwines with the two significant characters, Bridie and Sheila's friendship. Scene three is where the audience begins sense the women's struggle to survive. They describe a story where they were both out at sea and to keep Sheila from drowning, Bridie would tap her on the head with her show horn repeatedly to keep her awake.

This demonstrated their determination to survive. Scene four is where Bridie finds out the truth that Sheila saved her and not the other way round. Bridie comments, "I got you through the war. Your Empire didn't give a damn. They left you to the Japs." Sheila had in fact given herself to a Japanese man in order for Bridie to get the medication she desperately needed to survive. While Bridie saved Sheila out at sea, the reversal roles were shown in the camp. This reiterates the theme of survival in the novel as it's so pivotal and brought them together as friends. During the play many dramatic effects needed to be conveyed. For the story to be emotional, the characters had to be convincing in their historical stories while the Japanese dialogue in the background also demonstrates a...