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The distinctly visual leads us to think about

significant issues in our world.

The Shoe Horn Sonata

Do you agree? In your response make detailed reference to distinctly visual


qualities of The Shoe-Horn Sonata and ONE other text of your choosing.

Many composers use various techniques in which they communicate the


distinctly visual. John Mistos The Shoe-Horn Sonata and Alexander Kimels The
Action in the Ghetto of Rohatyn, March 1942 represent significant issues in our
world by using various literary and dramatic techniques. Through using these
techniques it is evident that the composers of these texts allow the audience to
see with our eyes as well as with our minds. The many literary and dramatic
techniques have the ability to create a visual that links significant and impacting
issues within our world.

Throughout The Shoe-Horn Sonata, Misto uses the shoe-horn as the dominant
motif and visual. The shoe-horn is enforced in the name of the play and what it
symbolises gives it its importance; however throughout the play its symbolic
meaning seems to evolve. Bridie first mentions the shoe-horn in Act 1, Scene 1,
where she speaks fondly of it as a gift from her father. There are three things
every young soldier should know. Always use a shoe-horn itll make your boots
last longer The shoe-horn, for Bridie, represents the joys of home and family,
a reminiscence of happiness a life before the horrors of war. As the play
progresses the symbolism of the shoe-horn changes.
Later on during the play, the shoe-horn is used as a survival mechanism when
Bridie taps Sheila, who cannot swim, to stay awake and to prevent her from
drowning in the ocean. Sheila refers to it as a whack using a much more
dramatic sense of onomatopoeia. Throughout the play, the shoe-horn is of
immense help to both Bridie and Sheila and is used as a constant motif. Misto
uses symbolism and motifs as a tool to allow the audience to visualise the
images that link to significant issues within our world. The shoe-horn here
represents the issue of survival through the war.

Misto constantly refers to the shoe-horn throughout the play and has altered the
meaning of the shoe-horn and what it symbolises. In Act 1, Scene 5, Sheila tells
of the choir that was being formed within the camp, the shoe-horn takes on an
almost pivotal symbol, as the metronome of the choir; Fifty voices and a shoehorn. The shoe-horn which had acting as a metronome drove the music that
enabled the women to sing spiritually, freely and emotionally allowing them to
rise above the deprivation and horror they had witnessed and experienced
during the POW camps. In the next scene, Sheila takes a look at the shoe-horn
which she has kept hidden and the memories come back to her. Please please
dont send me away. Ill do whatever you want. I promise. Misto uses emotive
language to communicate to generate a visual for the audience of the dark and
hidden memory of Sheila. This memory symbolises what Sheila had done for
Bridie during their time in the POW camp. Sheila had traded her virginity, instead
of the shoe-horn for quinine to save Bridies life. This act of sacrifice highlights
the loyalty and friendship that Bridie and Sheila share. By the end of the play, it
is evident that the shoe-horn comes to represent the enduring nature and strong
connection that these two women share and is clearly seen in the last scene of
the play. Through the use of stage directions this is shown; As they [Bridie and
Sheila] dance, the stage gradually grows darker and darker except for a very
bright spotlight on Bridies shoe-horn which reinforces the importance of the
shoe-horn throughout the play. The shoe-horn has various meaning to it and
through the use of literary and dramatic techniques, it had the ability to create a
visual that links to significant and impacting issues within our world such as the
violence and cruelty.

Misto uses another visual to link the audiences mind to the significant issues
within our world. Music is both a pivotal technique and a motif within the play.
The title takes on thematic relevance as we learn of the women using music to
lift their spirits and bolster their courage and unity during the dark days of their
imprisonment. In Act 1, Scene 1, Sheila and Bridie explain Fifty voices set us
free. Fifty voices and a shoe horn This orchestra created by Miss Dryburgh
gave the women hope and by working together as a group they were able to
forget the oppression of the camp, even if it was temporarily. Misto also uses
symbolism to represent music. But we sang our so the camp would know that
there was still music left. During the darkest time in the war, the only thing they
had left was music. This gave every prisoner a glimpse of hope; it was their way
of expressing their escape from the war although it was momentarily. Misto uses
the technique of motifs and symbolism for music to give the audience a clear
visual that there is still hope when there is suffering in the world.

The Action in the Ghetto is a poem based on the perspective of a holocaust


survivor. Kimel re-tells the horrors that he had survived during the holocaust.
Kimel uses various literary techniques to create a visual for the audience to see
his experience. Kimel describes the visual of the hunt as the creation of hell.

He uses this metaphor to describe the soldiers and their true nature. Kimel then
goes on describing the Nazi soldiers as enjoying the hunt. Kimels perception of
the Nazi soldiers was that they found the hunt to be fun which provides insight
into the animalistic characteristics of the soldiers. Kimel uses descriptive
language throughout his poem to create an image for audience of what it was
like to experience this horrendous time. Through the use of literary techniques,
the hunt had the ability to create a visual that links to significant and impacting
issues within our world such as the violence, cruelty and the dark and hidden
nature of humanity.

Kimel uses another visual to lead the audience to think about significant issues
of our world; the aftermath of the massacre. Yet again Kimel uses descriptive
language to create an image for the audience of what it was like after the
massacre. ripped feathers floating in the air and the night scented with
snow-melting blood described how ghetto looked like after the soldiers has
killed everyone. The sensual imagery that was used to describe the night
represents the freshness of the massacre. This image of the aftermath shows the
brutality of humanity and how they can be so cruel. The audience is able to
sympathize with the people and the survivors of the horror that they had went
through. Each stanza begins with Do I want to remember? Kimel uses a
rhetorical question whether or not he should remember the suffering and
violence because these memories are painful. It is evident through the use of
these literary techniques; Kimel was able to able to effectively create a visual in
which the audience is able to see with their eyes as well as their mind.

The Shoe-Horn Sonata written by John Misto is a play that deals with the
brutality the women faced in World War II. Misto wrote the play because he was
concerned that the pain and suffering that many women endured at the hands of
their Japanese captors after the fall of Singapore had been forgotten. The play
serves as a tribute to those victims of the atrocities of war, and looks at the
effects such horrendous experiences can have on those who experience them.
Through the use of both literary and dramatic techniques, Misto has effectively
communicated visuals in which the audience creates with their mind regarding
the issues within our world. The Action in the Ghetto written by Alexander Kimel
also had a similar effect on the audience. Through the use of literary techniques,
Kimel was able to create visuals within the audiences mind of the atrocities of
humanity. The distinctly visual does in fact lead the audience to think about
significant issues within our world.