John Misto wrote his play in 1996, with the purpose of drawing attention towards the forgotten heroes of World War II, the women. He was challenging the Australian government and society to acknowledge the women in war. Misto embeds photographs in his play, projecting the images in the background ‘On the screen behind Bridie are projected several 1940 posters for the Women’s Army. These are followed by photographs of the Australian army nurses disembarking in Singapore.’ This allows the reader to be included into the play and creates an emotional impact by reminding the viewers; although the play is fictional the stories told are based on true life events. Misto uses the shoe horn as the dominant motif and visual. Throughout the play the symbolic meaning of the shoe horn evolves. Bridie first mentions the shoe horn in act 1 ‘here are three things every young soldier should know. Always use a shoe-horn – it’ll make your boots last longer…” for Bridie it represents the joys of home and family, a reminiscence of happiness a life before the war. It does evolve to become a way of saving Sheila, Bride ‘taps” Sheila, who cannot swim, to stay awake and to prevent her from drowning in the ocean. Sheila refers to it as a “whack” the use of a 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 motifs and symbolism to convey to the audience the atrocities of war that these women had to endure.
The use of music is evident in the play write; Misto embeds certain songs during the play through stage directions. ‘Sound: fall in brother – a popular marching song of the period behind Bridie’ this creates an image in the readers mind of where Birdie was positioned and the importance of music to bring the play to life. As the characters disappear into the stage a darkening sound is projected; ‘Very stirring chorus of Rule Britannia – Britons never never never will be slaves’ this