World War Ii and John Misto Essay

Submitted By hawraa12
Words: 905
Pages: 4

Individuals have become dependent on visual messages for meaning through media such as television, computer screens and photos. Visual messages are also conveyed in traditional forms such as poetry, novels and playwrights but these messages are created through the structure and wording of these texts rather than images. Through the use of techniques, a composer is able to create distinctively visual images when describing setting and character which help the reader to understand and shape meaning of what the composer is trying to convey in their texts. This is evident in the play write ‘The Shoe – Horn – Sonata’ by John Misto where by Misto uses powerful dialogue and engaging dramatic techniques to highlight the past distinctive experiences during World War II. Misto features the play around the recounts and flashback of an Australian army nurse Bridie and a young English girl Sheila, both of whom were captured and sent to prisoner of war camps under the Japanese Authority. The main themes outlined in this drama include mateship and resourcefulness, the power of art and revealing injustice. Similarly the ‘Send – off’ by Wilfred Owen is also an example of a text that explores distinctively visual ideas. It is a poem about a young soldier and his emotions while entering the train to head off to war. It is a poem that educates the readers about the untold emotions and the failure of recognition soldiers received.
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