Analysis Of John Misto's 'Shoe Horn Sonata'

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Using distinctively visual, sensory language and dramatic devices in texts allows the reader and audience to view as well as participate and relate to different emotions. In the fictional play “Shoe Horn Sonata” written by John Misto, 1995, Misto sets the scene by using dramatic devices to address the extremely confronting circumstances that the protagonists, Sheila and Bridie experience. Similarly, in the poem “Beach Burial” by Kenneth Slessor, 1944, Slessor too uses extremely strong visual language on the subject of war to overcome the gruesome realities of the subject matter.

Misto’s play “Shoe Horn Sonata” shares the impacting journey two young women are forced to face, spending 1287 days in captivity in a Sumatran war camp, during world war two. The play explores the retelling of their stories from their own perspective 50 years later. Misto has brought the past into the present for a new generation and audience of Australians, giving a small glimpse into the horrific experiences of these forgotten women. Misto’s purpose is to share this story with Australians and the world and educate audiences on these historical happenings. The story is concerned with the Australian Government and its refusal to recognize or commemorate the suffering of these nurses who were exposed to unbearable conditions equivalent to any soldier. Misto is showing audiences who are not aware of what really went on in history and hopes to shine a light on the truth and brutality that took place.
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