Shoe Horn Sonata Analysis

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Composers have the ability to influence how we the audience views and responds to characters and issues. Through viewing and analysing ‘The Shoe Horn Sonata’ by John Misto and ‘Saving Private Ryan’ directed by Steven Spielberg, it is obvious that composers have the ability to impact and influence our views on characters and issues that occur. Shoe Horn Sonata and Saving Private Ryan were set in the same context of World War 2. John Misto’s Shoe Horn Sonata takes place during the war against Japan, the play focus on the lives of two women Bridie and Sheila who have been captured by the Japanese to become (POW) prisoners of war. John Misto’s play was based on real accounts from POWs, the play was to commemorate the female POWS who story was unheard of and to give an insight to the audience into what the POWs had to endure while under the japanese rule. The quote ‘I did not have the power to build a memorial, so i wrote a play instead’ reveals to us John Misto’s view on the forgotten heroes of the war, that the POWs deserve just as much respect as the soldiers do. The play was also written to criticise the British and Australian government actions and how they responded to the POWs “Just keep smiling”. This statement that was sent to the POWs reveal to us how out of touch the government is. The composer engages with the concept of distinctively visual using a powerful image of comradeship, friendship and loyalty through Bridie and Sheila’s interactions. Techniques such as
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