Shoe-Horn Sonata

Q. Choose a scene from the play Shoe-Horn Sonata which you feel has a strong dramatic impact
- How was this impact achieved?
- What does this scene contribute to the play as a whole?

In John Misto’s play ‘The Shoe-horn Sonata’ in Act 1 scene four, Bridie & Sheila recount their dramatic survival methods during their capture in WWII.   The scene evokes the audience to go on an emotional roller coaster with the characters, inducing them feel great sympathy & admiration towards the characters as well as being horrified & amused.   This impact is revealed through various techniques such as sound, flashbacks, voice over’s & visual devices employed by the playwright, John Misto. The successful use of these techniques, in turn highlights the importance of the plays themes; Heroism, Atrocities of War, Relationships & Power.
The theme ‘relationships’ is a significant thesis throughout this scene. In the scene we distinguish Bridie & Sheila’s relationship & watch them put all the pieces together as they deal & recover from the past & present.   As the years have past things have been left unsaid & touched, consequently creating obvious tension between the two & resulting in their relationship to suffer. The technique of humour easily depicts Brides smart-alecky ways towards Sheila. This is evident in the quote by Bridie, “Looking for lice… In camp when you were in a mood there was always something biting you”. This quote represents the tension between the two & how Bridie uses her defiant characteristic to try & soften the atmosphere.
The theme power & heroism link together, in this incidence is the turnover of the power from the Japanese to the women in the camp by the act of heroism by Bridie. This is evident by numerous quotes; Sheila, “Up does the flag. He calls out Keirei! & everybody bows… including Lipstick Larry”, this illustrates how Japanese had the overall authority over the women. The technique of the...