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 ...view middle of the document...
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 image projected on the screen of a large Japanese flag the blood rising sun, evokes the responder to feel threatened & flabbergasted as well to feel what the two protagonist’s would have felt when they see/witness a Japanese flag. Then on the soundtrack the responders hear Lipstick Larry yelling from a stab of excruciating pain & the voice over of Lipstick Larry’s angry voice shouting abuse in Japanese, generates the atmosphere of pleasure & admiration as the audience realises that for once Bridie & Sheila have the power. Not only do they have the power but they received the power from the Japanese themselves when they gave authority to them to make their lion-cloths, in which Bridie took advantage off & stitched a rusty pin into it becoming a hero in the women’s eyes but certainly not the Japanese’s’. Not only does it show Bridie’s heroism but her laconic sense of humour.
The thesis atrocities of war are portrayed in this scene, the brutal act of beating up a woman is evident in this scene & in fact it is Young Bridie experiencing this horrific experience. The technique of sound is important in this sense as it changes the mood & creates the essential feeling of being on an arousing roller coaster ride. On the soundtrack we hear voices & non-diegetic noises, “another savage yell from Lipstick Larry, followed by the ugly thumps of Young Bridie being punched & hit”. Evoking the audience to feel great sympathy for Bridie as they cringe in disgust by this horrific occurrence of the protagonist. Then the structure of the play suddenly changes as we hear the voice over of young innocent Sheila’s voice who’s terrified but then the voice over of Bridies “It’s all right, dear. Get back in line” reinforces Bridie’s great personal strength in the face of adversity & always being the stronger one out of the two, being a mother figure to Sheila even at the times of great violence & dismay.