Experience Through Language – Distinctively Visual
Distinctively Visual Essay Example
What distinctive features of your prescribed text and two related texts allow interaction with the ideas, forms and language within the text which affects those responding to it?
Through the distinctively visual features and techniques that the composers of each text utilise; ‘The Shoe Horn Sonata’, a play/drama written by John Misto, ‘The Last Laugh’, a poem written by Wilfred Owen, and ‘Way Home’ a picture book written by Libby Hathorn; the composers effectively engage the audience, affecting those responding to it by appealing to their emotions. Through a range of visual, aural and language techniques, the composers explore human experiences and commonly demonstrate helplessness of the protagonists.
In ‘The Shoe Horn Sonata’, Misto uses distinctively visual techniques and the form of social realism to demonstrate helplessness and death in the brutality of war. Misto wrote this play with a didactic purpose, bringing recognition to the women nurses who suffered appallingly at the hands of the Japanese in World War II and to reveal the truth about their struggle.
Misto’s use of social realism throughout the drama is a way of engaging an audience response and demonstrating the idea of helplessness. In Act 1 Scene 3, Sheila recounts the event of the ship; the ‘Giang Bee’ sinking. The helplessness of those on-board is emphasised through the use of simile and imagery in “It lay like a wounded animal, spilling oil instead of blood”. This quote demonstrates and foreshadows how the hundreds of women were overpowered by the force of the Japanese, leaving them helpless as many of them died and drowned in the water.
Further in Act 1 Scene 3, Bridie recounts when the ship she was on; the ‘Vyner Brooke’ sunk. In the background, the Japanese flag comes up behind them with the light shining on it. This symbol of power instills fear into the audience’s reaction. The gradual darkness with the song ‘Jerusalem’ emphasises the helplessness and pathos, juxtaposed with the photos of the Japanese invasion of Singapore to reinforce their helplessness. Misto uses these confronting visuals and aural devices to engage the audience and appeal to their emotions.
The brutality of war is demonstrated in Misto’s drama text through the use of various visual techniques. In Act 1 Scene 7, the photos of the women prisoners of war (POWs) show how they were emaciated, haggard, impoverished and they highlight the terrible state that these women were in during the brutality of war. The photos are juxtaposed with the music ‘O Come All Ye Faithful’, giving the audience insight into the complacency of the British and Australian governments for allowing this brutality to continue. In effect, this makes the audience develop sympathy towards the women and be angered and disgusted at the government’s complacency. The blackout in the stage directions is a powerful end to the scene, allowing the...