“Distinctively visual” texts communicate their ideas through the way in which they use language to create particular images in the audience's mind. “Shoe-horn Sonata” by John Misto is a distinctively visual text in the form of a play that represents ideas about war through the characters of Bridie and Sheila and their experiences. It is through these images created by Misto that the horrors of war and also the importance of camaraderie for survival are highlighted.
The horrors of war are a significant theme throughout Shoe-horn Sonata and the constant use of visual techniques assist in conveying the experiences of the two young war nurses Sheila and Bridie. Imagery and foreshadowing are used in “..They told me to sing...they saw me and dragged me back...” to convey an image detailing the the sheer terror Sheila experienced as she was forcibly taken back to the Japanese for her attempts to obtain quinine for Bridie's cerebral malaria. This disjointed sentence makes what happened after that, obvious, as they committed unspeakable horrors against her creating vivid imagery which allows the audience to empathisise easier with Sheila and Bridie. This willingness to share pain and suffering among a companion is emphasised in “...and you shared a bone like...” referring to the chopbone that Bridie and Shelia gnawed on. The quote uses an ellipsis as well as a pause from the interviewer to underline how modern day society is unable to comprehend the horrors of war.
photograph shown in the play