Shoe Horn Sonata & of Mice and Men

1048 Words5 Pages
In literature, writers use visual devices to enhance the meaning of their narrative. In the case of a playwright like John Misto, these visual devices are used in stagecraft. The performance of play on stage brings the visual into reality but it is just as real in the script itself. The distinctively visual elements like the shoe-horn itself are given meaning beyond their utility. A novelist like John Steinbeck, uses words as pictures, creating images that run through a novel to add to the narrative strength and give the novel additional meaning. Both Misto and Steinbeck explore the themes of friendship – Misto in “The Shoe-Horn Sonata” and Steinbeck in his novel “Of Mice and Men.” While the medium is different, the writers’ objectives are the same; to create meaning on which the narrative hinges. Misto writes about two characters, Bridie and Sheila, old friends who meet again in the production of a documentary. Their friendship has been forged in the crucible of a POW camp during World War II, where they were both subject to the privations of their cruel Japanese captors. The two women are the only ones who appear on stage; thus reinforcing their relationship is the theme to be explored throughout the play. Their relationship has become strained and distant, essentially due to the trauma both women endured fifty years earlier. It becomes clear that Sheila is the one who has not pursued the relationship since both women were liberated towards the end of the war. In Scene Eight, the reasons for this detachment is explored and given additional meaning by the weight of the distinctly visual. The scene commences in the morning after a party where Sheila had been drinking heavily. In her weakened state, she is a captive audience for Bridie who seeks to confront her about her remoteness. Misto uses the glass of Alka-Seltzer as a means of

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