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How does the composer, John Misto, use the distinctively visual to convey Japanese cruelty and

brutality in the POW camps?




The composer, John Misto, uses a variety of distinct visual techniques to highlight the cruelty and
brutality in the POW camps. From the start of the scene, the audience come to understand that
Bridie and Sheila are now in the public world as is signied through the symbolism of the on-air
sign. This key aspect of the setting, an obvious visual technique, demonstrates to the audience
that the this particular part of their history is altered for a public audience. As well as using setting,
Misto uses sound effects to build an image in the audiences mind. The stage directions state that
there is the sounds of machine gun re - and the cries of women - on the soundtrack, highlighting
that the prisoners of war suffered at the hands of the Japanese. The Japanese were not selective
in who they murdered and did not care that these were women and children, instead, they were
brutal in their approach and treatment of the prisoners. In order to further build the image of cruelty,
Misto employs the use of photographs as part of the backdrop. On page 43 of the play, this is
further shown through the image of a Japanese soldier, very much a warrior, erce and terrifying,
visually highlighting the soldiers ruthless nature. Finally, through the anthropomorphism of the
characters Bridie and Sheila, who are forced to shared a bone - like [hes too tactful to say it}/
Dogs?. The comparison to an animal again highlights the idea that the POW were simply like
animals. Through the layering of a variety of distinctively visual images, Misto highlights the cruelty
and brutality of the POW camps.

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