The Shoe-Horn Sonata

by

John Misto

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Bridie Character Analysis

One of the protagonists of the play, Bridie is a funny, tough Australian woman, and one of the subjects of a television documentary about Japanese prison camps during World War II. It has now been over five decades since Bridie first set off for the war as a military nurse, leaving her family in order to serve the British Empire in Malaysia. Before she departs, her father gives her his shoe-horn and tells her that all good soldiers use such tools to keep their boots in good condition. When the Japanese overtake Malaysia in 1942, Bridie and thousands of others flee Singapore in boats, and her shoe-horn comes in handy, since she uses it while floating in the water after her ship has been bombed. While floating away from the sinking vessel, Bridie encounters Sheila, a British woman clinging to a piece of wood. Glad to have found someone, Bridie helps Sheila stay awake by hitting her on the head with the shoe-horn, talking all the while so that her new friend doesn’t nod off and drown. Unfortunately, though, Bridie and Sheila are picked up shortly thereafter by a Japanese boat, which brings them to a prison camp, where they are treated terribly and practically starved. Despite these horrid conditions, though, Bridie maintains her sense of hope, devoting herself to her friendship with Sheila as a way of coping with her terrible circumstances. While in the camp, she eventually becomes gravely ill with malaria, and Sheila saves her life by having sex with the guards in exchange for antimalarial medication. However, Sheila tells her that she traded the shoe-horn for the medicine, so Bridie is shocked when she learns the truth fifty years later. At first, she is judgmental and cruel, shaming Sheila for making such a sacrifice. By the end of the play, though, she manages to emotionally support her friend.

Bridie Quotes in The Shoe-Horn Sonata

The The Shoe-Horn Sonata quotes below are all either spoken by Bridie or refer to Bridie. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Survival, Resilience, and Catharsis Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Currency Press edition of The Shoe-Horn Sonata published in 1996.
Act One, Scene One Quotes

Towards the end—as the Japs got closer—some British officers held a meeting—to discuss the merits of shooting us. They promised we'd be buried with full military honours.

[…]

They’d heard that the Japs had been raping army nurses and they thought they’d be doing us a favour. They’re very considerate like that—the British. But since bullets were scarce, they decided to evacuate us.

Related Characters: Bridie (speaker), Rick (“M. Voice”)
Page Number: 3
Explanation and Analysis:
Act One, Scene Two Quotes

SHEILA: I’ll always remember that voice of hers. [Mimics] ‘They can starve me till my bones poke out—’

BRIDIE: [joining in] ‘But I’ll die without a fag, love.’ Now that’s a good story for Rick. Ivy and her smokes—those dried banana leaves she puffed on—God they had a terrible stink.

SHEILA: She pulled pages of her Bible out for cigarette papers. When it was over I heard her telling a minister that she’d survived the war because of the Good Book.

Related Characters: Bridie (speaker), Sheila (speaker), Rick (“M. Voice”), Ivy
Page Number: 6
Explanation and Analysis:

BRIDIE: She was sure you’d consider it—‘unrefined’—going on television—airing your feelings.

SHEILA: [starting to unpack] Well you’ve got to admit it’s not very ‘dignified’.

BRIDIE: So why did you come [Casually, trying to make light of it] And don’t say you did it for the chance of seeing me. Not after fifty years of hiding—

Related Characters: Bridie (speaker), Sheila (speaker)
Page Number: 6
Explanation and Analysis:

SHEILA looks at BRIDIE with surprising intensity—but not with affection. BRIDIE looks back at SHEILA, desperately wanting her to say that she did come to see BRIDIE. A few seconds of silence. It is clear that something is still going on between these two women—even after fifty years’ separation. SHEILA quickly turns to lift her suitcase onto the bed.

BRIDIE: [tersely] You’ll wreck your spine.

SHEILA: [annoyed] I know how to lift a suitcase thank you.

BRIDIE: [taking charge—as usual] We’ll do it like we used to […]

Related Characters: Bridie (speaker), Sheila (speaker)
Page Number: 9
Explanation and Analysis:
Act One, Scene Three Quotes

BRIDIE: [not meaning to be rude] The British were a bit thick sometimes.

SHEILA: [slightly annoyed] We were patriotic. We didn’t want to leave. I remember mother saying, ‘Sheila, you and I are English women. We do not run away from a few Orientals...’

Related Characters: Bridie (speaker), Sheila (speaker), Sheila’s Mother
Page Number: 10
Explanation and Analysis:

SHEILA instinctively reaches out to take BRIDIE’s hand. They hold hands. And once again they both look very vulnerable. We hear Japanese voices on the soundtrack.

SHEILA: I wanted to cry. [With resolution] But I reminded myself I was a Woman of the Empire. And it just wasn't done to show fear to the natives. [Wistful smile] I could almost hear my mother saying: ‘Chin up, gel! And where are your gloves?’

Related Characters: Sheila (speaker), Bridie, Sheila’s Mother, Rick (“M. Voice”)
Page Number: 15
Explanation and Analysis:
Act One, Scene Four Quotes

SHEILA: You can snicker all you like— [Struggling to explain] but at the very worst times in the camp—I’d remind myself I was part of an Empire— and if others could endure it, so could I.

BRIDIE snorts.

SHEILA: [defensively] It got me through the war.

BRIDIE: I got you through the war. Your Empire didn't give a damn. They left you to the Japs.

SHEILA: [very upset] If you say that tomorrow, I’ll go. I mean it.

Related Characters: Bridie (speaker), Sheila (speaker)
Page Number: 17
Explanation and Analysis:
Act One, Scene Five Quotes

SHEILA: They got the idea from a prisoner—an Australian—he set it up.

BRIDIE: [annoyed] We don’t know for sure he did.

SHEILA: [to camera] People blame the British for Singapore. There were Aussies too who were hardly saints.

BRIDIE: [annoyed with SHEILA] Have you forgotten how many of the British collaborated? [To the camera] The Japs wanted us because they knew they couldn’t have us. But they could pick and choose from amongst the Poms. Those women who’d lorded it over everyone at Raffles were selling themselves for a hard-boiled egg.

SHEILA: They had no choice. They had children to feed. We didn’t judge. We accepted it.

BRIDIE: [disgusted] I didn’t! To go with a Jap—to give him pleasure—how could you ever live with yourself?

Related Characters: Bridie (speaker), Sheila (speaker), Rick (“M. Voice”)
Page Number: 21
Explanation and Analysis:
Act One, Scene Six Quotes

SHEILA: They were people I grew up with. A lot of them were friends of mine.

BRIDIE: And the Japs were the enemy. Every woman who gave in made it harder for the rest.

SHEILA: It was the only way they could feed their kids.

BRIDIE: [with disgust] Sleeping with a Jap? I’d never have done that—not for anyone. How could you go on living with yourself—or look your family in the eye?

This is a shattering remark for SHEILA, but she does her best to conceal any reaction.

Related Characters: Bridie (speaker), Sheila (speaker)
Page Number: 25
Explanation and Analysis:
Act One, Scene Seven Quotes

BRIDIE: Don’t laugh. It was important. Caramel was our only luxury. Sheila sold her brooch to buy some—from a native who used to smuggle it. Every week—on Sunday night—we’d pop that caramel into our mouths—for one minute each—one minute of bliss—then we’d store it away till the next week.

M. VOICE: You were never tempted to eat it all?

BRIDIE: No. We were very strict about that. It had to last till the end of the war.

Related Characters: Bridie (speaker), Rick (“M. Voice”) (speaker), Sheila
Related Symbols: The Caramel
Page Number: 28
Explanation and Analysis:
Act One, Scene Eight Quotes

BRIDIE: […] In 1945—when I was still in a Singapore hospital bed. I got a note from you saying you were going off to England—and you’d send me your new address. I’m still waiting, Sheila. [Hurt] Why did you leave me?

SHEILA: [not telling the truth] All we had in common was the camp. I didn’t want to keep talking about it—I couldn’t, Bridie—it hurt too much. And when something hurts you run away... or you dig a hole and bury it.

Related Characters: Bridie (speaker), Sheila (speaker)
Page Number: 32
Explanation and Analysis:

BRIDIE: You didn’t. Tell me you didn’t.

SHEILA: [angrily] You were the one who wanted to know. I told you to leave it alone.

BRIDIE: [shocked] You didn’t sleep with a Jap. Not you.

SHEILA: You were screaming. And he went and got quinine. For you. And he showed the tablets to me—and he pointed to the barracks—where his mates were waiting.

BRIDIE: Don’t! I don’t want to hear this!

Related Characters: Bridie (speaker), Sheila (speaker), Lipstick Larry
Related Symbols: The Shoe-Horn
Page Number: 34
Explanation and Analysis:
Act Two, Scene Nine Quotes

SHEILA: […] Just after Bridie got back on her feet, Captain Siki called a line up. He said: ‘I have good news for Australian womens. Your Emperor, Mr Curtin, sends his greetings. And orders you all to keep smiling.’ At first there was... absolute silence. And then the nurses—[Slightly puzzled]—well I thought they must be crying—because they started to wipe their eyes. But it was from laughter. They were laughing.

M. VOICE: Why? What was so funny?

SHEILA: They were skin and bone and covered in boils—and they’d just been told to ‘keep smiling’! Well they smiled all right. Then they laughed so much they couldn’t control it.

Related Characters: Sheila (speaker), Rick (“M. Voice”) (speaker), Bridie, Captain Siki
Page Number: 41
Explanation and Analysis:

Siki slapped a few faces and they managed to stop. But all that day you could hear these giggles as the joke went right round the camp. There was even laughter after bed time—instead of the usual sobbing and quarrels. The guards would bark and shine their torches—and all would be quiet till some wit muttered ‘Keep smiling, girls!’—and we’d all crack up. We paid dearly for our fun though. The next day Siki lined us up. He made us stand in the sun for hours—and ordered us never to smile again...

Related Characters: Sheila (speaker), Bridie, Captain Siki, Rick (“M. Voice”)
Page Number: 42
Explanation and Analysis:
Act Two, Scene Ten Quotes

BRIDIE: [upset] Why did you have to go with that Jap?

SHEILA: Ssshh!

BRIDIE: You were only a girl—a child!

SHEILA: I had to do it. I couldn’t let you die.

BRIDIE: If only I’d known—I would never have let you... Sheila—please—let me try and help.

SHEILA: [haunted] Every night when I fall asleep, Lipstick Larry’s waiting. He calls to me and I go to him— and no one can change that. Not even you.

Related Characters: Bridie (speaker), Sheila (speaker), Lipstick Larry
Page Number: 43
Explanation and Analysis:

I almost confided in mother once. [Sadly] Isn’t that amusing? It was just before I sailed from Singapore. I took her hand and whispered that... there was something I needed to tell her—about the Japanese. Mother poured herself a drink and said: ‘You know what the Bible says, my dear. “No cross, no crown.” We must pull up our socks and get on with it.’ Took more than a war to change Mother.

Related Characters: Sheila (speaker), Bridie, Lipstick Larry, Sheila’s Mother
Page Number: 44
Explanation and Analysis:
Act Two, Scene Eleven Quotes

SHEILA: A lot of times we barely got through it—we were so weak from hunger. But we sang our sonata whenever we could—so the camp would know there was still music left.

BRIDIE: It probably sounded bloody awful. But not to us. To us we still had harmony... and the Japs could never ever take that away.

Related Characters: Bridie (speaker), Sheila (speaker), Rick (“M. Voice”)
Page Number: 47
Explanation and Analysis:
Act Two, Scene Twelve Quotes

I’m not just anyone, Bridie. [Thinking of them both] Keeping a secret wears you down. Believe me—I know. In the end you’ll do anything just to escape it.

Related Characters: Sheila (speaker), Bridie
Page Number: 51
Explanation and Analysis:

SHEILA: I don’t see why it... should have to be a secret. Not now.

BRIDIE: [unnerved] You mustn’t discuss it beyond this room. You know how cruel other people can be. It’s the only thing that hasn’t changed in the last fifty years. What on earth has possessed you to—

SHEILA: [haunted] When I went back to Belalau—searching for the graves— I kept on thinking, why did they die? Was it all for nothing? All our friends? And that’s when I realised I had to talk about it. There are probably thousands of survivors like us—still trapped in the war—too ashamed to tell anyone. Lots of people will be watching when Rick’s programme goes to air. It mightn’t be too late to—

Related Characters: Bridie (speaker), Sheila (speaker)
Page Number: 51
Explanation and Analysis:

BRIDIE: [upset and threatened] To what? You think the armies of this planet will stop murdering each other because some old English woman disapproves of all the killing?

SHEILA shakes her head sadly.

Then what possible difference will it make?

SHEILA: [haunted but gently] Probably none. I know that, Bridie. But the war hasn’t ended. Not for me. For me it goes on. And now I want peace. And if the only way to get it is to tell the truth then—

BRIDIE: You were always impulsive and you haven’t changed since camp. [Bitterly] This is what Rick’s been after all along, I’ll bet. This is why the free booze and the room with ocean views. He’s been softening us up. Can’t you see that, Sheila?

SHEILA: And what if he has? It's still my decision.

BRIDIE: You know what they’ll call you. They’ll call you a whore.

Related Characters: Bridie (speaker), Sheila (speaker), Rick (“M. Voice”)
Page Number: 51
Explanation and Analysis:
Act Two, Scene Thirteen Quotes

SHEILA: [nervously] My knees were shaking— I was— terribly frightened. I said ‘What if the Japs come after us, Bridie?’ [Smiling sadly] I remember her words so clearly. ‘And what if they do?’ she said. ‘Since when have we ever been scared of the Japs?’

BRIDIE reaches out and takes SHEILA’s hand.

BRIDIE: So Sheila and I walked out of that camp. [Gently, fondly, perhaps smiling sadly] And on four wobbly legs we went down to the village. Sometimes I dragged Sheila. Sometimes Sheila dragged me. The main thing is we got there. And we could never have done that alone.

Related Characters: Bridie (speaker), Sheila (speaker), Rick (“M. Voice”)
Page Number: 56
Explanation and Analysis:

She went to... the Japs... to a Japanese guard—and... she sold herself to him for tablets. She was a beautiful, kind and brave young woman. [Looking at SHEILA.] She wasn’t just my friend— she was— she is—the other half of my life. And she gave herself to him... so that I... could have quinine... And she never told me till two nights ago. For fifty years she never told anyone... They don’t give medals for things like that. But they should.

Related Characters: Bridie (speaker), Sheila, Lipstick Larry, Rick (“M. Voice”)
Page Number: 56
Explanation and Analysis:
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Bridie Character Timeline in The Shoe-Horn Sonata

The timeline below shows where the character Bridie appears in The Shoe-Horn Sonata. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Act One, Scene One
Survival, Resilience, and Catharsis Theme Icon
Pride and Patriotism Theme Icon
Trauma and Repression Theme Icon
Bridie’s voice sounds out in total darkness as she explains how Japanese guards in World War... (full context)
Pride and Patriotism Theme Icon
Bridie tells Rick, the interviewer, that her father gave her a shoe-horn on the day she... (full context)
Survival, Resilience, and Catharsis Theme Icon
Pride and Patriotism Theme Icon
Bridie’s surroundings slowly become apparent to the audience, and it becomes clear that she’s in a... (full context)
Survival, Resilience, and Catharsis Theme Icon
Pride and Patriotism Theme Icon
When Rick asks how the British reacted to the Japanese bombing of Malaya, Bridie tells him that they saw it as a “personal insult.” Before long, British and Australian... (full context)
Survival, Resilience, and Catharsis Theme Icon
Friendship, Sacrifice, and Resentment Theme Icon
Telling Rick what it was like to finally flee from Singapore, Bridie says that she and the other military nurses boarded a ferry meant to hold 12... (full context)
Pride and Patriotism Theme Icon
In total, 44 boats—each carrying 300 people—left Singapore that night. Bridie explains that the British “had refused to evacuate civilians” because they couldn’t fathom the idea... (full context)
Act One, Scene Two
Survival, Resilience, and Catharsis Theme Icon
Trauma and Repression Theme Icon
Bridie helps Sheila with her luggage, opening the door to her friend’s hotel room and telling... (full context)
Survival, Resilience, and Catharsis Theme Icon
Friendship, Sacrifice, and Resentment Theme Icon
Trauma and Repression Theme Icon
Bridie pokes fun of Sheila for wearing “gloves,” but Sheila says this is the “sign of... (full context)
Pride and Patriotism Theme Icon
Friendship, Sacrifice, and Resentment Theme Icon
Trauma and Repression Theme Icon
As they talk about their old friends, Bridie says that one of the other women bet her five dollars that Sheila wouldn’t actually... (full context)
Friendship, Sacrifice, and Resentment Theme Icon
Trauma and Repression Theme Icon
After Bridie tells Sheila that she should have written to her, the two women stand in tense... (full context)
Act One, Scene Three
Pride and Patriotism Theme Icon
As the lights come up on the television studio, Rick asks how long Sheila and Bridie have known each other, and Sheila says they met the night their respective ships sank... (full context)
Pride and Patriotism Theme Icon
Friendship, Sacrifice, and Resentment Theme Icon
...Australia while her mother stayed in order to “stop the Japs looting her silver.” A Bridie’s behest, Sheila hesitantly tells Rick what her mother said upon her departure. “You’ll be living... (full context)
Survival, Resilience, and Catharsis Theme Icon
Pride and Patriotism Theme Icon
“You must have been scared,” Rick says, to which Sheila proudly replies, “Not really,” though Bridie chimes in to say that she was “petrified.” As Sheila continues her story, the sound... (full context)
Survival, Resilience, and Catharsis Theme Icon
Friendship, Sacrifice, and Resentment Theme Icon
Telling her own story, Bridie says that her ship was also bombed by the Japanese. Just when she was about... (full context)
Survival, Resilience, and Catharsis Theme Icon
Pride and Patriotism Theme Icon
Friendship, Sacrifice, and Resentment Theme Icon
Telling Rick about her first conversation with Sheila, Bridie says that she found her new friend rather “stand-offish.” “Cartwright is an Irish name,” Sheila... (full context)
Survival, Resilience, and Catharsis Theme Icon
Friendship, Sacrifice, and Resentment Theme Icon
Thinking about how she used her shoe-horn to keep Sheila awake, Bridie notes that she lost the handy tool “later in the war.” Going back to the... (full context)
Survival, Resilience, and Catharsis Theme Icon
Pride and Patriotism Theme Icon
Rick asks how long it took for Sheila and Bridie to find shore, and Bridie says they never “washed up” on land, since a ship... (full context)
Act One, Scene Four
Pride and Patriotism Theme Icon
Friendship, Sacrifice, and Resentment Theme Icon
Back in the hotel, Bridie and Sheila discuss the interview. Whereas Bridie is satisfied with how it went, Sheila is... (full context)
Survival, Resilience, and Catharsis Theme Icon
Pride and Patriotism Theme Icon
Sheila informs Bridie that “one never stops being British.” Although Bridie continues to make fun of her, Sheila... (full context)
Survival, Resilience, and Catharsis Theme Icon
Friendship, Sacrifice, and Resentment Theme Icon
Trauma and Repression Theme Icon
Taunting Sheila, Bridie says she’ll tell Rick that they both made “loin-cloths” for the Japanese guards. The two... (full context)
Act One, Scene Five
Survival, Resilience, and Catharsis Theme Icon
Friendship, Sacrifice, and Resentment Theme Icon
Back in the television studio, Bridie tells Rick about the night of February 13, 1942, saying that 12 nurses drowned when... (full context)
Survival, Resilience, and Catharsis Theme Icon
Pride and Patriotism Theme Icon
Trauma and Repression Theme Icon
Bridie explains that she and her fellow prisoners had to go to the bathroom in an... (full context)
Survival, Resilience, and Catharsis Theme Icon
Trauma and Repression Theme Icon
Rick asks if the guards ever tried to “take advantage” of Bridie or Sheila. “Not really,” Sheila replies, but Rick remains unconvinced. As such, Bridie tells him... (full context)
Survival, Resilience, and Catharsis Theme Icon
Bridie continues her story about the officers’ club, explaining that a group of nurses “were ordered... (full context)
Survival, Resilience, and Catharsis Theme Icon
Still telling her story about the officers’ club, Bridie says that she watched another nurse pull out a handkerchief and cough. The handkerchief was... (full context)
Survival, Resilience, and Catharsis Theme Icon
Friendship, Sacrifice, and Resentment Theme Icon
After this story, the lights go out and a picture appears on the screen behind Bridie and Sheila, showing an image of frail, malnourished children. When the lights come on again,... (full context)
Survival, Resilience, and Catharsis Theme Icon
Rick asks why Bridie and Sheila didn’t simply “give up” and “die.” In response, they tell him that a... (full context)
Act One, Scene Six
Pride and Patriotism Theme Icon
Friendship, Sacrifice, and Resentment Theme Icon
...who she thinks is trying too hard to pry into their pasts with indecent questions. Bridie, for her part, says Sheila doesn’t have to answer his questions, adding that she didn’t... (full context)
Survival, Resilience, and Catharsis Theme Icon
Friendship, Sacrifice, and Resentment Theme Icon
Trauma and Repression Theme Icon
Bridie stands by her belief that it was “crass” and unforgiveable of the British women in... (full context)
Survival, Resilience, and Catharsis Theme Icon
Friendship, Sacrifice, and Resentment Theme Icon
After ranting about how much she abhors the idea of sleeping with a guard, Bridie sees a photograph of Sheila as a young woman, and Sheila tells her that Rick... (full context)
Friendship, Sacrifice, and Resentment Theme Icon
Trauma and Repression Theme Icon
Seeing how determined Sheila is to act like she doesn’t care about their friendship, Bridie says she misses the old Sheila. Having said this, she goes to dinner, leaving Sheila... (full context)
Act One, Scene Seven
Survival, Resilience, and Catharsis Theme Icon
Alone with Rick in the television studio the next day, Bridie says she and the other prisoners made wills in case they died. Her will, she... (full context)
Survival, Resilience, and Catharsis Theme Icon
Friendship, Sacrifice, and Resentment Theme Icon
Impressed by their willpower, Rick asks if Bridie and Sheila were ever “tempted to eat” the entire caramel, but Bridie says they were... (full context)
Act One, Scene Eight
Trauma and Repression Theme Icon
In Sheila’s hotel room, Bridie gives her friend a glass of Alka-Seltzer because she’s horribly hungover, though she claims she... (full context)
Friendship, Sacrifice, and Resentment Theme Icon
Trauma and Repression Theme Icon
Bridie tells Sheila that she doesn’t want to be “judgmental,” but says she thinks Sheila has... (full context)
Friendship, Sacrifice, and Resentment Theme Icon
Trauma and Repression Theme Icon
Bridie notes that drunk people almost “always tell the truth.” This is why she’s so upset... (full context)
Friendship, Sacrifice, and Resentment Theme Icon
Trauma and Repression Theme Icon
Bridie asks if Sheila ever missed her, and Sheila says she did, but it’s clear she’s... (full context)
Friendship, Sacrifice, and Resentment Theme Icon
Trauma and Repression Theme Icon
Bridie is shocked to see her own initials engraved on the shoe-horn. “But you swapped this,”... (full context)
Survival, Resilience, and Catharsis Theme Icon
Friendship, Sacrifice, and Resentment Theme Icon
Trauma and Repression Theme Icon
“Don’t you see?” Sheila says. “I was scared.” She tells Bridie that she didn’t want to put her in a coffin and carry her away. “I... (full context)
Survival, Resilience, and Catharsis Theme Icon
Friendship, Sacrifice, and Resentment Theme Icon
Trauma and Repression Theme Icon
...brought her to the barracks, where a group of officers were “waiting” for her. “Don’t!” Bridie yells. “I don’t want to hear this!” Nevertheless, Sheila goes on, saying that she kept... (full context)
Survival, Resilience, and Catharsis Theme Icon
Friendship, Sacrifice, and Resentment Theme Icon
Trauma and Repression Theme Icon
Bridie is distraught to learn that Sheila had sex with the guards in order to save... (full context)
Act Two, Scene Nine
Trauma and Repression Theme Icon
...“never be found.” Sheila then tells Rick an abbreviated version of the story about how Bridie contracted malaria and almost died. Indeed, she tells him that she went to Lipstick Larry... (full context)
Act Two, Scene Ten
Friendship, Sacrifice, and Resentment Theme Icon
Trauma and Repression Theme Icon
Sheila knits by herself in the television studio until Bridie comes in and asks why she didn’t tell her about Lipstick Larry earlier. Sheila says... (full context)
Friendship, Sacrifice, and Resentment Theme Icon
Trauma and Repression Theme Icon
“Why did you have to go with that Jap?” Bridie laments, and Sheila says, “I had to do it. I couldn’t let you die.” In... (full context)
Friendship, Sacrifice, and Resentment Theme Icon
Trauma and Repression Theme Icon
Bridie asks if Sheila has ever told anyone else about what happened to her, and Sheila... (full context)
Friendship, Sacrifice, and Resentment Theme Icon
Trauma and Repression Theme Icon
After a tense silence, Sheila reminds Bridie that the documentary special is finishing the next day, so they’ll be “out of each... (full context)
Act Two, Scene Eleven
Survival, Resilience, and Catharsis Theme Icon
In their next interview with Rick, Bridie and Sheila explain that their choir “disband[ed]” in April of 1945 because too many of... (full context)
Act Two, Scene Twelve
Friendship, Sacrifice, and Resentment Theme Icon
Trauma and Repression Theme Icon
...they’d “bicker” too much. They then talk about whether or not they hate Japanese people. Bridie, for her part, admits that she becomes frightened around Japanese people, going on to tell... (full context)
Survival, Resilience, and Catharsis Theme Icon
Friendship, Sacrifice, and Resentment Theme Icon
Trauma and Repression Theme Icon
Despite Sheila’s insistence that Bridie’s arrest is nothing to be ashamed of, Bridie says that she promised herself she’d “never... (full context)
Survival, Resilience, and Catharsis Theme Icon
Friendship, Sacrifice, and Resentment Theme Icon
Trauma and Repression Theme Icon
Distraught that Sheila might talk about her trauma on television, Bridie warns, “You know what they’ll call you. They’ll call you a whore.” Nevertheless, Sheila remains... (full context)
Act Two, Scene Thirteen
Survival, Resilience, and Catharsis Theme Icon
Pride and Patriotism Theme Icon
Trauma and Repression Theme Icon
Bridie and Sheila begin their final interview with Rick by telling him about the final days... (full context)
Survival, Resilience, and Catharsis Theme Icon
Bridie and Sheila explain that, although the war was drawing to a close, the Japanese decided... (full context)
Survival, Resilience, and Catharsis Theme Icon
Friendship, Sacrifice, and Resentment Theme Icon
Rick asks Bridie and Sheila how they were found, and they tell him an Australian journalist came looking... (full context)
Survival, Resilience, and Catharsis Theme Icon
Friendship, Sacrifice, and Resentment Theme Icon
Trauma and Repression Theme Icon
Rick tells Bridie and Sheila that they can take a break, but just as Sheila is about to... (full context)
Act Two, Scene Fourteen
Friendship, Sacrifice, and Resentment Theme Icon
Trauma and Repression Theme Icon
Back in Sheila’s hotel room, the two friends talk about their travel plans. Bridie tells Sheila she found out the hotel is owned by Japanese people, so Sheila gathers... (full context)