I have opted to analyze the Lament of Joe Hall.
Since the recording began as soon as the page loaded, I didn’t have a chance to read the introduction paragraph in its entirety and grasp what the story was about. Because of this, the first element of the story to capture my attention was the youthfulness of the voice coming through the microphone. It wasn’t what I was initially expecting and was effective in immediately grasping my attention. After all, rarely is a story told from the perspective of child. I was hooked and wanted to hear more.
In terms of format, I loved that the creator began by sharing a background story of Joe’s childhood and upbringing. It gave me strong sense of the terrible hardships he underwent and endured, and caused me to sympathize with him. I developed an emotional attachment to the little guy. This was just one of the rhetorical effects. I felt that creator made the overall story flow by allowing the main character, Joe to express his emotional responses to the events that were taking place around him, sharing his opinion on the matter, in first-person, narrative format. In terms of this, what specifically stood out to me was when he was recounting a night trip with father and Nazi comrades, as they patrolled the Border of Mexico in search of illegal immigrants. Joe explicitly said he was “afraid that [he’d] have to actually shoot someone.” The creator compiles all of these mini-stories and events to build upon the climax of the story, when Joe finally kills his father. The story was concluded well and brought full-circle because the creator chose to not abruptly end the storyline. Instead, he included what happened to Joe following the murder.
One creative element that we discussed in class last week, was the use of music and other soundbites to assist with transitions and enhancing the overall presentation. The creator did an excellent job of this. Not only were musical transitions smooth, but whenever he could insert relevant soundbites he did so. (I.e. following Joe committing the murder of his father, I recall hearing sirens in the background, as well hearing his stepmom, Krista, on the phone calling the police.) All of these things helped to paint a very vivid picture for the listener, and made me feellike I was actually present. I could see everything happening as Joe told it in my mind.
To further assist the listeners with following along, I loved that the creator also provided a synopsis of the documented event below the audio recording. This helped me to better understand or clarify things that I perhaps missed while listening. The idea that smooth and relevant transitions (whether music or other soundbites) can make or break a story was reemphasized with this project. The proper utilization of such tools is what helped keep my attention and interest. This was very well done and I hope to execute my project just as well, if not better.
Side note: I loved the title of the piece. The word “Lament” made me think of a jazz song by the same name that my grandfather introduced me to. Before even listening, I felt that I would be hearing something that provided who or whatever the subject might be with a sense of inner peace. I’m not sure that Joe Hall has yet obtained this, since he is still currently incarcerated, but I pray that one day he does.