The plot of Great Rock n’ Roll Pauses seems to lie in the small daily conflicts that occur within this family’s home. The beginning of the story is us getting introduced to the family members through their own respective graphs and colors. Sasha, the mom, is thoughtful, artistic, and seems to be the support pillar of the family. She is represented by grounding colors such as browns, beiges, and yellows. Alison, the narrator, is inquisitive, observant, and engaged in the ongoings of her household. She represents herself with bright purples and the occasional orange. Drew, the father, is withdrawn, not emotionally savvy, and logically-minded. He is represented almost entirely by various shades of powerful or watered down reds. Finally comes Lincoln, the youngest, emotionally driven, and full of energy and enthusiasm. He is represented by lively and youthful greens of varying shades. These colors are interesting to me especially when I consider their relations to each other. Sasha being represented by browns and beiges for the most part puts her in a position to where she can act as a compliment to the colors of all the other characters. Brown being neutral in its tone makes it easy to fit in where it is needed. Her yellows feel like the more artistic parts of her, and it might explain why Allison chooses to use orange as her occasional secondary color. Her fathers red mixed with her mothers yellow gives her this blend of their two personalities. Lincoln’s green is also an interesting color choice, as red and green are contrasting colors, which add to the conflict that exist between father and son.
There is conflict in the fact that Drew is often not present due to his demanding job as a doctor. There is conflict in the troubled and emotional past of both of the parents. There is Lincoln who is trying to find someone to listen to and engage with his interests; and on the opposite end, there is the rest of the family trying to be encouraging of his interests, even though they aren’t always interested. And of course, there is the conflict of Drew not understanding his son’s interests or obsession over something small like pauses in music. Drew, as a character of conflict, often has the slides and diagrams based around him shown in various shades of red. This may indicate his place as a source of trouble in the family, even if unintentional; like a red stop sign that keeps the family dynamic from driving smoothly along.
I would say that Alison and her father show change by the end of the story, though I don’t see much in the mother and Lincoln. In my mind, Alli finds that there are stories in silences, and sometimes those silences become too overbearing. Her mother’s silence about her past is one example, in which she then realizes that she makes people uncomfortable by asking for these untold stories to be told. There is also the point where she and her father are walking back from the desert and she is hit with the possibility that time has flown by under the silence of the desert night, and that when they get back her mother and brother will not be there.
Drew has the most obvious change in the way that he comes to view his son’s interests in musical pauses. It is clear that he wants to understand this topic better for Lincoln’s sake, but he doesn’t understand the fascination or purpose of the interest. Because of Lincoln’s difficulty in communicating from being on the spectrum, he often has a hard time getting his true ideas across, and so there is a gap between him and his father. This is shown especially well on slide 16, where we see Lincoln’s thought process go through several layers of turns, taking it farther and farther away from the idea that he truly wants to express. But in the end, Drew seems to come to his own sort of realization that there is power in the pause– an idea that he may have taken away from the long pause from the world that he finds in the desert.
Between ‘Great Rock n’ Roll Pauses’ and ‘Diagrammatic Writing’, I was able to learn about a lot of tools and tricks that I can use to help myself put together my own story. Playing with the distance between words and blocks of text, the shapes that text can take, and the colors the text are written in do a lot to help guide the reader not only in terms of reading, but also in terms of how I want the story to be read internally and what sort of emotions I want to convey. I want to play with something like the circular diagrams that are used in ‘GRnRP’, as I like the idea of the reader being able to read parts of a story in any direction or order. It adds a level of freedom to it, and to me, makes a scene feel more loose, natural, and unstructured. I also like the idea of the intertwined texts that we read about in ‘DW’ as a way to show competing dialogues or conversations happening at the same time.