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Gonzalez 1 Valentina Gonzalez Professor Erin Ashley Mink Garvey Composition & Rhetoric I WRD 103 Section 415

5 November 15, 2012 Reflection on Multimodal Forms

My discourse community is the neighborhood that I know better than the back of my hand. Little Village is a predominantly Mexican-American neighborhood in the Southwest side of Chicago and it is the place that I call home. I find beauty and culture in Little Village, while the majority of others consider it an ugly, dangerous, gang infested neighborhood. Nonetheless, Little Village has much more potential and holds a different kind of beauty. The distinct differences from other neighborhoods, like the strong sense of Mexican culture, set it apart and make it exceptionally fascinating and nonpareil. For these reasons, a Prezi presentation would appropriately demonstrate the scenic aspects of Little Village. A Prezi presentation would be suitable to emphasize Little Villages magnificence because the website allows me to illustrate a process. The specific process that I wish to stress is one that demonstrates the negative aspects and eventually leads to the positive aspects of Little Village. It is a bad to good process. My overall aim is to present my audience with a reel of emotions. They should feel worrisome and anxious when presented with cases of gang violence, but by the end of the presentation, they should feel accepting and have a change of heart. Overall, my audience should be more open-minded about the neighborhood. Beginning the presentation with the negative aspects of Little Village stresses many peoples presumptions of the neighborhood; nevertheless, introducing the beautiful and great aspects of it makes them reconsider their opinions. This was a crucial rhetorical decision because my aim is to gradually convince my audience that Little Village is a great neighborhood, aside from the gang violence. The audience is made to reconsider their opinion because of the wonderful, cultural aspects that are introduced. The positive aspects almost outweigh the terrible cases of gang violence. This essentially appeals to ethos for the fact that I completely support my claim. For instance, if I only exposed the

Gonzalez 2 positive aspects of the neighborhood, I would be ignoring peoples perceptions of the neighborhood. I would also be unreliable because I would be biased to only stress my opinion. However, by including the negative aspects of La Villita, I acknowledge both sides of the case. For that reason, I included the video of Aliyah Shell. The video demonstrates how deeply the community was affected by the loss of a child. The video instills a great sense of sadness and disgust because an innocent life was taken due to gang violence. Additionally, Prezi allowed me to demonstrate a clear process through the size of each slide. In most cases, as the slides progressed, they became larger. The slides were positioned in a line, so the last slide compared to the first slide was immensely larger. This stresses how the positive aspects of Little Village out-weigh the smaller issues of the neighborhood. Also, the larger slides expose some of the things that people overlook or do not take into account when they think of Little Village. Most people judge the neighborhood solely on the negative aspects of the community and they do not consider the murals that bring upon togetherness or the authentic Mexican food that creates a homely feel in Little Village. Each great aspect of Little Village emphasizes the great sense of community and motivation for improvement within all the residents. Moreover, Prezi gave me the freedom to visually appeal to my audience. For example, the colors of my presentation are red and green. Red is the color of the background while green is the color of each slide outline. Both green and red are colors of the Mexican flag and because at least eighty-three percent of residents in Little Village are Mexican-American, they represent the neighborhood. This appeals to pathos because it demonstrates how proud the residents of Little Village are of their culture. It also enhances a sense of community because the cultural similarity is what brings the community together. The fact that the majority of the residents in Little Village are Mexican forms camaraderie. Businesses, street vendors, and restaurants are mostly Mexican and therefore, help form bonds. This is seen through a video on street vendors that is included in my presentation. The street vendors become a common aspect of the community and we rely on them for our delicious snacks, even in the winter cold.

Gonzalez 3 Also, I was able to visually appeal to the audience because I used plenty of images. The images themselves reveal another positive aspect of the community because they instill a sense of togetherness. The images and videos also help the audience feel as if they actually know the neighborhood. The audience gains a sense of familiarity, like from the videos of the tour, street vendors and interviews about the Crawford Power Plant. The videos essentially demonstrate the urban, Mexican culture while illustrating the type of environment in La Villita. Those were my main reasons for including the videos. For instance, the videos of the street vendors and LVEJO were noisy from traffic and people talking. This is an important aspect of my discourse community because it is part of what makes the neighborhood unique. Unlike suburbs, which are very quiet, Little Village is loud, even through their art. Murals are found everywhere in Little Village which is also a unique aspect of the discourse community. For instance, murals would not be found in Orland Park or other suburbs of Chicago. Murals are not found everywhere. Additionally, because I was in some of the images, I was able to appeal to ethos. My credibility was enhanced because the images demonstrate how I am specifically part of my discourse community. It also expresses how knowledgeable I am of Little Villages programs, like Beyond the Ball and Gary School summer camp. Furthermore, Prezi allowed me to resize, slant and overlap images. This was especially important for my first slide because I was able to make the picture of Little Village larger and overlap it over the picture of the violent gang. This appeals to pathos because the beauty, opposed to danger, is emphasized and given more importance. Furthermore, language is an important aspect of the presentation because slides that include Little Villages positive aspects are titled in Spanish. Using the Spanish language stresses the importance of the Mexican culture in Little Village. For instance, the majority of people in the community speak Spanglish. Spanglish is a mix of Spanish and English, meaning that when one is speaking English, a couple of Spanish words may slip out or vice versa. This demonstrates both the communitys adaption to the United States and their attempt to preserve the Mexican culture.

Gonzalez 4 Additionally, language is a great part of the discourse community because not everyone knows or understands Spanish. The Spanish language distinguishes Little Village. For example, in other Chicago neighborhoods, people may speak Polish, German, or Italian. The language in a way brings the community together. It is even seen through the images of some businesses. Signs that are in Spanish illustrate what most residents have in common. Language appeals to pathos because it reveals how important it is for members of the Little Village community to preserve and be proud of their culture, even when they live in America. Also, for many, the Spanish language is a beautiful reminder of Mexico. Overall, I chose to make a Prezi presentation because I was able to prove my claim using writing, images and videos. It allowed me to prove my claim in a creative and effective manner. I demonstrated the downfalls of the neighborhood but also emphasized how beautiful, important and cultural it is.

Gonzalez 5 Bibliography "Little Village Chamber of Commerce." Little Village Chamber of Commerce RSS. N.p., n.d. Web. 17 Nov. 2012. <>. "" What Is Community Development?, Community Organizations and Programs. N.p., n.d. Web. 17 Nov. 2012. <>. "Our Story." Latinos Progresando Our Story Comments. N.p., n.d. Web. 17 Nov. 2012. <>. "Welcome to LVEJO On-line." Little Village Environmental Justice Organization RSS. N.p., n.d. Web. 17 Nov. 2012. <>.