Many authors/film makers realize that sometimes, in order to make a point, an idea is best conveyed through a stirring of the audience’s pathos, or feelings. An audience whose emotions have been affected is more likely to remember a message and take it into consideration. Hoop Dreams, a documentary by Steve James, is an apt example that employs heavy use of pathos in order to present its theme. The documentary follows two boys through their high school years in Chicago as they pursue their life dreams of becoming two players in the NBA. It is hard not to become engaged in the film as the boys must overcome many hurdles in order to work towards their dream. The filmmakers strive to stir the emotions of the audience by giving much attention to the boys’ families, by focusing on the many hardships the two boys and their families must endure, and by using juxtaposition throughout the film, all of which are facilitated by relying on key elements of narrative. Focusing on the families of the two boys allows the audience to sense how these “hoop dreams” have become family affair, which makes them that much more important. These dreams are no longer your typical children’s dreams. Instead, they are goals that are full heartedly supported by the two boys’ families, which each household rooting for, and in some cases, depending on, the two boys to achieve their dream. For example: there are two persons introduced to the audience in the film that depend on the boys reaching the NBA in order for them to see part of their past dreams reached. Curtis Gates, William’s brother, and Bo Agee, Arthur’s father, both hope to see the boys “make it big” in the NBA, as both of them were skilled basketball players in their younger years. However, due to Curtis’ stubborn demeanor and Bo’s having two children, neither of them were able to pursue their dream. Also, the two families depend on the young boys career in order to move their life forward out of the current despair...
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