In the essay, All Over But the Shoutin’, Rick Bragg, the author, depicts the painful strain a father's pursuit of his own selfish ambitions had on his son and household. He warns of the enduring effects holding malice can have on a person’s emotional state of mind. The author shows that there is always room in one’s heart for forgiveness through his use of rhetorical moves such as tone, stance, and imagery.
The author’s melancholic, yet, optimistic tone expresses his resolve to forgive his father. Bragg’s harrowing, but coveted recollections of the past paint a far-flung, yet hopeful chance of remission:
“I thought he would greet me with that strong voice that sounded so fine when he laughed and so evil when, slurred by a quart of corn likker, he whirled through the house and cried and shrieked, tormented by things we could not see or even imagine. I thought he would be the man and monster of my childhood” (Bragg 1).
Bragg’s dejected tone when addressing his father’s latest demeanor is satirical as the Father’s past behavior is anything but celebratory. The author’s conscious decision to compare his memories of the Father to that of a “man” and a “monster” depicts the two emotions Bragg intended to invoke from his readers through the use of tone: contentment and fear. He wanted his readers to share his contentment with his father’s past demeanor, though distressing. In contrast, Bragg hoped his readers share his fear of his father’s past demeanor, despite his innate urge