Donald M. Murray's The Stranger In The Photo Is Me

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For the duration of his essay “The Stranger in the Photo is Me”, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and professor Donald M. Murray depicts his train of thought while flipping through an old family photo album. While describing his experience, Murray carries the reader through the story of his childhood, describing snapshots of some of his favorite memories growing up. Throughout the piece, he shifts back and forth between a family oriented, humorous tone and a nostalgic, regretful one and by doing so, he parallels the true experience of looking through a family photo album. Murray expresses a more serious tone while reflecting on a certain photograph of him in uniform from the beginning of World War II and goes on to explain how in his opinion, …show more content…

He achieves this by making a summarizing statement about how people over 60 tend to reflect on life and the impact of their decisions. He shifts his focus to the overall significance of the piece when he declares, “Over 60 we are fascinated by the mystery of our life, why roads were taken and not taken, and our children encourage this as they develop a sense of family history” (98-101). Murray conveys to the audience that people over 60 often have the tendency to reflect on major events in their life and attempt to discover a reason for why they made they the life choices that they made. This allusion calls the Frost poem to mind without mentioning it explicitly. The author utilizes the rhetorical device to conclude his writing and synopsize its significance. “Road Not Taken” is a renowned poem by a famous American poet containing a message about life’s choices that is familiar to most people. Donald M. Murray uses the notoriety of the poem’s message to his advantage by alluding to it. In doing so, he emphasizes the similar message of his essay about how innocence causes blind decision making and the way in which people look back on those

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