Donald Murray The Stranger In The Photo Is Me Analysis

694 Words3 Pages

Professor, Pulitzer Prize-winning author, Donald M. Murray, in his article, “The Stranger in the Photo Is Me”, suggests that innocence cannot be regained once it is lost, and he supports this claim by first reflecting on who he was before the photograph. Then, he detaches himself from the photograph because of his personal development throughout the war he fought in, and finally concluding that one cannot regain innocence after something as traumatic as war. Murray’s purpose is to argue in order to prove that war changes a person, adopting a nostalgic tone for the elder, over sixty, generation that is his audience.
Murray admits that he used to never care to look at photographs, an example of his past self, but now, he gives them “a second glance” even “a third” (8). This displays his change in character, as miniscule as it may be, juxtaposing his past and present habits. He recounts that, as a child, he would pretend to be a “cowboy, pilot, Indian chief”, loving to dress as what he was not (33-34). Murray, reflecting on his past, …show more content…

He informs his audience that, during the time the photograph was taken, he “had not yet become the person who had to” (71-72) tell his father that he had cancer, he “had not been the first in [his] famil[y] to divorce” (82-83), and he “had not yet seen his first dead soldier” (84). The use of parallel syntax gives the list of unfortunate events a sequential feel, as if everything happens right after the other. This causes his life to seem like it is trapped in a downward spiral after losing his innocence, the only comfort he had before all of his hardships. This furthers the sympathy the audience feels toward the author, strengthening his argument even more than before as well as displaying ample evidence to support his overall claim of innocence being impossible to regain once it is lost, referencing points of his life where his loss of innocence was

Open Document