The Stranger in the Photo Is Me Essay
When analyzing Donald Murray’s “The Stranger in the Photo Is Me” readers become conscious of Murrays endeavors to purposefully represent and explore his past while using powerful language and strong images. The article takes a narrative and nostalgic approach into Murray’s life, and bombards the reader with the author’s feelings about the picture and ultimately about his life. Murray’s purpose if to convey the profound impact war has had on his life. He recapitulates the idea of innocence throughout the piece and how he feels he lost such innocence through his experience in war. The passage is broken into two parts: the past before the picture and the past after the picture and the description of these two different pasts and the contrast between them is what ultimately helps make his point.
At the start of the article, Murray takes readers into a more innocent and happy time of his life. He talks about the picture with him on a “tricycle before the duplex on Grand View Avenue in Wollaston.” And then goes on to the picture with him in a “seesucker suit when he was five and lived in a Cincinnati hotel,” and mentions other pictures in which he was dressed up as a cowboy, a pilot and an Indian Chief before actually focusing on the World War two photo. All of these pictures of the past painted an image of an innocent little boy who had an enjoyable childhood. Furthermore, the language used by Murray explains his “disregard for regulation,” and the “touch of dishonesty for a girl who waited at home,” in an almost conversational way which made it easier for readers to relate to his actions. After reading the first part of this article readers have a picture of a young man who had been satisfied with his life and was “eager for the loss of innocence.”
The tone changes drastically in the second part of the story. Murray dives into his past after the picture and his voice takes on a regretful tone. He explains that he had not...