Tom Junod Essay

515 Words3 Pages
991108768 Fall 2011 English 101-065 Photographs: Evidence or Assumptions? In Tom Junod's "The Falling Man," several physical characteristics are given to describe the man in the photograph. The details that are given are researched and evaluated to lead the reader closer to the revealing of the falling man. “The Falling Man” is about a picture of a man that jumped from the twin towers on September 11th. Junod forces us to become connected with the man, and then pulls all of the information away, allowing us to realize the truth of photographs. The man’s lack of identification gives insight toward Junod's idea of photographs and their purpose, more specifically that photographs are not true evidence. One significant characteristic in the essay is when Junod comments the race of the unidentified man. He illustrates how, determined from the picture, the man could be “Latino, or light-skinned black… or Indian, or Arab" (75). The man could be of multiple ethnicities: by eliminating and universalizing race allows the man to be more relatable. As the essay continues Junod provides more specific traits to describe the man. Details such as "wide face… dark brows… thick dark lips" (76) are applied to a more restricted group of people, thus, narrowing the potential candidates for the falling man. By doing so Junod allows the reader to give a face to the man who was lost; he becomes an actual person rather than just a man. Even more so Junod continues, giving the man a personality using physical characteristics. The author gives him a "mustache and a goatee" and he "wore a chef's coat, open, with a loud shirt underneath" (79). The falling man now has a personality; he is an individual, yet he relates to everyone. He is no one, but yet he is someone. But even so, in the end of the essay and the situation, the identity of the man is never found. Even
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