A Plot Review of James Alexander’s Essay “The Perfect Picture”

In the essay “The Perfect Picture” by James Alexander Thom, a grandfather accidentally backs his truck over his baby granddaughter while trying to even out the “good dirt” for the garden (Thom 46). A local journalist see’s the cops, ambulance, and all the commotion going on in the front yard.

He decides what ever is going on over there would probably make a good story for the news paper, so he goes over to find himself a story. He see’s the grandfather grieving, positioned perfectly for a great picture to put on the front page. As he gets his camera in position, he cannot bring himself to intrude on the old man’s personal moment.

The journalist may have taken a step back in his profession that day, but he took a step forward for humanity. The writer did a good job portraying what the scene looked like from the garden to the child’s body wrapped in clean white sheets (Thom 47). With the words the writer used it makes you feel the pain that the grandfather feels. All of the details come together very nicely to paint the picture that the journalist passed up in the readers minds. The main point that one can take from this story is that personal grief is not a spectator sport to be shown in the media.

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