In his article, Toni Morrison reflects on the psychological effects of human interaction by depicting scenes from his own life experiences. Morrison contributes ethos throughout the majority of the article by constantly including himself in the human error that has lead to a false impression in an encounter with the stranger. He attempts to define the reasons behind trusting strangers while recalling the emotions that churned within him after his initial meeting with the stranger.
It was through his encounter with the mysterious lady that the author told his story of betrayal and bewilderment, revealing his proposal to the fear of the unknown, “Now she is gone, taking with her my good opinion of myself, which, of course, is unforgivable. Isn't that the kind of thing that we fear strangers will do? Disturb. Betray. Prove that they are not like us,” (Morrison 109). His narrative about his movement to a new home, and his meeting with an unknown stranger shifts from a happy, sentimental tone to a serious, informal view of the outcome that the author was faced with. His intention for the sudden shift of tone is to cause the reader to rethink their perception of the person that he described as a jolly individual with a sense of mystery and charm. He transitions from the stance of anticipation for their next encounter to a pool of bitter betrayal after the simple confrontation with his neighbor, reinforcing his idea that strangers are feared for their ability to destroy an individual’s perceptual image that has become a key point in their augmentation to reality.
Morrison again narrows his focus to, “Why?” Why did he feel betrayed. Why did he not question her credibility. Why was it so easy for him to despise this unknown person for toying with his trust. “Far from our original expectations of increased intimacy and broader knowledge, routine media presentations deploy images and language that narrow our view of what humans look like...