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Regarding the Pain of Others

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  • Posted April 21, 2014

    I Also Recommend:

    Susan Sontag's Exploration of Pain How do you cope with violent

    Susan Sontag's Exploration of Pain

    How do you cope with violent imagery depicted on the news, in documentaries, and even in fiction? War and violence are pervasive aspects of the culture we live in. In Susan Sontag's Regarding the Pain of Others, the author explores the impact of visual representations of suffering on the world. This book explores the concept of spectacle as it relates to cruelty and violence. Sontag explores photographs from America's Civil War, the attacks on the World Trade Center, racial hate crimes, and other events throughout history.

    One of the most compelling features of this book is the opening, which uses an essay written by Virginia Woolf, "Three Guineas," to introduce the reader to the gruesome nature of war. It poses an intriguing question that will make you want to continue reading. Sontag addresses the topic with sincerity and looks beyond the "emblems of suffering" to address the ethics and psychology behind the photos.

    Sontag is well-equipped to write this book, which has been researched thoroughly. She studied at major universities like Oxford and Harvard before writing collections of essays and several novels. One of her previous works, "On Photography," also addresses the impact cameras have had on our lives. Here, the focus on images of violence, hits home for me with several lingering questions: does the publication of violent photos encourage the public to oppose war or take a passive position? Do the images objectify the injured in a way that shapes our opinions of their life's value.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 8, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Good read.

    The book is very short and informative. I'm 18 years old and I think this is a good book to read. It's point was to show how Regarding The Pain of Others essentially means to feel empathy or dis-empathy. Sontag mentions valid and thought-provoking points as well as insight on the topic of empathy. I would recommend this book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 9, 2008

    Why War?!!

    I am 19 years old, and i read this book when i was 18, not quite along, and i can not find it's point yet, throughout the book it takes you nowhere really. and it becomes boring at some point. it gives you a lot of references, and facts but no answers or something the reader may need for this title, very confusing... at the end you stay the same. may be giving it a second chance.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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