In chapter 1, Sontag emphasizes the notion of photography that occurs during times of war. They can be taken into various interpretations based on the person that is giving the story. Each side is going to have their own perspective, yet how do we know which version is the correct one? As humans we fail to hold reality in our minds. When we look at photographs, we tend to fail at demonstrating empathy towards the subject. (Sontag 8) Photography captures a single moment that the photographer wants to capture. Some images may be suspicious because they could be images that are set up by the photographer and have actors posing for the images.
Chapter 1 highlights the importance that photography plays in the use of propaganda during times of war.
In chapter 6, Sontag develops the idea that when looking at the images that have graphic scenes, the initial response is to look away from them because they showcase a lot. Yet, after becoming used to seeing such images of the pain of others, it is something that we desire to constantly look at. The pain of others goes back to being a root in the religious thinking of a person because they think that in pain there has to be a sacrifice and when there is a sacrifice there is exaltation. It is a chain in the religious world that has pain end by being something that people enjoy seeing.
Chapter 6 talks about how the human mind likes to see images that depict the degradation, mutilation, and pain of others because they capture something that the mind is lured into looking at.
In chapter 8, Sontag opens the chapter talking about how “No one after a certain age has the right to this kind of innocence.” (Sontag 114) The innocence talked about is the one of ignoring the reality of the world. Photographs that have graphic scenes can be skipped over to avoid looking at what is going on in the world, yet after reaching adulthood one has to be conscience of what is on the news even if that means looking at the graphic images and not skipping over them. Sontag also gives insight as to what the person that looks at the images is thinking about. Looking at the images we want to do something about the situation, yet if we did do something every time, there would be no approach to the situation that is being lived in other parts of the world.
Chapter 8 describes the fact that no one, after a certain age, has the right to ignore the issues that people throughout the world are facing today because they are affecting us in an indirect way.