By: Caison Gray
In both the Gourevitch and Sontag texts, images of violence and suffering, along with individual’s reactions to them, are discussed. Gourevitch describes corpses of genocide victims, focusing on those of the Rowanda genocide especially, and the aftermath of the genocide. Along with a description, Gourevitch provides personal accounts from survivors of the Rowanda genocide to provide even more information of the severity of the genocide to his readers. Gourevitch aimed to make his audience feel uncomfortable by challenging them with the realities and horrors of the Rowanda genocide that were kept from them by the mainstream media. Sontag discusses in her writing the effects of both the censorship of disturbing images by the media and the lack of effect the overuse of disturbing images can have. Gourevitch’s opinion of the under-publicized genocide in Rowanda is an example of disturbing images and accounts that would influence readers to change their opinion. However, according to Sontag, the images and accounts would simply be interpreted in an individual’s mind to fit their own preconceived thoughts. The individuals who see the images or read the stories will feel sympathetic towards the victims of the Rowanda genocide, but it still will not be apparent to them to become actively preventative of such horrors from happening again.